Home Chef vs Daily Harvest – Which is the Best #1 Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Service?
March 13, 2023
Meal kit delivery services like Home Chef vs Daily Harvest give you more options to choose from such as vegetarian, low-calorie, low-carb, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, etc. So, on the days when you can’t decide what to eat, falling back on a meal kit delivery service can seem like an upgrade in your dietary needs.
With the help of chef-crafted meals, meal delivery services take care of meal planning and grocery shopping. Furthermore, it also takes meal prep out of the way with premeasured ingredients. With all these things taken care of, all you have to do is follow the instructions step by step.
The market for meal kit delivery services is on the rise, so it can feel overwhelming to weigh the pros and cons of each one. The article, keeping your specific needs and preferences in mind, compares two top choices.
Why Choose Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services Like Home Chef and Daily Harvest?
Meal kit delivery companies are widely used and recommended by dieticians and experts. Making up your mind about what to order when you don’t want to cook a meal yourself can be a chore – not to forget that it’s not the healthiest thing to do if you want to stay fit.
What does it mean to cook a meal yourself? It means first deciding what to eat, then going grocery shopping, and finally prepping all the ingredients before you cook them in a well-stocked kitchen. It takes time and effort for every meal of the week.
With a meal kit delivery service, all these hurdles are taken care of. For people in search of convenience and ease of meal preparation, meal kit delivery services are the ideal match.
Let’s start with how a meal kit delivery service rescues you from going grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal prepping. All meal kits come with pre-set and premeasured ingredients based on the recipes you select. Each meal kit is equipped with the right ingredients in the right order and a helpful recipe card.
A recipe that would have taken you at least an hour in prep work and cooking will be ready in less than 30 minutes with the help of a meal kit delivery service.
You can choose meal kits that cater to a specific diet such as low-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, keto, high protein, vegan, vegetarian, etc.
Services like Home Chef and Daily Harvest offer dietary restrictions and easy customization of recipes so that the meals are nutritious and delicious. This is beneficial for people who want to eat healthier meals but don’t have the time or knowledge to prepare them from scratch.
You can’t beat the interesting variety of meal kit delivery services. Trying out new recipes and cuisines is as simple as adding meal kit recipes to your cart. You get meal kits with seasonal ingredients delivered right to your doorstep.
Meal kit recipes you may not have tried before or even had a thought of cooking will be delivered to you, catering to dietary needs and taste preferences. It’s a great plan for menu inspiration and introducing yourself to new flavors and cuisines.
This ties up with the health benefits of a meal kit delivery service. Meal kit companies provide premeasured ingredients. If you’re intimidated by the cooking steps of a new recipe, meal kits make it easier for you to cook them in lesser time.
Fast foods like burgers, pizza, and fried foods pack in more than 900 calories in a single small serving. A study found that fast-food restaurants pack in 1,400 calories per meal! Meal kit companies, on the other hand, offer larger meal portions with reduced calories to help you stay full for longer.
Most meal kit delivery services make use of eco-friendly packaging to minimize the use of single-use plastics. The ingredients used in a meal kit delivery service are sourced from sustainable and ethical suppliers. The use of organic ingredients and seasonal produce from local farms and suppliers is encouraged.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services
In the fast-paced world we live in, finding time to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy meals can feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, meal kit delivery services have emerged as a convenient solution. These services provide pre-portioned ingredients and chef-curated recipes right to your doorstep, taking the hassle out of meal planning. However, with the plethora of options available, it’s essential to consider a few factors when selecting a healthy meal kit delivery service.
So, before you dive into the world of culinary convenience, let’s explore the key elements you should keep in mind.
Quality and Freshness
When it comes to meal kits, freshness is key. Look for a service that prioritizes sourcing high-quality, fresh ingredients. Ideally, they should partner with local farms and suppliers to ensure that the produce, meats, and seafood are of the finest quality. Fresh ingredients not only enhance the taste of your meals but also provide optimal nutritional value.
Dietary Preferences and Allergies
Consider your dietary needs, preferences, and any food allergies when selecting a meal kit service. Many services offer a wide range of options, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free meals. Take the time to review the available menu options to ensure they align with your specific dietary requirements.
