The one thing that home cooking lacks is variety. With meal kit delivery like Thistle and Daily Harvest, you can eat healthily and try out new foods every day of the week.
You can lower how much you spend on food monthly by subscribing to a meal delivery service that brings you healthy and fresh premade meals for the entire week. Meal subscription services let you make a plan based on the different meal options they offer. This takes care of meal planning and meal prepping, which saves you more time.
You’re more likely to buy the meals that you like including a few breakfasts and snacks, which help take care of every meal of the day. This means not having to buy takeout food at the last minute.
In this article, I will compare the nutrition and menu plans of two health-focused meal delivery services – Thistle and Daily Harvest.
3 Reasons Why a Prepared Meal Delivery Service Is for You
It can get difficult to figure out every meal of the week when you’re working and trying to stay healthy. Prepared meal delivery services are a good alternative to eating takeout food or making instant foods at home because you just don’t have the time to cook healthy homemade meals.
The best part about prepared meal delivery services is that they are nutritious and replicate the homemade quality of different meals.
Here are some of the benefits of prepared meal delivery services and why it’s worth considering if you want to change the way you eat.
1. It Caters to Several Dietary Needs
One of the best things about subscribing to services that deliver home-cooked meals is that the meals are carefully tailored according to nutrition. You can choose from different menus that cater to specific nutrition needs such as low-calorie, high-protein, low-carb, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and more. Some services even let you filter items on the menu based on a list of ingredients.
Quick meals like instant food are usually high in calories or carbs, which don’t contribute all that much to a healthy diet. However, meal kit delivery services use healthier alternatives to avoid a high-carb diet. The meals are rich in various nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, and minerals that provide a boost of nutrition in your everyday meals.
Nutritionists and dieticians are the ones planning the weekly menu, providing you with unique flavors and diverse ingredients paired to taste delicious and healthy at the same time.
For some, you can even find meal services that accommodate special diets like paleo, keto, Mediterranean, etc.
2. Considerably Less or No Food Wastage
Ever tried cooking new recipes and having tons of leftovers the next day? Portion control is a common problem for a lot of beginner cooks. Sometimes, you end up with leftovers that are kept in the fridge for days, and you end up throwing them in the trash by the end of the week.
The great thing about meal delivery services is that they’re portion-controlled. The meals are packed and served in 2, 3, or 4 servings per meal. You can even opt for single-serve meal kits if that’s available.
You can try new foods in single or double servings without worrying about leftovers because there will be none. This also means you don’t have to grocery shop and worry about measuring ingredients yourself.
Meal kit services provide accurate portions with pre-portioned and prepped ingredients, so if you don’t have any measuring spoons or cups at home, that’s not a problem at all!
3. It’s Not Very Expensive Even in the Long Run
There are two ways of looking at this. When you subscribe to meal service, you don’t have to think about spending money on takeout food. Meal services also save you the hassle of grocery shopping because you always end up buying more than you need, which costs more money, especially when you want to try new foods and expand your palate.
When you factor in the cost of fuel and even your time for weekly grocery shopping, the convenience of meal subscription services like Thistle and Daily Harvest is worth experiencing to start eating healthier and saving more money.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Similarities
All Gluten- and Dairy-Free Meals
Both Thistle and Daily Harvest serve certified gluten-free meals to support those with a severe gluten-free diet. On top of being gluten-free meal subscription services, Thistle and Daily Harvest also provide meals without preservatives, artificial sugars, additives, and unhealthy fats.
Thistle is certified gluten-free, which means it does not process gluten in the facility but with regard to other allergens such as peanut, soy, seafood, tree nuts, and shellfish,
Thistle does process certain ingredients in the same facility as meals without gluten, dairy, eggs, etc. If you have a severe allergy to any one of these ingredients, Thistle recommends you NOT to subscribe to their service.
Daily Harvest, on the other hand, is a plant-based and vegan meal subscription service. It chooses sustainably organic and non-GMO ingredients only, which include fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, herbs, spices, and other whole foods.
Their menu gives you access to around 185 different food varieties. All are rich in healthy nutrients and without any preservatives, GMOs, sugars, gums, or fillers.
Just like Thistle, Daily Harvest is not suitable for people with severe food allergies to nuts, soy, and tree nuts. If you have a seafood allergy, then subscribing to Daily Harvest is not a problem as it caters to only vegans and vegetarians.
