Time for another product ranking, this time pandemic-themed. For the last few months, I’ve been studiously keeping a note on my phone re: my thoughts about Daily Harvest products. Time to share.
First, Daily Harvest in General
I was hesitant to sign up for Daily Harvest cuz it seemed expensive, and I can make my own smoothies. I didn’t want to get trapped in a situation where I had another wasteful subscription I couldn’t figure out how to cancel. But both my sisters were quite enamored by the products, so I decided to give it a shot.
The TL;DR is, Daily Harvest has designed a better experience than other food subscriptions for one reason. Before your box is set to ship, they send you at least three reminders making it extremely easy for you to skip. Other subscriptions bury the “skip” link. This effort by DH is the main reason why I’m still signed up. Sometimes I skip the boxes for months. It also just makes me like them.
The products themselves are about 70% hit, 30% miss, flavor-wise. Thus the ranking. From a nutrition and ingredient-label perspective, they’re hard to find any fault with. Many include adaptogens, healthy fats, exotic fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. I think most of them are quietly vegan, too.
They also recently made all of their bowls compostable and recyclable. You still have to deal with dry ice, but other than that, it doesn’t feel nearly as bad as disassembling a Blue Apron box.
Daily Harvest in a Pandemic
I’m five weeks into almost never leaving my house unless I’m running or walking my dog. I got very into “healthy eating” for years after some major health issues in my family. The pandemic seemed to cancel that, and I spent the first month eating mostly Pop-Tarts, easter candy, pizza, takeout and other indulgences. (Ok still eating those.) Because I only order groceries now, ideally ones that will last awhile, I have less produce in my fridge, and sometimes forget to eat any fruit or vegetables at all.
This has made it extremely handy to have a freezer stocked with smoothies, “harvest bowls” and other Daily Harvest treats. Sometimes the Daily Harvest item is the only remotely healthy thing I’ll eat in a day. That has made me appreciate what they’re doing on a new level. I know their products are expensive, so I don’t want to act like they are a solution for everyone. But it has felt really nice to pop one of these during these times.
I’m gonna start with the best products, ranked in descending order.
1. Chocolate + Peppermint + CBD Hot Chocolate
This is limited edition and unfortunately not in stock right now, but it’s so good I hoarded like five containers of it. Because I run outside in cold weather a lot, I try to have a warm beverage afterward to thaw out. This is a nice, calming hot chocolate that feels like an indulgent treat. You can also just eat it plain if you want to. Hopefully they’ll stock more.
2. Carrot + Cinnamon Smoothie
I will admit my taste in flavors is weird. I prefer spicy over tropical and fruity. This contains ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, making it a very comforting and indulgent smoothie. I love the texture and color, too.
3. Pumpkin + Chai Oat Bowl
This is warm, comforting and filling, with pecans and raisins to give it some texture. Plus, you get two servings.
4. Mint + Cacao Smoothie
This is a crowd favorite. I was underwhelmed by it at first, but it’s probably the Daily Harvest product I eat most now. It’s a bit small, but the mint is very soothing and it’s nice and sweet.
5. Cold Brew + Almond Smoothie
This contains himalayan salt and coconut oil, plus bananas. It will make you better at getting to work on time if you’re in the habit of being late, like me. Warning: the caffeine content is high, at least according to how jittery I feel afterward. Because of that, I save it for days when I’m extra tired.
6. Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl
This oat bowl is pink and a bit alien. It’s very LA. Plus, you get two meals out of it.
7. Chaga + Chocolate Latte
To clarify, this is hot chocolate, not a latte. There’s no coffee in it. Just maple, coconut, cacao, chaga, reishi and vanilla. It’s like healthy cocoa with two kinds of adaptogens, so it should make you feel calm. It’s very delicious.
8. Quinoa + Chipotle Harvest Bowl
This contains chipotle flavor blocks that melt and smell amazing, plus tiny kernels of purple corn that look like pomegranate seeds. It feels like something you’d order at a restaurant, but just … frozen. I like to add some crumbled goat cheese. Very good.
9. Pineapple + Matcha Smoothie
Tastes a bit like a cocktail. Love the texture and color. Plus, matcha is probably one of the healthiest ingredients on the planet.
10. Brussels Sprouts + Tahini Harvest Bowl
This is one of the more filling bowls, and it makes your house smell really good.
Strawberry + Peach Smoothie: A classic “mall smoothie” flavor. For those who just want a dictionary definition smoothie, this one nails it.
Mango + Greens Smoothie: Acidic and limey. But a classic smoothie.
Black Sesame + BananaSmoothie: I actually love this rich, weird smoothie. It’s black, which is very dramatic. But some might find it too strange.
Açaí + Cherry Smoothie: Simple. Sweet. Good.
Kabocha + Spice Coffee: Spicy, salty and sweet. Very good for fall.
Tart Cherry + Raspberry Smoothie: Nice texture. Mild and sweet.
Mandarin + Carrot Smoothie: Very acidic, bright and healthy. A nice dose of vitamins during these scary times.
Mango + Papaya Smoothie: Papaya can be divisive. I don’t think I’d want this often.
The bites in general: Love them in theory, but they collect freezer burn and it’s weird to eat a cold ball of stuff.
Cinnamon + Banana Oatmeal: Did not like the melty banana chunks.
Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl: Not quite filling enough and overpriced.
Chai + Coconut Smoothie: A bit too savory. The cauliflower is too prominent for me.
Coffee + Cardamom Latte: Spicy and tart. A bit thin. Meh.
Kale + Lemongrass Harvest Bowl: I like the lemongrass flavor, but it just isn’t enough food for what you’re paying for.