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Daily Harvest Review: Vegan Frozen Meals, Delivered

This subscription service delivers truly healthy and sustainably harvested fruit and veg-heavy (and I mean heavy) prepared frozen meals to your door. They stress simple, mostly organic whole food ingredients—and they’re 100% plant based and gluten free. But can frozen meals truly check all the boxes?

Overall Rating

2/5

star rating

2/5

Overall Rating
star rating
Taste

Meals feature unique ingredients and elevated flavor combinations, but flavors are generally dulled down by microwave-from-frozen preparation.

Price

Daily Harvest costs vary by subscription size, frequency, and if you are buying individual products in store. Online, each item/meal ranges from about $7-10. It's a little pricey for the small portion sizes.

Texture

Frozen foods once again fail to regain fresh bounce or crispness, and veer instead toward mushy or wet. Overall, Daily Harvest meals are just not as good as fresh-cooked food.

EV’s Take on Daily Harvest

It’s 2024, and if you didn’t know by now, you’re living in the subscription economy. Many businesses, including food distributors, are assuming that you will want to buy their product more than once, more than twice, but again and again. Or, at least they’re willing to bet that you won’t stop them from sending you their product again and again.

Meal kits and food delivery services play a big role in this “economy.” Brands like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Sunbasket and many more have taken over kitchens (and advertising spaces) across America. Many of them ship ingredients—just enough needed for one night’s meal—to your door for you to cook.

But today, we’re talking about Daily Harvest, and it’s a little different. These meals are already made, chef-crafted, and delivered frozen solid to your door. All you have to do is heat ’em up or toss them in the blender.

I was excited to give Daily Harvest a try because, unlike many other meal kits, I didn’t have to cook these meals myself! It was also refreshing choosing my meals from a subscription service that is 100% plant based and vegan—no need to comb through lengthy ingredient lists.

Another thing that sucked me in to Daily Harvest’s orbit was their fancy food photography and seemingly revolutionary approach to food production. On their site, every meal is photographed to show its ingredients in their raw, uncooked states, as well as cooked and prepared in the bowl it will be delivered in, giving you the sense of knowing exactly what’s going into each dish, and that the ingredients are incredibly fresh. Their website and delivery materials are extremely mission focused, as well, one of them sharing that as a recipient, I am now “part of a sustainable future” and explaining how Daily Harvest bests “big food.”

I don’t doubt any of these values that Daily Harvest brings to the dinner table: That they use simple, unadulterated and fresh ingredients is clear just by looking at and tasting their food. That they place such a heavy emphasis on promoting biodiversity in agriculture, don’t use pesticides or fertilizers, and recognize the health benefits of eating whole, plant-based foods is all admirable, and something I typically get behind.

The only problem? I found all of the meals, in contrast to the hype, quite lackluster.

The crux of the issue was that Daily Harvest meals still tasted like frozen meals. Many of them were made entirely of vegetables; nutritious, yes, but flash-frozen veggies don’t get you automatic fresh points. The textures of Daily Harvest’s meals were often soggy, not unlike many frozen meals. Their flavors were present, and certainly unique, but not bursting in my mouth like their marketing implied they would.

So you still may want to give them a try. I get it—frozen meals are convenient, and at least these ones are healthy. I ate most of my Daily Harvest meals at the office and was glad to have something quick and light to munch on through meeting marathons.

And full disclosure: I didn’t try any of their smoothies, which they seem to be known for. But if you’re interested in non-liquid meals, read our break down of a few of their “entrée”-style items so you can place your orders wisely.

Flatbreads

I ordered two flatbreads, the Artichoke and Spinach flatbread and Portobello and Pesto flatbread. While they resemble pizza, I learned the hard way that they’re not pizza.

Frozen spinach artichoke flatbread

These flatbreads on the smaller side—and particularly thin, go figure. I realized it wouldn’t suffice for my entire dinner. But I popped it in the oven for 20 minutes nonetheless. It came out nice and crispy with a pleasingly cheesy aroma. However, the thin piece of “bread” wasn’t fluffy or doughy like you’d expect from a pizza, or any real bread. The texture was also fairly mushy, even though the edges and bottom had crisped up.

Disappointed by the bread texture, I realized that it tasted and felt like it was made of vegetables because it was indeed made of vegetables. Revisiting the website, I rolled my mouse over the image of my chosen flatbread to reveal that broccoli florets made up the crust.

