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Daily Harvest Review: A Dietitian’s Expert Take

Written by Sharon Lehman, RDN

Reviewed by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD 

Published on January 14, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

4.8

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Easy to Follow:5.0
  • Customization:4.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Flexibility:5.0
  • Quality:5.0

Daily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service with an extensive menu of plant-based items, including smoothies, soups, flatbreads, bowls, snacks, and more. Although everything is vegan, the meals are made with high-quality ingredients and offer a convenient, yet somewhat expensive, way to increase fruit and vegetable intake.

Daily Harvest Review: A Dietitian’s Expert Take
Photo credit: iStock.com/aywan88

Pros

  • Menu items contain a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • Extensive menu
  • All items are gluten-free and vegan
  • Subscriptions are flexible and easy to manage via website or app

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Price per box can vary a lot depending on the number and types of items selected
  • Meals are light and may not be filling enough for all people
  • Not suitable for people following ketogenic or strict Paleo diets
  • Many items contain nuts and coconut, which are common allergens

What Is Daily Harvest?

Daily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service. The mission behind the company is to revolutionize convenience food.

Most convenience and fast food options sacrifice nutrition for ease of preparation. Daily Harvest set out to change this by creating meals, snacks, and beverages containing fresh, organic ingredients that are still quick and easy to prepare.

Daily Harvest wants to make it simple to eat more fruits and vegetables. They also focus on working directly with farmers to source high-quality ingredients that are frozen just after harvest to retain maximum nutritional value.

The menu includes over 80 chef-crafted options in the following categories:

  • Smoothies
  • Harvest Bowls
  • Flatbreads
  • Soups
  • Oat Bowls
  • Chia Bowls
  • Forager Bowls
  • Scoops (dairy-free ice cream)
  • Snack Bites
  • Lattes
  • Mylk (dairy-free almond milk)

Everything arrives frozen and requires minimal work to prepare. All items are free from gluten, dairy, artificial ingredients, fillers, gums, refined sugars, harmful oils, stabilizers, and preservatives.

Most items are packaged as a single serving, but the snack bites, ice cream, mylk, and lattes contain multiple servings per package.

Overview of the Product Line

The foundation of the Daily Harvest menu is a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs.

These ingredients are the foundation of many healthy styles of eating, including vegetarian, vegan, and Mediterranean diets.

Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense foods. They’re low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Eating more fruits and vegetables can support weight loss and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Daily Harvest items contain healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and oils, including coconut, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil.

You’ll find flax, chia, hemp, pumpkin, macadamia, walnuts, cashews, and almonds on many of the ingredient lists. Seeds and nuts are good sources of healthy, unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Some items also contain adaptogens, like maca, ashwagandha, and functional mushroom powders. Adaptogens are popular in traditional medicinal practices and may help reduce stress and cortisol levels.

With over 80 menu items, below is a summary of the ingredient highlights in each category.

Smoothies

The smoothie category has the most flavor options, with fruity, green, nutty, caffeinated, and chocolate versions to choose from.

Best-selling flavors include:

  • Acai + Cherry
  • Chocolate + Blueberry
  • Mango + Papaya

The smoothies are made by blending the frozen ingredients with water or milk of choice.

Many smoothies include berries, like blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, which are excellent sources of immunity-boosting antioxidants.

You’ll also find traditional tropical fruits, like coconut and pineapple, as well as more exotic fruits like passion fruit, camu camu, acai, soursop, and dragon fruit.

Smoothies have become popular vehicles for increasing leafy green intake for both children and adults.

Daily Harvest takes the veggie inclusion a step further by adding cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and more to some of their smoothies.

The smoothie variety is an excellent way to incorporate some fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you don’t normally eat.

Harvest Bowls

There are 20 flavors of Harvest Bowls, including Spinach + Shitake Grits and Red Lentil + Cumin. The bowls can be heated on the stovetop or in the microwave with a bit of water or broth.