Recipe Variety and Customization
Engage your taste buds by exploring the recipe variety offered by different meal kit delivery services. Look for a service that updates its menu regularly and offers a diverse range of culinary options. This variety will keep your meals exciting and prevent monotony. Additionally, check if the service allows customization, such as substituting ingredients or adjusting portion sizes, to cater to your personal preferences.
Nutritional Value and Portion Control
While convenience is important, it’s equally vital to prioritize the nutritional value of the meals. Opt for a meal kit service that provides detailed nutritional information, including calorie counts, macronutrient breakdowns, and ingredient lists. Portion control is another factor to consider, as it helps maintain a healthy balance. Look for meal kits that offer appropriate portion sizes, allowing you to enjoy a well-rounded meal without overindulging.
Sustainability and Packaging
In this eco-conscious era, sustainability plays a significant role in decision-making. Evaluate the packaging practices of different meal kit services. Look for companies that use recyclable or compostable packaging materials and minimize single-use plastics. Some services even offer take-back programs for packaging recycling. By choosing a sustainable option, you can enjoy your meals guilt-free, knowing you’re making a positive environmental impact.
Delivery Options and Flexibility
Consider the delivery logistics and flexibility of the meal kit service. Check if they deliver to your area and inquire about their delivery schedule. Some services offer flexible delivery options, allowing you to choose specific delivery days that align with your schedule. Also, ensure that the meals are well-insulated and delivered in temperature-controlled packaging to maintain freshness.
Pricing and Value for Money
Pricing varies across different meal kit services, so it’s essential to evaluate the costs and value for money. Compare the prices of various plans and consider any additional fees, such as shipping or cancellation charges. Look for promotional offers, discounts, or subscription plans that can help you save money in the long run.
Health Benefits of High-Quality Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services
Embracing a healthier lifestyle often starts with making mindful choices about what we eat. While the idea of preparing nutritious meals from scratch might seem intimidating, high-quality healthy meal kit delivery services offer a convenient solution. Not only do these services save you time and effort, but they also provide a range of health benefits that can positively impact your overall well-being. Let’s explore some of the remarkable advantages you can enjoy when you opt for a top-notch healthy meal kit delivery service.
Nourishing Your Body, One Meal at a Time
A well-balanced diet is essential for optimal health, and high-quality meal kit delivery services excel at providing precisely that. These services prioritize the use of fresh, wholesome ingredients that are packed with essential nutrients. By following the curated recipes, you can enjoy meals that contain a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. This nutritional balance helps support your overall health and contributes to sustained energy levels throughout the day.
A Helping Hand in Portion Management
Maintaining a healthy weight often involves portion control, and meal kit delivery services can assist in this area. Each meal kit comes with pre-portioned ingredients, ensuring that you consume the right amount of food without the risk of overindulging. Additionally, these services provide detailed nutritional information, including calorie counts, allowing you to make informed choices about your daily calorie intake. With portion control and calorie awareness, you can manage your weight effectively and support your weight loss or maintenance goals.
Unlocking Culinary Confidence
One of the hidden benefits of meal kit delivery services is the opportunity to enhance your cooking skills and expand your nutritional knowledge. With each delivery, you receive step-by-step recipes that guide you through the cooking process. As you follow these recipes, you’ll learn new culinary techniques and gain confidence in the kitchen. Furthermore, meal kits often introduce you to a variety of ingredients and flavors, expanding your palate and nutritional repertoire. This newfound knowledge can inspire you to experiment with healthier options even beyond the meal kit service.
Freeing Up Your Schedule for Wellness
Modern lifestyles can be hectic, leaving little time for meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Healthy meal kit delivery services come to the rescue by providing a convenient solution. With pre-portioned ingredients and ready-to-follow recipes, you can save precious time on meal preparation. Instead of spending hours at the grocery store, you can focus on other aspects of your well-being, such as exercise, self-care, or spending quality time with loved ones. The convenience of meal kits allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing time and energy.