Are you allergic or intolerant to dairy products? Do you prefer not to consume dairy products due to personal reasons? Regardless of your reason, both Thistle and Daily Harvest offer a dairy-free menu. Their meals are made with plant-based dairy alternatives for cheese, sauces, dressings, etc.
Vegan and Vegetarian
Both Thistle and Daily Harvest offer vegan and vegetarian meals. All of Daily Harvest is plant-based and vegetarian, while Thistle also serves an omnivore-based diet plan.
The good news is that you can select between veg and non-veg for every meal with Thistle. You can opt out of meat easily, so it’s a great fit for those on a completely plant-based diet.
The ingredients list for each meal recipe is listed so you can compare and decide the best fit for you. On top of being one of the best vegan meal services, both Thistle and Daily Harvest are gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free.
The breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are cooked with all plant-based ingredients including conventional ingredients like cheese, sauces, butter, and dressings.
Both services use organic ingredients wherever possible. Even for their fruit juices, booster shots, and smoothies, the ingredients are all plant-based, naturally sweetened, and preservative-free. Sweet dishes are rich in ingredients like matcha, cacao, cashews, coconut, dates, and organic maple syrup.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Differences
Plant-Based vs Meat
Thistle is a nonvegetarian and vegetarian meal delivery service. It offers a combination of plant-based, vegan, and meat-based prepared meals, and some juices and sides made with a combination of healthy veggies and fruits.
Comparatively, Daily Harvest is a full plant-based meal delivery service. It is vegan and vegetarian with sustainably sourced fruits and veggies. The meals are fully prepped and partially prepared to keep the prep time low.
Cold vs Frozen Meals
Thistle’s meals are packed with thermal insulation and cooling bags. The meals are not frozen but kept cold with the help of ice packs during transit. Once the package arrives, you have to store the meals in the refrigerator and take them out when it’s come to cooking them.
Daily Harvest’s meals are kept frozen with dry ice during transit, and that’s how you’re supposed to store them as well once the meals arrive – in the freezer.
While this may seem like the ideal way of storing meals, not a lot of people like to freeze their meals as it strips some of the texture and freshness of the food. However, Daily Harvest guarantees a consistent and flavorful palate of meals including a variety of forager bowls, baked items, smoothies, flatbreads, and much more.
Heat and Serve vs Minimal Prep Work
While both Thistle and Daily Harvest delivered pre-prepped and portioned meals, Thistle’s meals take less than 2 minutes to heat up and serve. Meanwhile, Daily Harvest’s meals require some cooking time, which is between 10 and 15 minutes or longer for some meals before they’re ready to serve.
Another excellent example is that Thistle serves bottled juices and health boosters that are ready to drink. You don’t need to blend the ingredients or prepare the drink in any way, shape, or form.
But with Daily Harvest, the smoothies are packed with frozen chunks of fruits and vegetables that you need to blend along with some water or plant-based milk before drinking.
It’s like making a smoothie on your own, but the difference is that you don’t need to do any of the chopping and prep work before blending the ingredients. Daily Harvest offers a great variety of smoothies with different textures and flavors.
With meals, it’s the same way. Some of Daily Harvest’s meals require some prep work like assembling the ingredients to cook in an oven or on the stovetop.
The Harvest Bakes take between 20 and 30 minutes to bake in an oven or toaster. Even though you don’t have to do any of the prep work as the ingredients are prepped and portioned before they are packed, there is some waiting involved. When compared to Thistle’s meals, they take less than 2 minutes to heat and eat.
Limited Meals vs a Wide Variety of Food Choices
Thistle is a balanced meal delivery service. It offers a 4-meal-per-day menu for every day of the week starting from Monday to Saturday. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are included in every day’s menu plan. This totals around 24 meals per week that are included in the meal plan.
When you subscribe to Thistle, you are served the options you see on their current week’s menu. There is no room for customization other than the feature of swapping a vegetarian meal with a nonvegetarian meal.
Breakfasts include pudding, muesli with fresh fruits, a smoothie bowl, oatmeal, and a crumble recipe.
For lunch, you are served light yet nutritious salads like Cobb salad, Mediterranean salad, Yuzu salad, and a Greek salad.
Dinners are more filling than lunches with satisfying portions with different classic recipes such as healthy rice bowls, pasta, curries, and Indian cuisine.
