We have become a world of technology, a world of I need it now, a world of Amazon deliveries overnight, if not today. There are pros and cons to all of this. I’m going to say one thing I do support in this age of delivery are the new meal delivery services that are popping up across the country. I have a friend who uses the company Plated on a weekly basis and swears by it. These services deliver fresh ingredients right to your door – then you make the magic happen. Here are a few services to peruse.
What: Smoothie service
Areas Served: Covering the East Coast from Boston to Washington, D.C.
How It Works: It;s time to rethink that morning coffee ritual and consider the smoothie. All you need to become a master smoothie maker is a blender, water and ice — Green Blender does the rest. “Everything is pre-portioned,” explains founder Jenna Tanenbaum. “Just go down the recipe, throw it all in, hit liquefy and that’s it.” Subscribers receive a box shipped to their door that covers a full five days, with each smoothie yielding 24 ounces. (That’s enough for 2 to 4 servings, depending on your appetite). Inside, everything is packed neatly in plastic bags, labeled and portioned out, and includes a letter with storage suggestions, pro tips and all the week’s recipes, which are rarely repeated. You’ll not only get a nourishing breakfast, but also work with ingredients like kumquats, purple cauliflower, mesquite powder, tarragon, pumpkin seeds and butternut squash. Not your everyday smoothie!
What: Local foods and artisan products to your door
Areas Served: Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Orleans
How It Works: If you can’t get to the small producers, Good Eggs brings the small producers to you. All you need to do is log on and you’ll be able to custom-order a laundry list of goods sourced directly from farmers and independent artisan producers. Pick your own items or select from the “bundled” options for farmers market shares and get all the items you need for a super Sunday brunch. It’s the go-to site for fresh local produce, pasture-raised meats and dairy, chef-made meals and hand-crafted breads. More incentive: There’s free delivery on orders over $30.
What: Healthy prepared meals designed by restaurant chefs
Areas Served: National
How It Works: Real Food Works picks up where diet delivery services of the ’80s left off, putting the pleasure, and taste, back into convenient, plant-based prepared meals. How? They’ve modernized the concept by having real restaurant chefs prepare each and every dish. Packages come with five meals, 10 meals or a complete meal pack for the week, which includes 26 meals and snacks and can be shipped nationally. Users get to customize their selections, and everything is supervised by an in-house nutritionist. Chefs design dishes based on shared specifications, but are mostly driven by what’s in season and local. Menus vary, and all feature a bounty of vegetables and layered flavors and textures, and never include any artificial ingredients, dairy or eggs.
What: Smoothie packs
Areas Served: New York City; coming in 2015, the East Coast
How It Works: Rather than get up 30 minutes earlier to prepare a smoothie, you can get portion-sized ingredients delivered to your door from Daily Harvest. While Green Blender does all the creative brainstorming for you, Daily Harvest lets you be the designer by choosing from a variety of blends catering to every palate. Many customers use the blends for breakfast or a boost before or after a workout, but several have found them to be good meal replacements for doing a cleanse. The most popular of the blends is Berry Brightener, a concoction of acai berries, cherries and raspberries that’s packed with antioxidants and vitamin C.
Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.