Minimizing Waste for a Greener Planet
Food waste is a significant concern in our society, but meal kit delivery services can help address this issue. By providing precisely measured ingredients, these services minimize the risk of leftover perishable items that often end up discarded. Additionally, many meal kit companies prioritize sustainability and source their ingredients locally, further reducing their carbon footprint. By opting for a high-quality meal kit service, you contribute to the reduction of food waste, making a positive impact on both your health and the environment.
Why Choose Home Chef?
Home Chef does offer a selection of carb- and calorie-conscious meal kit recipes that you can select from. Some of the recipes, especially the calorie-conscious recipes, have less than 650 calories per serving.
The most effective strategy for weight loss is when you eat home-cooked meals more regularly and balance the number of calories you consume every day. Home Chef’s meals are home-inspired and free from preservatives, additives, artificial coloring, and GMOs. They do not contain excess sodium or any other unwanted and unhealthy ingredient. So, eating Home Chef’s meals can boost your weight loss plans.
Why Choose Daily Harvest?
But if you want to go on a serious calorie deficit for weight loss, you can opt for Daily Harvest as their meals are made up of whole foods that are much lower in calories than Home Chef.
Some of Daily Harvest’s meals are extremely low in calories, containing less than 400 calories per serving. This includes entrees as well as proper meals that Daily Harvest offers.
Some people may experience unprecedented weight loss by eating Daily Harvest’s meals. It drastically reduces your calorie intake and regulates better metabolism with clean and healthy recipes.
Additionally, Daily Harvest is a completely plant-based diet plan which aids weight loss as there is a direct link between eating more vegetarian options and weight loss in healthy and obese individuals.
Daily Harvest also provides special diet categories like high protein, low carb, high fiber, and low sodium – all of these are good for keeping weight down. Fiber- and protein-rich meals keep you full for longer so you won’t fall into the binge-eating trap.
Having said that, some people have noted that Daily Harvest’s meals are not 100% satisfying, which means that their portion size is very small.
How Home Chef Works
Browsing through the menu and signing up on Home Chef for your first order is simple and quick. Home Chef offers multiple meal plans based on diet, taste, and time. You can easily select meals that suit your needs in terms of their estimated cooking, prep time, and skill level.
Once you pick your meals from a menu that offers more than 20 different types of meal kits and prepared meals, you can order the meals in 2, 4, or 6 servings each. You can order as many as 6 meals per week or 2 meals for a smaller weekly order.
Home Chef also allows you to customize the meal kits by swapping or adding proteins such as chicken, meat, pescatarian, plant-based, etc. Not all meal kits have this option.
Select your meals, add them to the weekly cart, and fill out all the necessary details like your delivery address, zip, email, and payment information. Home Chef delivers weekly and allows you to make any last-minute edits to the order before delivery.
All this should take you longer than 30 minutes from start to end. Home Chef is a very intuitive and convenient meal kit delivery system, especially for beginners who haven’t used a meal kit company before.
How Daily Harvest Works
Daily Harvest, on the other hand, has an extensive menu that feels more like a restaurant menu than anything else. They offer several different food items that can be added to your cart without any set value like in 2 or 4 servings. You can add 1 or more servings of the food and get a discount based on the total number of items in your cart.
If you select a total of 9 items, you get $5 off on the final bill amount. For 14 items, you get $10 off, and lastly, for a large order of 24 items, you will receive $25 off.
First-time customers get a $25 discount on the first meal box. It applies only to first orders and new customers.
You can sign up using Daily Harvest’s phone app as well. They also allow you to make quick changes to a week’s order and manage future deliveries by skipping, pausing, or canceling meals easily.
The Home Chef Menu
Home Chef’s meals can be categorized in the following ways:
- Meal Kits: Meal kits include preportioned ingredients packed together with a recipe card for you to follow and prepare a meal in less than 30–45 minutes.
- Express Meal Kits: These are meal kits with fewer premeasured ingredients and recipe instructions that are supposed to cook within 15 minutes. Some of the ingredients are prepped before they are packaged together as well.
- Oven-Ready Meals: These are premeasured meals – prepped and packed. The meal is all put together in a single oven-friendly container. You simply have to pop it in the microwave and let the meal cook through.
