Now Trending: Smoothie-Delivery Programs
The popularity of home-delivery cooking services continues to grow. Think beyond meal programs: Now smoothie and juice lovers can get in on the action. We took a few of the most-popular options for a whirl in our blenders.
Smoothies can be healthy eats, but you do have to be mindful of the ingredients and the portion sizes; even too much healthy food can lead to an excess of calories. The smoothies we tried contained anywhere from 40 to 200 calories per serving and varied significantly in totals for healthy fat, fiber and carbohydrate, depending on the ingredients. Since most smoothies are made with nothing but whole foods, added sugars weren’t really a concern.
Placing orders is super-easy. Brands like Green Blender and Daily Harvest have very user-friendly websites that will get smoothies to your door with just a few clicks. Prices range from about $7 to $9 per smoothie ($3.50 to $4.50 per serving) depending on which plan you select. There were some significant differences between these brands, so do some research before deciding which is the best fit for your lifestyle.
Green Blender, much like many popular meal-deliver programs, comes with all ingredients individually wrapped and labeled. Produce requires a wash before use, and your shipment includes a bundle of packets featuring add-ins like pea protein powder, wheatgrass, cinnamon, dried fruit and chopped nuts. All this fresh food is certainly desirable, but it does require some extra elbow grease to prep and store for the week.
Daily Harvest smoothies arrive in premeasured frozen cups that are packed in dry ice. Just open and add to the blender with water or other recommended liquid (not included). The container can then serve double duty as a cup, which you can pour your prepared smoothie back into (clever).
Green Blender’s kit includes recipe sheets for each smoothie, as well as a guide with useful tips for perfect blending. The a la carte ingredients allow users to omit certain elements if desired. We loved the fresh ingredients and unique flavor combos. Some of the best flavors we tried were Goji Cranberry Crimson (pictured below), made with acai berry and mandarin orange, and Persimmon Pineapple Protein, featuring yellow squash and flaxseed.
Daily Harvest suggests a variety of liquids — including water, coconut water and almond milk — to mix with the frozen ingredients. The Matcha Colada (left) with kale, lime and vanilla was tremendous blended with coconut water, and the Cacao Kapow (right) with avocado and pink Himalayan sea salt was creamy and plenty chocolatey blended with almond milk. The fast preparation is delightfully mindless, and while you can choose your favorite liquid, you don't have the flexibility to omit an ingredient. But you can choose exactly which smoothies you want each delivery cycle, which isn't the case with some other programs.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.