Is this ready-to-blend smoothie worth it?
I’ve tried most of the meal delivery kits, and for the most part, I like them. They come in all shapes and sizes from smoothies to dinners and all those in between. These are services I have purchased on my own, and I have not been compensated by any company for my reviews.
For smoothies, I’m only reviewing Daily Harvest. I had also tried Green Blender, but that company closed and has morphed into Blix which requires purchasing their blender for $199. No, thanks.
For reviews on dinner meal kits Home Chef, and Sunbasket, read my review page on those companies.
REVIEW OF DAILY HARVEST – Ready-to-Blend Superfood Smoothies
Daily Harvest offers a variety of meals, mostly for breakfast and lunch, including smoothies, oat bowls, chia bowls, “harvest” bowls, soups, lattes, and some snack bites.
What you get:
For a smoothie, you get a cup with chopped, frozen ingredients ready to blend with a liquid in your blender.
How to prepare:
Simply grab a cup, add some liquid, blend, and go. Five minutes or less, and you’re done!
What I love about Daily Harvest
I’m a regular customer of Daily Harvest and have been so since Fall of 2018 (As of this writing, I have had 18 deliveries). In fact, I purchased a freezer just to keep these yummies on hand! It’s my go-to quickie breakfast smoothie because it makes the rush to get ready for work a breeze.
Quality of ingredients and consistency of flavor have been the same throughout all of my deliveries. They get that right for me every time! The flavors for me suit my palate very well, unlike some other uber-healthy smoothie companies’ products I gagged down.
When I was working out to reach a specific goal-weight for my knee replacement surgery, this was an essential part of my regime because I was burning as many calories each day as I was consuming, and this helped me lock in my breakfast calories.
Daily Harvest has a wide variety of great flavors ranging from fruity berries to savory fall-time comforts with tropical and exotics in between. Some smoothies work better with a milk-based liquid and some with a water-based liquid. Choose your liquids carefully as you can start racking up calories based on this. Unsweetened Almond Milk generally has 30 calories, but their product lines vary and can be as much as cow milk, which can have 90 to 180, depending on which product you choose. That’s why you always want to read your labels beforehand.
Milk options: real milk and nut milk. I use cashew milk at 25 calories a cup or almond milk at 30 calories per cup.
Water-based options: coconut water (calories range significantly), True Nopal Cactus Water (20 calories per cup – my preference in liquid), Dragon Fruit juice, and other unsweetened or lightly sweetened fruit juices, but be careful that the fruit juice doesn’t overpower the smoothie’s natural flavors.
After a smoothie, I feel satisfied until lunchtime and don’t have bingey cravings. They taste like real fruits, not artificial flavors. While bananas and spinach are the base of many smoothies, they are not dominant flavors.
The description Daily Harvest provides is relatively accurate. For instance, with the Mint + Cacao, they say it “Tastes Like: Mint Chip Ice Cream.” While it’s not Haagen Dazs, it does remind me of what I like best in mint chip ice cream without the guilt that it’s going to pack on pounds like real ice cream will. It’s enough to satisfy the sweet tooth cravings in me.
My favorite two smoothies are the Mint + Cacao (240 calories before liquid) and the Chocolate + Blueberry (260 calories before liquid). These use a milk-base liquid, and to lighten it up, I use cashew milk at 25 calories a cup.
The instructions for the smoothies are to fill the cup with your favorite liquid and blend. It’s not specific whether to remove the ingredients before filling the cup, and that is what I do.
I put the ingredients in the blender, fill up their cup with cashew milk and then fill it up half way again and blend. In total, I add approximately 20 ounces of liquid for my smoothies.
I’d been making my smoothies this way for a year, then I found other instructions from Daily Harvest – I think it was a commercial or video. They kept the ingredients in the cup while pouring the liquid which meant they were using much less liquid than I was. They blended it and put it back into the original cup the frozen ingredients came in.
I had actually created a spreadsheet based on the calories listed on Daily Harvest’s website and compared adding 16 ounces of each types of liquid so I was able to select products that were well-below my maximum calories for each meal.