- Grill-Ready Meals: Similar to their Oven-Ready Meals, these meals are pre-prepped, preportioned, and packed in a single box. You just have to take out the food and place it on a hot grill, ready to cook without any prep or marination.
- Culinary Collection: This includes premium choices of meat and seafood with healthy and delicious vegetables and sauces. The Culinary Collection resembles a restaurant-style palate which is very flavorful and nutritious.
- Fast & Fresh: Oven-friendly Fast & Fresh meals are packed in single-serve containers and take less than 5 minutes to heat and serve. For busy weeknights, this makes the ideal meal fix.
Home Chef also features 3 filters that you can use to customize the abovementioned meal plans. Whichever filter you select, it applies to all the meal kits, oven and grill-ready meals, premium recipes, and prepared meals:
- Calorie-Conscious: Dietician-approved meals that contain less than 650 calories per serving. If you wonder about how many calories to consume to lose weight without sacrificing energy levels, this is the ideal meal plan for you. A calorie deficit is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, and a low-calorie diet helps with that.
- Under 30 Minutes: If you hate spending longer than 30 minutes preparing or you like cooking but you’re on a tight schedule, these meals can help. They let you have fun while cooking, but the recipes are relatively faster and easier to prepare so as not to confuse or overwhelm you.
- Carb-Conscious: Home Chef’s carb-conscious meals contain less than 35g of carbohydrates per serving. Such a low-carb diet is beneficial for individuals with diabetes and metabolic, weight loss, and digestive issues. You can strike the perfect balance of calories, carbs, protein, fats, and fiber on a low-carb diet.
The Daily Harvest Menu
Moving on to Daily Harvest, their menu is refined and wide-ranging with many different types of meals including smoothies, coffee, ice cream, and plant-based milk.
The menu is nutrient-rich, and all the recipes are gluten-free, vegan, and plant-based sourced from organic farms and suppliers:
Complementing their versatile menu, Daily Harvest also features 3 types of filters for ingredient and dietary needs. You can like or dislike specific ingredients like avocado, banana, berries, caffeine, chocolate, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, garlic, onion, spice, greens, oats, and nuts and select specific dietary categories like FODMAP, AIP, ketogenic, paleo, low fat, low carb, low sugar, low calorie, low sodium, high protein, and high fiber.
Menu-wise, after selecting your meal plan, you’ll have access to over 100 expertly crafted and delicious meal options to choose from. This is more than what Home Chef has to offer, variety- and number-wise.
How Are Home Chef Meal Kits Packed?
Home Chef has one of the most user-friendly packaging. It’s neat, efficient, and quick to unpack. The individual ingredients are delivered in separate recyclable liners. Ice packs are used to keep meat and other ingredients fresh and firm.
All the seasonings, herbs, spices, and condiments are stored in plastic seal bags and divided according to the recipes. You can store the ingredients in the refrigerator without taking them out of the original plastic packaging. It’s better stored that way.
How Are Daily Harvest Meal Kits Packed?
Daily Harvest is a combination of meal kits and prepared meals. All the meals are packed in a single-serve container, frozen, and stored with dry ice that keeps the meal kits fresh during transit.
When you open the box, make sure the dry ice completely melts before you take the containers out. The cardboard box, containers, liners, and dividers are made up of recyclable materials.
The plastic liners used to store dry ice are not recyclable, but everything else, including the container bowls, lid, and seals, are made of recyclable materials.
A minor complaint concerning Daily Harvest’s packaging is that the dry ice has to melt naturally to dispose of it. This process can take up to 24 hours after the box arrives at your doorstep. But this does not interfere with the meals in any way.
Is Home Chef Diet-Friendly?
On Home Chef’s menu, you have the option to select low-calorie and low-carb meals, making it easier for people on a calorie or carb-restrictive diet to eat healthier and balanced meals rich in proteins, fiber, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
If you’re still on the fence about Home Chef, you don’t have to be. Home Chef’s meals are balanced and offer great diet-specific selections, also suitable for people with dietary preferences such as vegetarians.
The weekly menu is diverse, and each meal kit comes with a satisfying portion of premeasured ingredients for low-calorie, low-carb, and veggie diets.
