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Summer is usually all about relaxation, but this summer has been anything but usual. You’ve probably been busy acquiring new sautéing, soufflé-ing and sourdough-baking skills after spending the past few months at home more than anywhere else.
After a stressful few months of mostly staying at home, you’re likely pretty tired of your own cooking and craving a change — possibly even a healthier one, if your isolation eating habits have been out of the norm.
If the unrelenting monotony of quarantine cleanup has you dreaming of healthy prepared meals and fantasizing about dishes that clean themselves, there might be a way to make life just a bit easier on yourself right now — and still make summer meals feel more special.
Earlier this year, the HuffPosts Finds team reviewed Daily Harvest’s fruit- and veggie-based smoothies, harvest bowls and snacks. We found them to be convenient, healthy and flavorful options for anyone who wants access to healthy foods without the hassle of cooking.
But a lot has changed since we last reviewed the frozen prepared food plan — both with Daily Harvest and in our daily lives.
Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, grocery shopping and planning for lunch might not look the same as they used to. Services like online grocery delivery and prepared meal deliveries have become more important than ever.
Daily Harvest has also made some changes since we last reviewed its food plan in early March, including two new summery additions: flatbreads and “Scoops,” their new plant-based ice cream.
I was sent some of the new products to try out, and put Daily Harvest to the test now to see if it holds up during lockdown — and if the new recipes can spice up the monotony of cooking at home this summer.
Keep reading to learn all about what’s new with Daily Harvest, as well as for our review of Daily Harvest’s new flatbreads and ice creams.
What’s New With Daily Harvest This Summer?
Daily Harvest is a weekly or monthly food plan of frozen prepared recipes made of organic fruits and vegetables. Options include smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, bites (aka snacks), lattes, oat bowls, chia bowls and now flatbreads and plant-based ice creams. They don’t require a lot of cooking and can usually be whipped up in less than 20 minutes.
When you first sign up for Daily Harvest, you build a box by selecting how many items you want (the options are nine, 14 or 24), how often and when you want them delivered (either weekly or monthly). You can switch up your items before each delivery, skip a week as needed or add to your box at any time. The price depends on how much you order, but typically averages about $8 per item.
One big update to Daily Harvest is the addition of new recipes. Daily Harvest used to have 65 recipe options to choose from, but has since expanded to include more than 75, including an Artichoke + Lemon Harvest Bowl and a Kale + Kalamata Harvest Bowl.
Just like we’ve all had to adapt this summer, Daily Harvest has also made some changes, including new recipes, bigger portion sizes, new containers and the introduction of Flatbreads and Scoops.
Aside from a few new recipes, another big change to Daily Harvest is in its packaging and portion sizes. Harvest bowls and soups now have 50% larger portions and are served in compostable, microwave-safe bowls rather than the iconic Daily Harvest cups they used to be served in. (The cups were always microwave-safe, but the brand previously recommended transferring the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl for a better experience.) Smoothies and Bites are still served in the classic Daily Harvest cups and are the same size as before.
The new bowl design makes it easier to heat and enjoy your food on the go. The new bowls are a significant improvement, and the slightly larger portions make work-from-home lunches easy and filling.
Perhaps the most exciting change to Daily Harvest since our last review is the addition of flatbreads and plant-based ice creams to the menu. They make summer dining easy, healthier and stress-free, even if you’re staying home. After all, it’s still the season of alfresco dining and indulgent treats — and taking things easy.
One thing that hasn’t changed? All of Daily Harvest’s food options are free of gluten, dairy, refined sugars, fillers, preservatives or anything artificial, and are instead all plant-based and packed with organic fruits and vegetables.
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Let’s Dig In: How Does Daily Harvest Taste?
After reviewing Daily Harvest twice now (and even signing up for it on my own during lockdown), I’ve found a few tried-and-true favorite options, including two of the brand’s Harvest Bowls: Brussels Sprouts + Tahini and Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash .
For most of the savory dishes, you just have to pop them in the microwave or onto the stovetop for a healthy, easy and interesting lunch without the hassle of cooking and significant cleanup. It’s been a welcome change after several months of making my own lunches at home using the limited options I could find at my nearby grocery store.
I was eager to try the new flatbreads and ice creams to see if they’re worth the hype and stack up to Daily Harvest’s other recipes.
