Can a frozen smoothie delivery service really change your life? Yes, it can.
At 35, it’s time to admit the truth. I stink at eating healthy. My 3:00PM cravings usually result in a trip to Mickey D’s or a quick walk down the street to the donut shop. Or, at least, they used to.
Two months ago, I spotted a Facebook ad for Daily Harvest. For roughly $7 a smoothie, they ship one month’s supply (24 smoothies) to your door. This had to be better than eating Big Macs for snacks and Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, right?
At first, $7 a smoothie struck me as a bit steep. But since my average Starbucks run is $6, and those whoopie pies and iced teas are lacking in nutritional value, I figured I could just swap one habit for another. If you want to spend a little less, I suggest finding a friend and splitting up the delivery. 12 smoothies per month is still three per week.
Ease. The smoothies are really easy to make. The cups come pre-filled with the frozen ingredients, and you add liquid (usually milk or coconut water). Just fill the cup up to the line, and dump all the contents into the blender. Once mixed, pour it back into the cup (I sometimes end up with enough for 1.5 smoothies), and drink. It really is that simple.
Taste. Daily Harvest makes 14 flavors. I tried six of the flavors, and only found one that I didn’t like (Blueberry + Hemp, all I could taste was walnuts). My favorite flavors are Pineapple + Matcha, Mint + Cacao, and Strawberry + Peach. The Pineapple tastes just like the Pina Colada’s I drank on my Cuba trip.
Healthfulness. Honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed with the vitamin totals or nutritional information for most of the smoothies. This product might feel a little healthier than it really is, but many of the smoothies have high amounts of vitamins C and A. Some also have decent amounts of Calcium, Iron and Fiber.
What does impress me is the fairly low calorie counts. Every smoothie I’ve tried (even with the added milk or coconut water) comes in at under-200 calories. Since the smoothie is really filling, I can use them as a meal replacement, a snack or a treat and not feel like I just blew up my whole day.
Diversity of Product. Let’s say that you’re not into smoothies, or that you only like one or two flavors. Daily Harvest has a bunch of other products that you can also add in.
For breakfast, they have overnight oats and chia parfaits. I tried the Chocolate Protein, and it was pretty good. For lunch, they have soups like Miso + Mushroom or Coconut + Carrot. Or you can try their new “ice cream” sundaes, which come in great flavors like Salted Caramel and Strawberry Cheesecake. I have some coming in my next shipment, and I’m really excited to try them.
What You’ll Need Beforehand. Before you order the smoothies, you’re actually going to need to stock up on a few things. First, you’ll need a blender. I own this Ninja blender with the single serve cups. I highly recommend it. The extra blending cups mean that I never run into a situation where I can’t make a smoothie because the blender’s in the dishwasher.
The second thing you’ll need is liquids. Some of the fruit smoothies call for coconut water as a mix-in, others ask for milk or nut-milk. I like Naked coconut water because there’s no added sugar. And I just use organic skim milk for the milk-based ones.
Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, you will need smoothie straws. I’m concerned about the prevalence of plastic in landfills, so I bought bio-degradable paper ones. If this isn’t something that bothers you, the plastic ones are cheaper.
Final Verdict. I’m sticking with Daily Harvest. I like the flavors. I like that I feel good about drinking them. I like that my consumption of McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches has been cut by 80%. They’re a pretty great edition to my life, since I can make one and drink it on my way to work or while I’m running errands. And since it takes a lot longer to get through 24 smoothies than I thought, I’m glad I can skip deliveries until I’m ready for a new one.
Just out of pure curiosity, why do you think it’s necessary to buy smoothie straws? And are the straws in water bottles (i.e. specifically, the straws in the camelbak water bottles) not good enough?
I think any large straw will work, but I wouldn’t use a plastic or rubber reusable straw. The smoothie residue can end up being absorbed and affect the taste. A metal one would probably work well.
A regular straw isn’t wide enough. You can’t suck the chunks of fruit and thick smoothie through a regular straw. You drink the smoothies from the provided cups, so I’ve never tried it in another container.
Another alternative to plastic or paper straws are reusable, washable metal straws. I found a cheap set on Amazon, but many home goods stores/websites sell them as well.
It sounds like 24 would take up an incredible amount of freezer space. Is that true? Are they packaged creatively to avoid that?
Its basically stacking 24 cans of soup in your freezer.