The potential allergens for each recipe are listed down methodically so that you can eliminate meals that do not adhere to your restrictive diet plan. However, not all the meals are allergy-friendly, and there might be a risk of cross-contamination because the meals are packed in the same facility that handles major allergens.
Home Chef even allows some customization by swapping ingredients such as meat, chicken, seafood, shellfish, nuts, and mushrooms from your weekly menu.
Home Chef does not accommodate specialized diets like keto, paleo, Mediterranean, or vegan, but they’re a flexible and beneficial meal kit delivery service for many appetites.
Is Daily Harvest Diet-Friendly?
Moving on to Daily Harvest, their menu options are diet-focused and super-healthy. They offer meals that fall into specific diets such as plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, FODMAP, AIP, ketogenic, paleo, low fat, low carb, low sugar, low calorie, low sodium, high protein, and high fiber.
Daily Harvest’s menu offers various customization features for selecting meals that follow a strict diet. They also let you filter your meals based on your likes and dislikes for certain types of ingredients such as avocado, banana, berries, caffeine, chocolate, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, garlic, onion, spice, greens, oats, and nuts.
It’s worth mentioning that diet-wise, all of Daily Harvest’s meals are gluten-free, plant-based, and vegan. Here lies the major difference between Home Chef and Daily Harvest – the latter is the best choice for vegetarians, while the former is a mix of meat and vegetarian meals.
Daily Harvest also uses mostly organic ingredients, while Home Chef uses conventional ingredients. Both services cater to people who want to eliminate the addition of preservatives, fillers, and GMOs in their daily meals.
But if you want organic and plant-based foods for your weekly diet, Daily Harvest will be your ideal choice. Home Chef is good for people who want a mix of everything healthy and diet-based.
Home Chef vs Daily Harvest – Ingredient Quality
Home Chef does not make use of preservatives, artificial fillers, and GMOs in their meal kits. They are completely free of any unhealthy ingredients, empty calories, high calories, or high sodium.
The fresh ingredients provided by Home Chef can last for weeks if stored properly. You can store different ingredients for different lengths of time. For example, chicken can be stored for up to 4–6 months; beef, turkey, and pork for 3–4 months; steak for 4–6 months; and fish and seafood for 2–3 months.
Other ingredients like fruits and vegetables have a shorter shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator once the meal kit arrives. Make sure you do not remove the ingredients from their respective packaging as that prolongs the shelf life of the ingredients.
There is no concrete information about Home Chef serving organic ingredients, but they use high-quality ingredients sourced from local and reliable suppliers. Some of the recipes also feature seasonal ingredients to ramp up the flavor of the recipe.
You can swap conventional ingredients with antibiotic-free chicken, grass-fed meat, and wild-caught seafood. You can read the allergen information to compare what you can and cannot eat. But if you have a severe allergy, Home Chef may not be the choice for you as there is still a risk of cross-contamination.
Daily Harvest is a step ahead of the game with 95% organic ingredients that are 100% vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free. The meals are free of any preservatives, additives, and fillers.
Some of the ingredients are conventional due to availability, but Daily Harvest partners up with suppliers that avoid the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals for fruits and vegetables.
Daily Harvest uses plant-based alternatives for all conventional dairy products with the help of nuts, coconut, seeds, whole grains, spices, herbs, matcha, and cacao.
Desserts like ice cream, energy bites, and lattes are naturally sweet with vegan maple syrup, coconut, and dates. It’s also worth mentioning that Daily Harvest serves its own brand of plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free nut milk that you can add to fruit bowls, smoothies, and coffees.
Daily Harvest is an all-plant-based and vegan meal kit delivery service. Home Chef, on the other hand, is meat and vegetarian. Home Chef serves a variety of chicken, beef, steak, pork, turkey, fish, and shrimp recipes.