Some of the ingredients you’ll find in the harvest bowls include:

  • Whole grains, like wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and fonio
  • Mushrooms
  • Leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and arugula
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbs and spices

Flatbreads

The flatbreads are available in 8 flavors, including Tomato + Basil and Artichoke + Spinach. The flatbreads need to be baked in a standard or toaster oven for about 25 minutes.

Unlike traditional frozen pizza and flatbreads, these are dairy-free, contain no cheese, and feature gluten-free veggie crusts made from cauliflower, broccoli, or sweet potato.

Toppings include leafy greens, mushrooms, veggie purees, and herbs and spices.

Cauliflower and broccoli are cruciferous vegetables, which are low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and loaded with sulfur-containing compounds that can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, including cancer.

Soups

There are 11 soups to choose from, including Carrot + Coconut Curry and Tomato + Zucchini Minestrone.

Water or your choice of broth needs to be added to the soup ingredients and then heated on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Most of the soups are clear broth and vegetable-based, but a few flavors contain legumes like lentils and chickpeas.

Legumes are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, including iron. If you like a more filling soup, I’d recommend choosing one that contains legumes.

Oat, Chia, and Forager Bowls

There are 7 oat bowl flavors, including Apple + Cinnamon and Cherry + Dark Chocolate. They’re prepared by adding milk of choice and cooking on the stovetop, or soaking in the refrigerator for cold oatmeal.

The oat bowls are made with gluten-free oats, fruit, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or date paste. Oats are a good source of fiber, which helps satiate and supports weight loss and healthy cholesterol levels.

Dates are a type of dried fruit. The drying process concentrates the sugar content and makes them a good natural sweetener. Dates are also a good source of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

There are three chia bowl flavors, including Vanilla Bean + Apple and Chocolate + Almond. The chia bowls are prepared by adding milk of choice and letting them soak in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re also a source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which many people don’t get enough of and may help counteract inflammation that contributes to chronic disease.

The forager bowls come in 3 varieties and contain superfood ingredients, including fruit, vegetables, herbs, oats, chia seeds, and fonio, which is another type of whole grain similar to quinoa.

Snacks

Scoops is a dairy-free collection of ice cream in 7 flavors, including strawberry, chocolate, and pistachio. The ice cream base is made from either coconuts or cashews and sweetened with maple syrup.

The snack bites are available in chocolate, vanilla, fruit, and espresso flavor varieties. Best-selling flavors include Hazelnut + Chocolate and Cacao Nib + Vanilla.

They’re eaten straight out of the freezer and are similar to an energy ball.

The bites are sweetened with date paste, and some flavors contain hidden produce purees, like parsnips, kabocha squash, avocado, and sweet potato, which may be a good way to “sneak” extra vegetables into kids’ diets.

Some flavors of scoops and bites contain dark chocolate, which is a source of minerals and antioxidants.

Mylk

The mylk is concentrated almond paste wedges blended with water to make almond milk. They contain only almonds and sea salt.

Many store-bought almond milks are higher in calories, fat, and protein and contain more water, sugar, and filler ingredients, like thickening gums. Making your own almond milk from almonds and sea salt is a healthier alternative.

Nutrition Summary

There’s a lot of variation in the nutrition facts for each item on the Daily Harvest menu.

For example, smoothies range from 100–570 calories depending on flavor. If you want a smoothie to replace breakfast or lunch, choose flavors that contain avocado, coconut, and nuts.

These ingredients contain more fat, protein, and calories and will be more filling than straight fruit and vegetable smoothies. Lighter smoothies are good choices for snacks.

Oat bowls range from 230–300 calories, and chia bowls range from 300–400 calories per serving. Both are excellent sources of fiber.

If you’re looking for more protein for breakfast, the chia bowls contain double the amount of protein in the oat bowls.

The soups and forager bowls are lighter meals in terms of nutrition, while the harvest bowls and flatbreads are a bit heartier.

Harvest bowls provide around 200–350 calories, 5–10 grams of fiber, and around 10 grams of protein per serving.