And lastly, snacks post-dinner includes healthy bars, energy bars, some sweet dishes, and muffins. You can also add extras to your weekly plans like a few bottles of healthy fruit juices and health shots made with concentrated vitamins, minerals, and immune-boosting nutrients.
Daily Harvest, in comparison, serves different types of meals including smoothies, forager bowls, baked items, flatbreads, soups, ice cream scoops, and power bites.
Each meal category on their menu features plenty of different recipes and flavors so you can never get bored of trying new recipes every time.
The menu boasts more than 150 different types of veggies and fruits weaved together in exciting and flavorful combinations. The meals are prepared within 24 hours of harvest to ensure the flavor and freshness stay intact even after you take them out of the freezer to heat and eat.
Smoothies come in a wide variety of flavors and unique combinations such as dragon fruit with lime, pear with cranberry, strawberry with cashew, mint with cacao, mango with papaya, strawberry with peach, and so on.
Harvest Bowls contain nutritious and whole foods like black beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, broccoli, lentils, tomatoes, red lentil, cauliflower, beet, kimchi, etc. that you simply have to heat and eat. These meals have a unique flavor and work great as salads with delicious dressing in every serving.
Next up, we have Harvest Bakes – these are baked and have a larger serving size than Harvest Bowls. They work perfectly as dinners because of their satisfying portion size.
These meals require no prep and take less than 30 minutes in the oven or microwave to cook to perfection. Chickpeas with coconut curry, cremini with paprika, and beans with an artichoke olio are some of the best sellers in this category.
Flatbreads are made with plant-based crusts and cheese. Tomato, basil, sweet potatoes, kale, hot pepper, pear, sage, and smoked paprika with pineapple are some of the tempting toppings.
Forager Bowls work amazingly as breakfasts as they are grain-free power-boosting bowls with unique flavors like cinnamon, apple, coconut, banana, mulberry, goji berry, vanilla, etc.
Other meal categories include soup, ice cream scoops, power bites, lattes, and a healthy plant-based milk alternative. You can order as many food items as you want each week or month. Daily Harvest’s meal variety is very diverse and worldly and includes plenty of diet-friendly meals if you prefer a plant-based diet plan.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Pricing
Both Thistle and Daily Harvest feature easy-to-understand meal plans.
Thistle’s meal plan pricing varies between vegetarian (plant-based) and nonvegetarian (meat). Their vegetarian meals cost $14.50 per serving, and a majority of the vegetarian meals are vegan as well as organic.
The nonvegetarian meals cost $16.75 per serving with a few organic ingredients depending on availability.
You can order for 2 days at a time, so the 2-day plan comprises 3 different meals per day and 2 servings each.
The extra food and drink items on their menu, the cold-pressed juices and soups, and salads cost extra depending on the number of servings you add. The most common order of juices is 6 juices along with 3 booster shots, which costs $60 per week.
You can also add to this a few servings of soup and salad that will cost you around $74 per week. The average cost per serving for the side dishes is $2.25 per serving. For the entire week, you can add as many 6-7 side items along with juices and booster shots.
For first-timers, the first week costs less than the standard prices. You pay as little as $11.50 per meal for 3 meals per week. You can easily customize your meal plan based on serving size and the number of meals you want. The bigger the plan, the less you pay for every serving.
Daily Harvest charges different prices for their items. There are two ways of going about it. First, you can select the box size you want between 9 and 24 items per box.
With this pre-customized box plan, you can get a discount on every meal order based on the number of items you select. For example:
- 9 items in one box: $5 off
- 14 items in one box: $10 off
- 24 items in one box: $25 off
And here’s the cost per serving of the different types of meals on their menu:
- Smoothies: $8.49 per smoothie
- Harvest Bowls: $9.79 per serving
- Harvest Bakes: $11.99 per serving
- Flatbreads: $9.79 per serving
- Soups: $8.49 per serving
- Forager Bowl: $6.79 per serving
- Scoops: $8.99 per pint
- Bites: $7.99 per 7 bites
- Lattes: $5.99 per 2 lattes
- Mylk: $7.99 per half gallon
Fortunately, these prices also include the shipping fee and extra tax charges. It means you don’t have to pay extra during checkout. What you see is what you pay for.
The 9-, 14-, and 24-meals-per-box discount is very convenient and budget-friendly. Even the cost per serving of the main meals like Harvest Bakes and Harvest Bowls is less than the cost per serving of Thistle.
The difference is that Daily Harvest only serves plant-based meals, while Thistle serves both plant-based and meat, which explains the increase in the per-serving cost of the latter.