Atop this veggie-bread were more vegetables that tasted like melted frozen vegetables—lacking crisp and freshness. To the flatbread’s credit, it featured a flavorful, zesty cashew-based sauce. And while I admire the effort here to turn vegetables into pizza, next time I want pizza, I’ll just eat a pizza, and save veggies for another meal.

Spinach and Shiitake Grits

I saved this one for lunch. It was also on the smaller side, but I was excited to eat a Southern staple I don’t see too much where I live.

This little carton bowl went right in the microwave after adding a couple tablespoons of water. The texture and aroma was like a comforting bowl of porridge. There was another creamy cashew sauce that complemented the umami mushroom. While good enough for a desk lunch, the flavor wasn’t overpowering and could have benefitted from a little extra salt. In total, this “meal” was only 200 calories, so it was a surprisingly satiating snack, but I didn’t rely on it to power me through my day.

Chickpea and Coconut Curry Harvest Bowl

Things got a little better with this bowl. This dish was wonderfully aromatic as I removed it from the microwave, radiating curry and heartwarming notes of ginger and cinnamon and creaminess. It was also pretty hearty, loaded with beans and cauliflower, so I was glad to find a little more protein packed into this bowl.

I had it with a side salad and some Abbots Butcher ground meat. This bowl would probably be great on rice. But, unfortunately, this just shows how the dish wasn’t a complete meal.

Edamame and Wild Rice Green Curry

Ok, this soup was actually really good. The way the coconut cream, lemongrass, ginger and broth came together was honestly like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Little bit of heat at the end, but not spicy. Though not quite hearty, the additions of snap peas, edamame and rice made it feel more substantial. $10 for a soup though? Eek.

Cremini and Miso Oats

Mushrooms in oatmeal?! Daily Harvest did it. And they managed to make it mostly work: This was a yummy, though very small-portioned bowl. Like the other meals I’ve outlined, this was also flavorful, creamy and umami given the simplicity of ingredients.

However, much like the flatbread emulating a pizza, this dish felt like it was trying to be something it wasn’t: risotto. While mimicking a steamy, creamy risotto, these whole-grain steel-cut oats were a tougher, chewier substitute for soft, tender risotto rice. And while their ingredients delivered some flavor, the dish still begged for a big spoonful of parmesan.

Is Daily Harvest Worth It?

While I’m glad I gave Daily Harvest a try, I don’t believe it’s worth the cost. On the surface, Daily Harvest meals don’t seem too expensive, ranging from about $7 to $10 per item. But considering the fact that these are not true meals—many of them more like snacks, or like half of a lunch that needs additional sides—it’s really not a great deal. If they were big, filling, healthy meals for $10 a piece, that would be a different story.

Of course, like its competitor meal services, Daily Harvest costs can be flexible based on how many items you buy, and there are all kinds of promotional discounts you can get to offset costs—but they typically only apply if you purchase a sizeable order. It’s all very Hello Fresh… “Get 65% off… Across 30 boxes!” But even with potential deals, the allure of convenience and sustainable food production, the taste of the foods just wasn’t doing it for me.

Daily Harvest meals also reaffirmed a couple of my already held food beliefs: One, that you don’t have to eat weird health foods to eat healthy. Unusual whole grains and bread made of broccoli sound trendy, but neither are timeless for good reason. Two, locally grown, fresh-cooked ingredients taste far better than any frozen health food, no matter how organic or recently harvested it is. Food cooked fresh, at home, with preferably with the freshest local ingredients always beats frozen and flown-in foods, hands down.

Where Can You Buy Daily Harvest Meals?

The primary place to scoop up these ultra healthy plant-based meals is right on www.daily-harvest.com. Here, you have to sign up for a subscription and the meals are delivered to you on a preset schedule of your choice.

I was surprised to see some Daily Harvest products in the frozen section of Wegmans the other day. It appears they’ve branched into some grocery stores to sell a selection of their items. If you can find some near you, this might be a good way to try the food for yourself before committing to a subscription.

To see where to buy Daily Harvest in stores, use their store locator. I peeped around the United States on this tool, and saw they have items nationwide at Kroger and Costco as well as smaller chains.

Will you give them a try after reading my less-than-glowing review? Don’t let me stop you! Share what you think about any Daily Harvest meals you try in the comments below.

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