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Just like when you were little, getting in your fruits and veggies isn’t always so easy, especially when you don’t have time to meal prep and it’s easier to order takeout than to whip up a dinner from scratch. Except these days, you might actually like Brussels sprouts and broccoli, but you don’t always have time to cook them.
We all want to kick back at the end of the day with a dinner that was a piece of cake to make, full of flavor and healthy. But it’s often more work than it’s worth.
With all the meal kits that can now be delivered to your door, you don’t have to worry about how much salt something needs when there’s a recipe right in front of you. That’s what meal kit services like Home Chef and Blue Apron are for — when you want to make a meal at home from scratch, without doing all of the meal planning and grocery shopping.
But if you’re looking to do even more in less time, there are options for that, too. Enter Daily Harvest, which sends you frozen prepared recipes made of organic fruits and vegetables that take less than five minutes to whip up. Daily Harvest is a weekly or monthly plan where everything you’re sent is already perfectly portioned to blend or heat.
But is Daily Harvest really worth the hype? Two shopping experts at HuffPost Finds, Danielle Gonzalez and Ambar Pardilla, were sent Daily Harvest boxes to try out for themselves. They put them to the test to see if the recipes really do make eating healthier fast and easy.
Check out their Daily Harvest reviews below.
First things first: What is Daily Harvest, and how does it work?
Daily Harvest offers plans that deliver recipes built from farm-frozen fruits and veggies. These dishes are designed by Daily Harvest’s own in-house chefs and nutritionists and are meant to be prepared in less than five minutes and enjoyed at home or on-the-go.
When you sign up for Daily Harvest, you “build a box” by selecting how many cups you want (the options are nine, 12 and 24) and how often you want them delivered (either weekly or monthly).
These dish options include a mix of smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, bites (aka snacks), lattes, oat bowls and chia bowls. There are 65 options to choose from.
You then set the date you want your first box delivered and the day of the week you want your box to arrive from then on. The price of Daily Harvest depends on the number of cups you choose but ranges from $6.99 per cup (or $167.76 for 24 cups) to $7.75 per cup (or $69.75 for nine cups).
When they arrive, pop all of the options in the freezer until you’re ready to whip one up. The recipes only have — at most — three steps, and more often than not, the third step simply says to “enjoy!”
Perhaps the best thing about Daily Harvest is that you don’t need a lot of technical skills in the kitchen to end up with a nice dish. You only need two basic culinary abilities under your belt: blending (for smoothies) and heating via stovetop or microwave (for harvest bowls, soups and hot oat bowls).
Better still, you just need two everyday kitchen appliances to make these recipes: a reliable, easy-to-clean blender (we recommend a Nutri Ninja Nutrient Extraction Blender or a Magic Bullet) and a good microwave.
The recipes on Daily Harvest’s site have reviews and illustrations with nutritional information. You can also see the instructions, so you know what you’re in for when you pick your next shipment.
You can filter the options by your dietary needs, too — like low-sugar, keto or paleo — and by your likes and dislikes (chocolate lovers and cilantro haters, rejoice).
If you change your mind about what you want in your box, you can change the recipes or add additional ones to your box anytime before 6 p.m. Eastern Time on the Sunday before your delivery.
Now let’s get to the big picture. What did HuffPost’s shopping experts think of Daily Harvest when they put it to the test?
Ambar, the one who can barely boil water:
I can’t pretend that I’m a cook. Instead, I’m usually the one setting up the table before we eat. I’ve cut myself too many times while mincing garlic, burned the bottoms of cookies to a crisp, and made pasta that was far from al dente. So I try to avoid cooking whenever possible, until the mood strikes for a homemade meal.
I was immediately drawn to the concept of Daily Harvest, since the recipes only take a few minutes to make and don’t use lots of pots and pans — none if you commit to microwaving them instead.