There were only two smoothies I loved that were out of my comfort range (Chocolate + Hazelnut with 490 calories before liquid and Cacao + Avocado with 510 calories before liquid), so I simply make a half smoothie with these, and they are pretty filling with a half serving. Their new Vanilla Bean + Cacao has 500 calories before liquid. This would be a good one to split in half for two meals. In fact, my most recent purchase has this offering in it, so I’ll be back with my thoughts on that one.
Well within the range, my other favorite flavors are: Ginger + Greens (160 calories before liquid), Cold Brew + Almond (160 calories before liquid), Cold Brew+ Cacao (350 calories before liquid), and the Mango + Greens (120 calories before liquid).
While the smoothies make sense for my lifestyle, I also enjoy the Chaga + Chocolate latte and Coffee + Cardamon latte as well as the Hazelnut + Chocolate bites. They can be a bit pricey for just a “treats,” so I don’t get them with each order.
I have also tried the lunch-time soups (Cauliflower + Leek, Turmeric + Lemongrass, Mushroom + Miso) as well as their lunch bowls (Chickpea + Za’atar, Brussels Sprouts + Tahini, Red Lentil + Cumin, Beets + Avocado Poke), and while the flavors are really fresh and delicious, they seem overpriced to me for what you get.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to READ calories as well as number of servings on each package of Daily Harvest as some will say 1 serving and others will say 2 servings. This is really odd to me that a broth-based soup rather than a hearty stew is listed as 2 servings, especially when the calories are so low. It may be what the FDA requires, portion-wise, but I can certainly eat more than an 8-ounce serving of brothy soup for lunch.
What Daily Harvest Could Improve
REWARD ME: The price per container is more than I really want to pay at one time. I get the 24-cup boxes because it’s the least expensive per cup way to purchase them. I understand that quality foods will cost more, which is fine. However, I would love for Daily Harvest to do a customer REWARD program that isn’t a REFERRAL program because I get these nearly on a monthly basis at $168 a shot ($7 a cup). I can do the math pretty quickly for that. Even Starbucks rewards me for my purchases.
NEGATIVE REVIEWS: Daily Harvest has received a bit of negative feedback from consumers. I don’t get it because I’ve had GREAT experiences with them for 2 years now. Oftentimes, competitors will pay people to bash their competition and write negative reviews. I don’t know if that’s the case here or if there are people who’ve had some really bad experiences. I can only speak for myself. I had one small issue with Daily Harvest, and their customer service staff fixed it well beyond my satisfaction! I have not experienced any other situations customer complained about, and it was very simple to cancel one of my plans (I had multiple plans). Each time I’ve reached out to customer service with a question or suggestion, they were warm and friendly. I would love to see them build a reputation marketing strategy to address the online squawkers.
ADVERTISING: O.k., this is my field of expertise, so I get hypercritical when a company’s ads don’t match the product. Their products are “thoughtfully sourced, chef-crafted foods,” and the company boasts about nutrition, organic food, and nourishment. The ads I have seen show products that look less-than-natural; rather, they are all pimped up with nearly neon colors for the general consumer’s hungry eyes, and I’m not sure that’s their target market.
While they look ready for Pinterest, my smoothies do not look anything like the beauty shots shown in ads with all the vibrant colors. These look more like Tropical Fruit Smoothies which are packed with calories!
But guess what – they don’t need to be cover-shot, hyper-saturated-with-color, glam foodie photos. Natural fruits and veg have beautiful colors, and people who drink healthy smoothies on a regular basis know that real food does not always look as bright as each fruit or vegetable in the mix once mixed together. As a marketing professional AND a customer, it’s just a disappointment to me to see the marketing efforts out of alignment with the actual product, especially since the actual product can stand on its own.
The pros far outweigh the cons. I love Daily Harvest and will continue buying these smoothies as long as their quality continues to be consistent (as it has for me). And NO, I’m not being compensated in any way for this review.
If you would like to try Daily Harvest, you can get $25 off your first order by using a coupon code that is personalized to me:
Full disclosure – as with most referral programs, I would also receive a discount off my order – a win for you, a win for me! But this is not my motivation for this post. Call me their brand champion, my motivation is that I love the product and would love to see them succeed!