Daily Harvest’s Flatbreads Review
Daily Harvest’s flatbreads are like the healthier cousin of frozen pizza, which is typically made with refined flours, extra sugar and processed oils and additives. The flatbreads come in three flavors: Artichoke + Spinach, Kale + Coriander (now called Kale + Sweet Potato) and Tomato + Cremini.
The crusts are gluten-free and made entirely out of vegetables, and are topped with savory sauces and whole veggies, making them perfect for a light summer lunch or dinner.
The flatbreads are easy to prepare, too — all you need is 20 minutes and an oven. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the crusts made of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato. The toppings were leafy and crunchy, not at all like they were ever frozen.
My favorite Daily Harvest flatbread was the Artichoke + Spinach Flatbread . The creamy cauliflower and tahini sauce had me triple-checking the ingredients to confirm there was no ricotta cheese in the recipe.
My pro tip? Dress up your flatbread with grilled chicken breast, sliced meats like prosciutto or soppressata or — my personal favorite — a runny egg to make it more fun and filling. A little drizzle of balsamic glaze, spicy honey or hot sauce would also give them a tasty extra kick.
Daily Harvest Ice Cream ‘Scoops’ Review
“Scoops” are Daily Harvest’s version of gluten- and dairy-free ice cream made with good-for-you ingredients that you can actually pronounce. What makes Daily Harvest’s take on ice cream unique is that it’s made with whole ingredients rather than the preservatives, gums, fillers and refined sugars you might find in other vegan ice creams. Daily Harvest’s “Scoops” come in four flavors: Chocolate + Ooey, Gooey Midnight Fudge, Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote, Vanilla + Salted, Swirled Black Sesame and Mint + Dark Melty Cacao Chips.
The secret is in the coconut cream base, which gives this ice cream a texture that’s creamy, not watery. Each flavor is blended with naturally rich whole ingredients like organic maple syrup, dried citrus pulp and vanilla bean for a sweet consistency, and comes with flavorful toppings like organic cacao, fruit purees and Himalayan sea salt for an added punch.
Like all ice creams, Daily Harvest’s arrive in frozen pints and require a few minutes on the counter to thaw out before you can dig in. I was surprised — and delighted — that the “Scoops” looked like real ice cream. It didn’t have that transparent, slushy texture that you see in some dairy-free ice creams and frozen yogurts.
As a chocolate ice cream lover, my favorite Daily Harvest Scoops flavor was the Chocolate + Ooey, Gooey Midnight Fudge. It’s made with avocado, cacao swirls and sprinkles of Himalayan sea salt that make this dessert so rich, fudgy and decadent, you’ll forget it’s made without milk. The Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote was a close second. It had a whipped texture that complemented a tart and jammy cobbler made of strawberry and dragon fruit and raspberry chunks. (Plus, it’s made with probiotics for added gut health.)
The Summer Friday Summary
Trying to cook three well-balanced meals a day with everything going on in the world has been hard, especially with meat shortages at grocery stores, the general hassle of cooking and cleaning up, and recipe-fatigue setting in after eating the same things every week.
I’ve enjoyed Daily Harvest because it ensures I always have something healthy and delicious on hand — that also isn’t too time-consuming to prepare and that doesn’t require any major cleanup. It’s also made meal time a bit more exciting with unique fruit and veggie pairings, flavorful sauces and fun sweet treats.
As many of us plan for a summer mostly at home, we need ways to eat happier and healthier without adding more stress to our routines.
In the end, I would recommend Daily Harvest to anyone who wants a healthy, flavorful and easy meal on hand. The new flatbreads are ideal for folks who want a fuss-free and flavorful dinner. (I can imagine enjoying them with a friend over a glass of wine in the backyard or during a picnic in the park.) The new plant-based ice creams are a satisfying fix for those who want to indulge in a quintessential summer treat. (You might even forget they’re not packed with all the extra dairy and sugar that’s in regular ice cream).
Daily Harvest couldn’t have picked a better time to break out these new additions and updates. As many of us plan for a summer mostly at home, we need ways to eat happier and healthier without adding more stress to our routines. It’s also never been more important to treat ourselves and savor those sweet moments where life feels a little more normal — even if it’s just in between bites.
Daily Harvest Promo Code
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.