Flatbreads are around 350 calories, with about 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving. These meals may not contain enough calories or protein to satisfy bigger appetites.

If you need to restrict sodium intake for health concerns, you’ll want to pay attention to the sodium count on some items.

Harvest bowls, flatbreads, and soups are higher in sodium, with 20%–37% of the Daily Value per serving. That means pairing a soup with a flatbread for dinner will contain well over half of your sodium for the day.

Benefits

  • Includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, including lesser-known and hard-to-find produce
  • Produce is frozen right after harvest to preserve vitamin and mineral content
  • Many items are good sources of fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium
  • With the exception of the ice cream, nothing contains added sugar
  • Nothing is made with refined sugar or artificial sweetener
  • Everything is vegan and gluten-free
  • Most ingredients are organic
  • Contains no fillers, gums, stabilizers, harmful oils, artificial ingredients, or preservatives

Drawbacks

  • Extreme variation in calories, fat, and protein between menu items
  • Meals tend to be lighter and low in calories and protein
  • Some meals contain 20%–30% of the Daily Value for sodium
  • Some items contain nuts, coconut, and soy, which are common allergens

Is Daily Harvest Healthy?

The menu items are made primarily from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy fats like coconut, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil, and spices and herbs.

These ingredients are the basis of a healthy diet, whether you eat 100% plant-based or not.

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating a variety of plant foods helps ensure you cover your nutritional bases.

With the exception of the ice creams, Daily Harvest items do not contain added sugar. The breakfast options are a healthier alternative to traditional sugary breakfast foods, like cereals, granola bars, and instant oatmeal packets.

It’s recommended everyone limit their intake of added sugars, since they contribute to negative health outcomes like weight gain, dental cavities, poor blood sugar control, and chronic disease.

Daily Harvest contains better ingredients than processed foods. Many boxed and frozen foods contain ingredients you don’t typically cook with, like artificial flavors, preservatives, gums, and stabilizers.

Who Is Daily Harvest Good For?

Daily Harvest is for anyone who wants to eat more plant-based meals and snacks or increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.

All of the menu items are vegan and free from animal ingredients, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. The menu is also free from gluten, refined sugars, artificial ingredients, preservatives, fillers, gums, and stabilizers.

Basically, you won’t find any ingredients you can’t pronounce on the label.

All of the items are quick and easy to prepare and do not require any additional ingredients to make, with the exception of water or milk of choice for the smoothies, oat bowls, chia bowls, and mylk.

The meals and snacks are designed with convenience in mind, making them ideal for individuals with busy lifestyles who don’t always have time to grocery shop and cook healthy meals from scratch.

The plant-based menu is appropriate for vegans and vegetarians, but Daily Harvest can be enjoyed by omnivores and pescatarians, too.

If you feel more satisfied eating animal foods or prefer protein-packed meals, you can use the Daily Harvest items as the foundation of a meal and add meat and dairy.

For example, you could add shredded cheese to the flatbreads, stir a scoop of yogurt into oat or chia bowls, prepare smoothies with cow’s milk or protein powder, or top the harvest bowls with grilled chicken or salmon.

Who Is Daily Harvest Not Good For?

The menu is free of gluten and dairy, but some items still contain common allergens like nuts or coconut.

Items are made in a facility that also processes dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten, so cross-contamination may be a concern for individuals with severe food allergies.

Items cannot be customized, so it’s up to subscribers to read through ingredients and select items to meet dietary restrictions.

The Daily Harvest menu can be searched with filters for dietary needs and ingredient preferences to help with this. You can search for keto, low-carb, paleo, high-protein, low-calorie, low-sugar, and vegan options.

The Daily Harvest menu varies greatly in nutrition, with some meals lighter than others.

If you’re a “meat and potatoes” person, you probably won’t like Daily Harvest on its own. If you’re used to eating more, you may still feel hungry after having some of the Daily Harvest offerings.

As mentioned above, this can be resolved by pairing Daily Harvest items with additional ingredients.

