When I decided to sample Daily Harvest, a plant-based direct-to-consumer meal-delivery service, my first thought was, “Isn’t this the smoothie company that delivers ready-to-blend fruit cups with lids that have cute little straw holes?” So I was shook when I got a box filled with so much more, like veggie bowls, oat bowls, lattes, and soups.
Here’s the TL;DR on how it all works: You pick a weekly or monthly plan, choose your cups-they’re all the same price-and receive either 24 a month for $83 or 12 a week for $90. (PS, use the promo code "Cosmo" to save $25 on your first box.) Here's what you're in for:
Hella fancy ingredients you can’t pronounce or find in your grocery store.
One of my favorite parts of this weeklong taste test was incorporating crazy stuff like dragon fruit, nutritional yeast (vegan cheese, y'all), kaffir lime (limes but chic), cacao, and purple corn into my diet. And, even better, I didn’t have to seek them out at some upscale grocery store or channel Ina freaking Garten to figure out how to make them edible.
Really freaking easy cooking instructions
Seriously, the most complicated meal-prep step was washing my blender after making a smoothie. For the smoothies, you just add water (or your milk of choice) to the Daily Harvest cup, dump it into a blender, and blend. Boom-you’re eating kale. For the bowls, you could use a skillet to sauté the ingredients. (I'd say you're trying too hard, but you do you.) Otherwise, just shake that good stuff outta the cup into a bowl, microwave it, and you’re dunzo. Same goes for the oat bowls, unless you’re an overnight oats fan-in which case add nut milk or moo juice, cap it, and pop it in the fridge until the a.m. For the soups, the stovetop is fine, but using the microwave's even easier-and I promise it tastes the same.
Veggies that *actually* taste good and fruit that doesn't go bad
Real talk: I love veggies (don't @ me), so getting enough of those greens isn’t a major issue in my life. But after work, the gym, and, ya know, walking uphill both ways in a snowstorm, whipping up a veggie bowl or a fancy-ass smoothie sounds...awful. Most of the time, I settle for avocado toast and homemade tomato soup or broccoli with a sweet potato, but this, my friends, gets old.
Daily Harvest's crazy-easy bowls blow my sad healthy dinners out of the water. The spinach and shiitake grits are a creamy, tangy, umami masterpiece, and the lentil and mesquite chili is super filling. Shout out to the cauliflower and leek stew, which tastes so much like broccoli and cheese soup that it makes me crave a bread bowl. And I'd happily eat the mulberry and dragon fruit oat bowl, which is as Insta-worthy as it is flavorful.
Small-ish portion sizes
Okay, so everything is ridiculously easy to cook, tastes ah-mazing, and includes super healthy ingredients. The only problem? I wanted so much more of it. While the bowls and smoothies were epic, I had to add more food to them to be fully satisfied. Most of the time I supplemented the meals with two soft-boiled eggs, a couple spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, or slices of avocado (or all of the above). If meat's more your thing, chicken breast, fish, or steak could also make great additions.
Another note on portions-the smoothies are about two-ish servings per cup. So, if you’re like me and try to keep an eye on sugar intake, you’ll need to double the sugar content listed on the nutritional facts to find out how much you’re really consuming. All that sweet stuff comes from fruit, not from added sugar or artificial sweeteners, but it’s still worth keeping in mind. (Pro tip: Add more greens, water, or ice to bulk these up so there's enough for two big ol’ servings.) Oh, and one more thing: The smoothies do not overflow the cup like they do on the Daily Harvest 'gram-but hey, we all edit our photos, right?
My hot take
If you want to welcome more veggies into your life, hate cooking, and don’t mind spending some extra dough to solve both problems-do this. I am too cheap to live this lifestyle, but I do plan to treat myself to a Daily Harvest box when I know I’m going to be out of town part of the week or just super busy and need easy, healthy meals. Yes, they're expensive-but an investment in vegetables is never a bad thing, right?
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