Since Meal Services became a trend I have been itching to try one. Despite my concerns regarding freshness, cost, and variety, I decided to see if Purple Carrot was worth it for and here’s my conclusion:
What is the best meal kit delivery service? After much deliberating, I decided on Purple Carrot. Known for their 100% plant-based meals (vegan meal service), they pride themselves on knowing that they are helping you to do good things for your body and the environment. Purple Carrot’s team of chefs create unique recipes every week that will keep your taste buds happy and your bellies full all while learning new cooking techniques, and experimenting with a variety of cuisines.
There have been a lot of noteworthy changes since I reviewed this originally in 2017; updated 4/2020
Each week you can customize your order by selecting a minimum of three meals for $72 a week. When customizing your order you’re able to choose from 8 different meals which fall into the following three categories.
- Quick & Easy Meals designed to cook in 30 min or less,
- High Protein Meals; or
- Chef’s Choice crafted to elevate your taste buds.
You must choose a minimum of three meals, however, you may also choose more. Purple Carrot also offers plant-based breakfast, lunch, and snack options in the customize order option each week. You could have your plant-based grocery shopping done in one swift click.
Let’s take a peek at the Pros:
During the heart of a teacher’s anxiety, the end of the school year, I was spending less time thinking about what to purchase and prepare and significantly less time at the supermarket. I was only needing a grocery run every week and a half to two weeks as opposed to once a week. With all the ingredients measured out and labeled, I was saving time on meal preparation as well which meant more grading time, chill time, and/or sleep time for me!
Fresh Plant-Based Products
With very few exceptions every item I’ve received in my Purple Carrot boxes has been incredibly fresh. There’s something so exciting about opening a box full of brightly colored vegetables! Each meal comes with a meal card that describes the meal and provides step by step instructions with photographs of how to prepare the meals. I hope to hole punch these and keep them all together in my own little plant-based cookbook; they include allergen and nutrition information per serving as well (calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein). Also, the ice packs used in the boxes are absolutely amazing. I suggest you save a few to use for personal use because they’re great for coolers.
Purple Carrot is Convenient
I came home to three of my main meals a week sitting on my front porch. Can you get any more convenient? Without any thought, I would unpack the box and meal cards. It requires absolutely no thought or decision making; pick a card, grab the pouch of ingredients labeled for that meal, and follow the directions on the card. This also allowed me to share cooking duties with the other adult in the house. No more excuses such as, “I don’t know how to make that”, could stand in our way. We also found ourselves splitting meals up and each taking a chunk of tasks to make the prep go by faster.
Purple Carrot’s Menu
What as once a con has been changed to a pro! Purple Carrot heard our cries and has provided a menu each week for you to choose from. In their beginning stages, you were simply awarded three meals – no choice. Now you can choose your meals each week and it is amazing! Although, sometime sit’s hard to narrow it down because everything looks so dang good.
Every meal I found myself learning something new about an ingredient or how to prepare a standard fruit/vegetable. It was fun to try new veggies and experience new tastes; this taught us both a lot about what we think items taste like and what they’re actually capable of! Personally, I found myself trying veggies as an adult that I had hated a child and enjoying them! I ate a handful of raw mushrooms after spending 24 years picking them out of any meal I may have found them in.
Purple Carrot also includes informational videos on the proper way to complete certain tasks within creating a meal. This is super helpful and makes me feel like a sneaky chef!
We were trying new veggies and meals we had never even heard of left and right. With maybe two exceptions in about 20 different meals, we enjoyed every single meal we ate. Mixing plant-based meals into our typical diet and social eating habits has been helpful in keeping dinner time fresh and exciting. It has also helped us to broaden our horizons in general when it comes to our meals.
At $12 per plate, I wouldn’t exactly call this meal service cheap but it is also not breaking the bank. The $72 a week I spend on three meals winds up cutting my spending at the grocery store nearly in half. I find myself spending less money overall and wasting so much less food on a regular basis. I’m not throwing food out at the end of dinner, throwing leftovers out weeks after they’ve been prepared, or wasting fruits and veggies that just didn’t have the chance to be eaten. So what I’m spending on my dinners, I’m saving in my grocery shopping.
Purple Carrot Has the BEST Customer Service
I have had a few minor issues with my Purple Carrot deliveries such as an underripe avocado, expired sauce, and a missing spice bag or two but Purple Carrots customer service ALWAYS rights its wrongs and takes amazing care of its customers with the help of their kind representatives.
Feel Good, Inside and Out
It feels good to know you’re doing something good for your body and the environment; even if it’s only three days a week. It has helped me to be more health-conscious in my grocery and self-care purchases. Realizing that these two kinds of purchases directly affect your body has made a huge difference in my life. I find myself purchasing natural deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, and soaps because those things touch and are absorbed my body nearly every day! This whole process has provided me with a more positive outlook and truthfully, a lot more energy eating plant-based meals.
The packaging has been upgraded recently and it is much more eco-friendly. This makes me very happy and it’s easy to recycle/dispose of.
Now for the Cons:
I’m the queen of bringing my leftovers to work so I don’t have to eat school cafeteria food so not having leftovers is a bit of a drag. There are times where I have had leftovers, but many times I do not (a pro for most people!). The portion you are eating, however, is more than satisfying.
What is a pro for me, can certainly be a con for others. For some people, $72 dollars for three meals a week seems outrageous and that’s understandable. In the current position, I am in right now it is more than worth it for the sake of convenience and creativity.
It Took How Long to Cook That!?
I have encountered a few meals that take upwards of 45 minutes to prepare. If you can scrounge up some help from others in your living space this time will be lessened and fly by but that’s not always a possibility. Many meals are in the half-hour range and a few are even less, however, you do need to be prepared for a few long preps here and there. The meal cards do provide an estimated preparation time so you can plan accordingly!
Clearly, Pros win by a long shot 8 to 4. I could not be more happy with my decision to start this meal service and BELIEVE ME, as a serious carnivore I thought it would take a lot of adjusting to eat three entirely plant-based meals a week but it was soooooooo easy because the food is simply amazing. I’ve received over a year’s worth of meals at this point on and off; we had three really busy weeks where we weren’t around so we skipped those meals since they would have just gone to waste. I was angry about skipping them though because so many of them looked so delicious. I highly suggest you give Purple Carrot a try if a Meal Service is something you’ve been contemplating!
If you use this CODE (<— right here!) you will receive $25 off your first order! What better way to try something right? It also provides me with a bit of a discount on my weekly meals every time it is used so we both get to benefit here. In my opinion, this is one of the best meal services of 2020; my mom and a very close friend tried blue apron and canceled after a few weeks whereas I am STILL ordering weekly purple carrots well over THREE years later! If your looking to improve yourself while making a sustainable lifestyle choice, you’ve come to the right place!