Daily Harvest, in contrast, serves a variety of plant-based recipes that are all vegan and organic such as oat bowls, grain bowls, baked foods, chia bowls, smoothies, and soups.
|Home Chef||Daily Harvest|
|Butternut Squash, Fig, and Blue Cheese Risotto||Herbed Squash and Asparagus Risotto|
|Calories||740 calories||290 calories|
|Proteins||12 grams||8 grams|
|Fat||30 grams||12 grams|
|Carbohydrates||108 grams||35 grams|
|Home Chef||Daily Harvest|
|Ranch Chicken Quesadillas||Portobello and Pesto Flatbread|
|Calories||740 calories||380 calories|
|Proteins||49 grams||8 grams|
|Fat||36 grams||20 grams|
|Carbohydrates||54 grams||47 grams|
|Home Chef||Daily Harvest|
|Ancho Sirloin||Red Cabbage and Buckwheat Donburi|
|Calories||690 calories||670 calories|
|Proteins||45 grams||16 grams|
|Fat||45 grams||28 grams|
|Carbohydrates||33 grams||88 grams|
|Home Chef||Daily Harvest|
|Low-Country-Style Scallop Risotto||Edamame and Wild Rice Green Curry|
|Calories||600 calories||250 calories|
|Proteins||26 grams||11 grams|
|Fat||22 grams||14 grams|
|Carbohydrates||79 grams||21 grams|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Home Chef and Daily Harvest
Where Do They Deliver?
Home Chef delivers to 98% of the continental United States, according to a recent query. Enter your zip code to find out right away if they deliver to your area or not. They also encourage you to contact customer support in case you have any specific questions or doubts.
Daily Harvest, on the other hand, delivers to 95% of the contiguous United States. They too encourage you to enter your ZIP code on their homepage to get notified immediately about the delivery availability. If you do not live in an eligible area, you won’t be able to sign up in the first place.
Daily Harvest goes even further to instantly deliver meals to select areas via delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub, and Seamless. The delivery areas for this type of service are limited to places like NYC, LA, Philly, Miami, Austin, DC, and Baltimore.
Can You Cancel Your Subscription Easily?
Both Home Chef and Daily Harvest let you cancel the subscription at any time and without any charges. If you have a pending order, you have to wait for it to get delivered before you can cancel your subscription.
Other modifications like skipping a delivery, adding or removing meals, and swapping ingredients are also possible with the click of a button. Home Chef and Daily Harvest feature the right settings for editing the meal plan and pausing or canceling the subscription.
|You can order as many meal kit recipes as you want from the comfort of your home.||Not gluten- and dairy-free meals.|
|Vegetarian, low-carb, and low-calorie meals are included.||The meal kits take up a lot of packaging.|
|Swappable proteins for select recipes.||The meals take a bit longer to cook.|
|Best meal kit for beginner-friendly and easy recipes.||Shipping charges are extra on every week’s order.|
|Home Chef uses fresh and high-quality ingredients without preservatives, fillers, and additives.|
|Competitive prices are cheaper than ordering takeout food or dining out.|
|Frozen meals stay fresh for longer in the fridge/freezer.||The meal portion size is not satisfying.|
|Nutritious meal kits are made up of vegan, plant-based, and organic ingredients.||The meal prices may be expensive in the long run.|
|The meals are incredibly easy to make with zero prep involved.||Not the ideal choice for picky eaters.|
|Diet-specific and dietician-approved meals for vegan, keto, paleo, FODMAP, high protein, low sodium, etc.|
|Flexibility to pick meals on your specific diet and taste preferences.|
|You can filter the menu by ingredients as well.|
|Packaging is minimal and recyclable.|
Home Chef vs Daily Harvest – Final Verdict
To find the best meal delivery services, it’s important to consider several factors such as the cost, number of recipes, servings, cooking time, and sustainability.
If you follow a specific diet plan, such as vegan, organic, keto, or paleo, Daily Harvest offers plenty of exciting benefits to meet your dietary needs. Daily Harvest has one of the most versatile and health-focused menus. If you don’t like to cook much and do prep work, go for Daily Harvest.
If you want meal kits that cater to more than one person, for 2 or 4 servings, the portion size and flexibility of Home Chef are more to your liking. Home Chef is a family-friendly and convenient meal kit delivery service for people who prefer healthy, balanced eating as a long-term solution.