The first recipe I tried out was the Strawberry + Peach Smoothie. All I had to do was add in my preferred milk or water — I went with a lactose-free variety from Trader Joe’s — into a blender with the other frozen ingredients. The smoothie came out creamy, and I drank it after work instead of having dinner and still felt super satisfied. I also tried the Chocolate + Blueberry Smoothie for breakfast, following the same steps. It felt like I was having a chocolate milkshake but without all the sugar. I didn’t feel overwhelmingly full, just filled.
One weekend day for lunch I made the Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl over the stove with just a splash of water. Candidly, I’m not a big fan of sweet potato. But this was meant to taste like a breakfast burrito, according to its description on the site, and I definitely got that vibe from the beans, rice and avocados. I could see someone adding an egg on top or having the bowl with some toasted tortillas. I can’t say I’m a sweet potato convert, but I still liked the taste of the bowl and I enjoyed how convenient it was to make.
I also tried out one of Daily Harvest’s well-known oat bowls, the Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl. You can choose to serve it hot or cold. I thought about making it cold, but you have to soak the oats in the cup overnight. And I’m too much of a procrastinator to plan ahead. I decided to make it hot and once again heated it on the stove. Though I accidentally added too much milk (I guess I was just too eager to eat) I actually didn’t mind, since the flavor was delicious. I didn’t get much dragon fruit flavor, but it was packed with blueberries, raspberries and mulberries. It was tart, sweet and satisfying.
Interestingly, Daily Harvest also makes “bites” that you can eat whenever you’re feeling snacky throughout the day. I have a relatively long commute, so I brought the Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites in my bag, and they traveled well. This treat was the easiest of all — I just needed to take them out of the cup and eat them. They kept their shape and weren’t squished. I had two for breakfast, and by mid-day, when my stomach usually starts growling, I didn’t feel that overwhelming hunger that I sometimes get when I just have cereal for breakfast. They tasted like a ball of Nutella but without the impending sugar rush.
“I felt like Daily Harvest was the perfect middle spot between cooking a healthy dinner from scratch and the convenience of frozen food from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.”
In the end, I felt like Daily Harvest was the perfect middle spot between cooking a healthy dinner from scratch and the convenience of frozen food from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I usually don’t think about how many fruits and veggies I’m consuming on a daily basis, but with Daily Harvest, I knew that I was eating lots of them. I definitely felt healthier having the bowls and smoothies than the croissant I usually eat for breakfast or the rice and chicken I get for lunch most of the time.
I don’t know much about cooking, but I felt like I had foods that were filling and easy to make without much effort on my part. I’m definitely going to have some sweet dreams about those Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites for awhile.
Danielle, the one who’s short on time:
Juggling a full-time job and after-hours graduate school means my weeknight dinners are about efficiency. How can I eat something that’s healthy, tasty and doesn’t take up a ton of my time with cooking and prepping?
I usually meal prep one day of the week and portion my dinners to last me for four nights, so I can just reheat them when I get home. Sometimes I’ll even freeze and save a few for a later time if I don’t get around to eating them. So I felt like I was the right audience for Daily Harvest’s organic fruit-and-veggie-based recipes for busy folks.
I started off by trying the Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl for dinner. The directions said to put it in the microwave for four minutes or cook it on the stovetop; I opted for the microwave. I was perhaps a bit too eager to eat because I cooked it for the four minutes straight without stirring, which meant some of the grains were burned by the end. (I might also just have an extremely powerful microwave.) Regardless, this was probably one of my favorite foods from my Daily Harvest test run. The bowl was filled with tomato, sweet potato, wild rice, beans and avocado, making it super flavorful. I was surprised at how fresh and green the avocados were, despite being previously frozen.
I also tried a savory Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Bowl, which I wasn’t sure of at first. As someone who grew up eating a lot of rice, it’s hard to win me over with an alternative like cauliflower rice. But I was quickly shoveling more spoonfuls into my mouth because I couldn’t get enough. I prepared this dish in the microwave as well, careful to only cook it for two minutes, mix it, and heat it for another minute or two. It was filled with cauliflower, spinach, basil, cashew and basil. It was a solid dinner that left me feeling satisfied and healthy.