Daily Harvest is not the best choice for individuals following a ketogenic diet. Most of the menu items contain too many carbohydrates to be considered keto.

Some of the menu items may not be compatible with a Paleo diet since they contain grains and beans, which are typically avoided with a strict Paleo diet.

There are a handful of menu items that contain coffee. The caffeine-containing items are pretty obvious since they mention coffee (i.e., cold brew, espresso) in the name. You’ll find coffee in some of the smoothies, snack bites, ice cream, and lattes.

If you’re caffeine sensitive, you may want to avoid these coffee-flavored items. Since you can choose which products you receive in each shipment, this should be easy to do.

How Does Daily Harvest Taste?

Daily Harvest used to partner with registered dietitians to promote their products through an ambassador program. I received several complimentary shipments from Daily Harvest and have tried several of the products.

Some of the items I’ve tried include:

  • Acai + Cherry Smoothie
  • Mint + Cacao Smoothie
  • Carrot + Cinnamon Smoothie
  • Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl
  • Blueberry + Lemon Oat Bowl
  • Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Harvest Bowl
  • Tomatillo + Pepper Flatbread
  • Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread
  • Cacao + Vanilla Bites
  • Chocolate + Ooey, Gooey Midnight Fudge Scoops
  • Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

My favorite items were the smoothies, oat bowls, snack bites, and ice cream.

Some smoothie flavors didn’t impress me (compared to what I can make on my own), while other flavors were tasty enough to order again.

The smoothies are simple to make and, since you drink them out of the cup they’re packaged in, they’re ideal for enjoying on the go. Each cup has a plastic lid with an insert for a straw.

I like oatmeal with assorted toppings, but I don’t always have the time or energy to make it for breakfast. The Daily Harvest oat bowls are fantastic with a creamy texture and lots of fruit flavor.

The Cacao + Vanilla snack bites taste like cookie dough. As someone who needs something sweet after lunch or dinner, I liked that the bites satisfy my sweet tooth with wholesome ingredients.

The chocolate ice cream was my favorite, with rich chocolate flavor and an indulgent, creamy texture that I would never have guessed was dairy-free.

The flatbreads and harvest bowls were a bit on the mushy side, and I thought they needed salt, despite having a good bit of sodium content.

The savory dishes are seasoned with lots of herbs and spices, and how you like them will depend on personal preference. Some flavor combinations were new to me and fun to try, while others were too spicy or just not my cup of tea.

Cost and Where to Purchase

Daily Harvest is a subscription-based meal delivery service available only from the Daily Harvest website.

When you sign up, you’ll be asked to select your box size. You can choose between small, medium, and large plans.

At first, you’re only able to choose weekly delivery, but this can be customized to a monthly plan once you’re signed up.

  • Small Boxes: 9–13 menu items, including $5–$10 off the total cost
  • Medium Boxes: 14–23 menu items, including $10 off the total cost
  • Large Boxes: 24–26 menu items, including $20 off the total cost

There are incentives to selecting a larger plan. The more you order, the more of a discount Daily Harvest automatically applies at check-out.

Each box you receive is fully customizable. You can select how many and which menu items you receive in each delivery.

Daily Harvest menu items range from $5.99–$8.99. The pricing per item is as follows:

  • Smoothies: $7.99
  • Mylk: $7.99 for 1/2 gallon or eight 7-ounce servings
  • Harvest Bowls: $8.99
  • Flatbreads: $8.99
  • Soups: $7.99
  • Forager Bowl: $5.99
  • Oat Bowl: $5.99
  • Chia Bowl: $5.99
  • Scoops: $8.99 per pint
  • Bites: $7.99 for seven
  • Lattes: $5.99 for two

The exact cost for the plan you select will be determined by how many and which menu items you choose.

This pricing is on the high end, and some of the hot meals (i.e., harvest bowls, flatbreads) are comparable to restaurant prices.

If you’re used to dining out for breakfast or lunch, these prices will likely seem reasonable and may even save you money in the long run.