Oh my gosh so expensive! I just buy to big bags of frozen fruit weekly at the grocery store and some chia seeds, throw it in a blender with milk. Well less than half the price, couldn’t be any easier (you’re at the grocery anyway), and avoids the carbon impact of shipping boxes to your home weekly.
I also make my own smoothies as it’s not in the budget to spend $7 on a midday snack. (I understand that for many people, it’s a worthwhile time/money trade-off.) My tips: (1) I add Greek yogurt (sometimes watered down, depending on how liquid-y the fruit I’m using is) for added protein in lieu of milk or other liquid; (2) a handful of spinach (fresh or frozen) is pretty easy to mask with fruit, especially pineapple (although it make for unappealing colors if mixed with strawberries/other red fruit); and (3) I will often make a big batch of smoothies at one time and then freeze them into smaller portions (16oz mason jars work well for this, no straw needed) that will melt by the time I want them in the afternoon at work.
I do a version of the same thing for breakfast every morning. I have the Ninja blender and just throw the ingredients in individual cups at the beginning of the week, and then add OJ or almond milk to each one right before I blend them in the morning. Between the jumbo bag of mixed fruit, some frozen spinach (I swear you can’t taste it!), a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, and the occasional fresh banana, I think each one runs me about $2-3. Plus, a full Ninja cup is quite big, so I get a ton of mileage out of what amounts to a pretty hearty breakfast.
Like the person who commented above, I could see there being a good time/cost benefit analysis for having smoothies delivered, but my current method takes all of ten minutes of prep, which is great, because that’s right about at my threshold for spending time in the kitchen. Oops.
Try adding zucchini or yellow summer squash to it. Great way to add more veg without affecting the taste at all. I used to be able to get half of one in my morning smoothies back when I had a vitamix, but those things liquefy anything.
Agreed. I’d hesitate to pay $7 ($5 or $6 seems more reasonable) for a prepared smoothie at a shop so I certainly wouldn’t pay for just the ingredients where I also have to make it myself. That said, I could see how it could be worth it for some people particularly those new to smoothies.
I got one of those small individual blenders and love it for my smoothies. Frozen or fresh green, frozen or fresh fruit combo, chia seeds and flax, a small scoop of Greek yogurt, add milk and blend. The only time it ever takes more than 2 minutes is if I have to chop up fresh fruit. Haven’t thought to use a smoothie straw as I’ve always just drank from the glass, but that actually might be kind of nice.
I used Daily Harvest to get myself into the at-home smoothie habit, and then started making my own. I knew I’d never get into the habit if I tried to dive in myself and do prep work. A handful of the DH combos are simple enough I felt silly re-ordering those flavors, but their more complex ones are staying in my rotation. Really pleased with them!
Kathleen H Lisson says:
Stay strong with your new habit! The worst part of starting to eat helthier is that there’s always someone you know that has better knife skills / more patience for meal prep and for them, it’s so easy to do everything from scratch. I love that there’s a smoothie company that caters to those last minute hunger fueled decisions!
Can you review the Naadam cashmere that is all over social media right now?
Haven’t heard of it. I’ll check it out. I have FabFitFun and a couple of other things in the kitty.
I’ve been so curious about these – I’m an attorney and while incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet is always a goal, sometimes I don’t have the time for all that prep! I also recommend Zupa Noma – they’re soups that are portable and mostly delicious (the coconut carrot one is super weird). My one hang up with smoothies is the sugar content from fruit, and these soups solve that since they’re all vegetables and the way they’re made keeps all the fiber. Definitely worth trying – here’s a link for $10 off (swear I’m not an ad, just really happy to have found a way to add vegetables that doesn’t require cooking!): https://zpanoma.refr.cc/catherinel
If you have a Vitmamix or Blendtec, you can get away with using quite a bit of veg with only a small amount of fruit in your smoothies. Lemon juice also helps make the flavor more pleasant without adding sugar.
Agreeing with previous commenters re: budget. I have been making my own smoothies for a couple of years now with a banana, greek yogurt, some orange juice or milk (whatever I have), and add some fresh fruit – usually strawberries, but peaches work well too! It’s so filling but I am wary of the sugar spike in the mornings, but great for an afternoon/post work out snack!
I love this service too and totally agree re mint and cacao and the pina colada one. The carrot one is also amazing and I just take out a couple of the date pieces to bring down the sugar. The chocolate avocado also keeps you really full. I love adding collagen peptides to them (which has no taste).