I was particularly excited to test out Daily Harvest’s smoothies because I used to make a smoothie every morning. What I particularly liked about Daily Harvest’s smoothie cups is that the lids come with an opening for a straw, so you can enjoy them on the go, too.
Two out of the three smoothies I received had a chocolate ingredient, which isn’t one of my go-to flavors first thing in the morning. The Chocolate + Blueberry was made with banana, cacao, spinach, kale, coconut, almond and maca. It was good, but too sweet for me to appreciate at breakfast. As was the Mint + Cacao Smoothie, which was made with banana, spinach, cacao, cashew, peppermint, chlorella and vanilla bean. It was kind of like a healthy mint chocolate chip milkshake, but not as sweet. The Tart Cherry + Raspberry Smoothie — made with cauliflower, cherry, fig, raspberry and blueberry — was my favorite. Still, Daily Harvest does a variety of smoothie flavors that are more fruit-based and without chocolate, like Mango + Papaya, Banana + Greens and Strawberry + Peach, which are more on par with what I’d normally make myself in the mornings.
I brought the Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl with me to work to see how easy it would be to make outside of my kitchen. I added some sliced bananas on top and it tasted great with the rolled oats, raspberry, blueberry, dragon fruit and mulberry mixture. I also wasn’t as hungry mid-day as I usually am when I just have a bowl of cereal.
I tried the Cauliflower + Leek Stew after a cold winter day, and it was exactly what I was craving (and felt like a much healthier option than the canned soups I usually buy). It was made with cauliflower, celeriac, spinach, leek, garlic, nutritional yeast and onion. All I had to do was add water, pop it in the microwave, stir and heat again for a few more minutes. It was tasty and flavorful, but I personally would have liked another veggie in the mix to give it a bit more texture.
“My biggest takeaway is that the dishes would be ideal for a working professional or someone whose biggest concern is trying to fit a healthy breakfast and dinner into their busy schedule.”
After my trial with Daily Harvest, my biggest takeaway is that the dishes would be ideal for a working professional or someone whose biggest concern is trying to fit a healthy breakfast and dinner into their busy schedule. It would also be good for those who aren’t into cooking — period — because it requires very little food prep and technical skills in the kitchen.
To me, Daily Harvest redefines fast food — making it faster and way, way healthier. Truthfully, the dishes I received from Daily Harvest are probably healthier than anything I would end up cooking at home from scratch. After my weeklong trial, I actually felt healthier, too, probably because I was eating more fruits and vegetables instead of relying on carbs and extra proteins to fill me up.
Would we recommend Daily Harvest?
Our shopping experts agree: Daily Harvest is probably best for someone who wants access to healthy foods without the hassle of cooking. Both believed that the Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites would be good to have on hand when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want a handful of M&Ms, and the smoothies and bowls were a filling breakfast for busy mornings. The soups and harvest bowls were flavorful and easy to prepare.
The cups your Daily Harvest recipes arrive in are microwave safe, but the brand does still recommend transferring the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl for a better experience. Perhaps there’s a future where Daily Harvest uses reusable containers that you can use and return for a discount, a la 1950’s milkman style.
Though the dishes were filling and healthy, both of our testers agreed that adding an extra protein, like chicken breast, tofu or an egg, would round out the more savory dishes like the harvest and grain bowls and turn them into a full meal. Daily Harvest also recommends this on its site.
In the end, the convenient plant-based foods ensure there’s always something healthy in your freezer that takes less than five minutes to prepare, and won’t go bad if you have a particularly crazy week or go out of town for a long weekend.
Daily Harvest Promo Code
Want to give Daily Harvest a try? Get $25 off your first box with promo code HUFFPOST25