Personally, I don’t pay more than $6 for a smoothie in a dedicated smoothie and juice bar. $8 can buy you a lot of frozen produce to make several of your own smoothies, but remember, we’re paying for convenience here.

$9 for a pint of ice cream is expensive, but at least you’ll get several servings out of it.

It’s tough to find a dairy-free ice cream without fillers, gums, and refined sugar, so the high-quality ingredients plus the convenience of at-home delivery justify some of the cost.

All plans renew weekly or monthly at the same price, unless you modify, pause, or cancel your subscription before a designated cutoff time.

Subscribers can modify orders up to 8 weeks in advance, which is a nice way to plan ahead, coordinate deliveries with your schedule, and not have to worry about fussing with settings weekly.

You can find information on managing your account on the Daily Harvest website. There is also an app that allows you to manage your subscription from your phone. Currently, the app only works on iOS phones, but an Android version is in the works.

Shipping is always free. Daily Harvest doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but I did find a mention of their return policy on their Terms and Privacy page.

Items can be replaced, credited, or refunded if you’re unhappy for any reason. Subscribers need to contact the company within 7 days of delivery to initiate the process.

Daily Harvest is on the pricey side, but the quality of ingredients and convenience factor is tough to beat if you need a ready-made meal and snack options.

How Daily Harvest Compares to Alternatives

Splendid Spoon and Purple Carrot are two popular alternative plant-based meal delivery services.

Splendid Spoon’s menu includes ready-to-drink smoothies (no blending is required), soups, grain bowls, noodle bowls, dessert/snack bars, and immunity-boosting shots.

All items are vegan and gluten-free, but not all ingredients are organic.

Meals cost $9 to $13 apiece, which is more expensive than Daily Harvest.

The Splendid Spoon plans are based on breakfast, lunch, or dinner and aren’t as customizable as Daily Harvest.

They also offer plans that include “reset days” (where only light soups and a couple of snacks are consumed), which are priced lower than those without. They claim the reset day gives your digestive system a break from processed and indulgent foods.

Splendid Spoon offers both subscription and one-time order options. The one-time order option is appealing if you want to try the food without committing to repeat deliveries. Daily Harvest does not offer this feature.

Purple Carrot offers a weekly menu of meal kits or prepared meal options to choose from. Meals are lunch or dinner options (there are no breakfast or snack options).

The prepared meals are single-servings. You can receive 6, 8, or 10 prepared meals per delivery. Deliveries are weekly but can be paused or canceled at any time.

Each prepared meal costs $12.99 per serving, equating to $80–$130 per shipment, depending on how many meals you choose.

Not all Purple Carrot meals are organic or gluten-free, but they offer a gluten-free plan, as well as a high-protein plan.

Although none of these meal plans are meant to be weight-loss plans, Purple Carrot has been featured in a clinical study that found their meals may support weight loss and heart health.

Neither Splendid Spoon nor Purple Carrot can customize food items, so customers with food restrictions or allergies have to read the ingredient lists and select items that are appropriate for their needs.

Although some Daily Harvest items are pricey, they’re more affordable than other plant-based meal-delivery services. They use the most organic ingredients and work directly with the farms they source ingredients from.

Daily Harvest also has a more extensive food selection, offering more breakfast and snack options with new varieties frequently added to the menu.

The Bottom Line

Daily Harvest offers an impressive selection of plant-based meals and snacks. Deliveries arrive frozen at your doorstep either weekly or monthly, and all the items are quick and simple to make.

Daily Harvest is a great option for healthy breakfasts and lunches on the go, to keep on hand when life gets busy, or when you’re short on groceries.

In general, the foods are nutritious and make it easy to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. All of the items are made with high-quality ingredients and are free of gluten and dairy.

Some meals are light and may not contain enough calories or protein to be filling enough for hearty appetites, but this is an easy fix by eating a larger portion or adding a few of your own ingredients.

As for taste, it all comes down to personal preference. With over 80 items and new flavors being developed all the time, it should be easy to find something you like.

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