It’s not that Thistle and Daily Harvest are expensive meal subscription services. But when compared to what you pay for takeout food and groceries every week, they are more cost-valuable because the meals are nutritionally balanced and are cooked without any preservatives, excess sugar, salt, and other harmful ingredients.
At the end of the day, what you’re paying for is health over easy, preservative-laden foods that are not good for you.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Menu
Before I get any further, I would like to point out that Thistle is one of those spectacular meal delivery services that let you take a peek inside the upcoming week’s menu as well.
Now, you can see and compare all the meals that Thistle offers from Monday through Saturday for 2 weeks in total. This is what you’ll find on their current week’s menu.
The menu is divided according to the day of the week starting from Monday to Saturday.
On each day, the meal plan includes a Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snack item. This totals to 4 meals per day and 6 days per week. Basically, Daily Harvest’s weekly menu comprises of total 24 meals in total.
The meals are free of gluten, dairy, and egg. You can select from a plant- or meat-based alternative for the same meal recipe. So, for example, Monday’s Crispy Chickpea Mediterranean Salad can be had with plant-based protein and green lentils, or you can opt for the chicken option for the same recipe.
There are meat alternatives for all the lunches and dinners on Thistle’s menu. The breakfasts and snacks are plant-based and nutritious.
Doing a thorough run-through of Thistle’s menu, I found that their lunches are very light and colorful ranging from different salad recipes and unique dressings such as creamy poppy seed dressing, creamy Za’atar sunflower dressing, lemon mint vinaigrette, yuzu vinaigrette, and a few more.
The Dinners are heavier meals including pasta and rice with sufficient carbs, proteins, and healthy veggies on the side.
Breakfast recipes are simple and delicious starting with muesli, pudding, smoothie bowl, oatmeal, and some baked goodies. The same can be said for their dessert or snacks menu, which has a power bar, an exotic snack plate, an energy bar, and a delicious muffin.
Overall, the meals are satisfying and nutrient-packed, so you don’t have to worry about empty calories. Likewise, the extra option to select from a plant-based or meat meal plan makes Thistle a flexible and healthy meal service for everyone.
Thistle also features a Juices menu with cold-pressed juices and healthy booster shots. Juices made with beet, cucumber, apple, lime, spinach, refreshing aloe vera, coconut, pineapple, celery, and such nutrient-packed fruits and veggies are included.
You can pick from a variety of different organic, nutritious juices, and they’re freshly made and bottled. You can also select the nutrition of each bottle of juice, which includes its calories, fat, carbs, protein, and fiber content.
Some freshly cooked and packed plant-based food items like soup and salads are included in the Sides menu. Several soups and salad recipes are available that cost an additional fee based on the number of servings you select.
Thistle focuses on all plant-based and gluten-free ingredients with fresh produce sourced from local and organic farms. Plus, you can read the nutrition and ingredients list for each side dish on the menu for a quick comparison.
There is no limit to how many side items you can add to the cart. The average price range is between $1.5 and $2.25 per serving.
Daily Harvest’s menu is the most extensive because they offer such different varieties of foods. It’s palate-broadening and healthy, so you can satisfy your food, snacks, drinks, and sweet cravings all at once.
Before I list down all the varieties of items that they offer, I would also like to point out that Daily Harvest’s menu features a separate filter feature. The filter option lets you include or exclude ingredients and select specific dietary needs.
Ingredients that you can include or exclude from the menu:
You can also select meals that accommodate specific dietary needs:
- Less than 10g Fat
- Less than 15g Carbs
- Less than 15g of Sugar
- Less than 250 calories
- Less than 500mg Sodium
- More than 10g of Protein
- More than 6g of Fiber
You can, at any time, apply or clear the filters based on your mood and food preferences. Compared with Thistle, Daily Harvest is a lot more flexible and versatile for health enthusiasts.
Moving forward, here are the different varieties of food and drink available on Daily Harvest’s menu
Please note that, unlike Thistle, Daily Harvest does not have a weekly changing menu. Daily Harvest updates its menu with new items from time to time, but they do not offer a new menu every week.
The first category on Daily Harvest’s menu is smoothies and they’re the most popular for it. These smoothies take less than 5 minutes to blend and sip. Each smoothie cup contains frozen chunks of a combination of fruits and vegetables along with other whole foods such as healthy nuts and seeds and natural sweeteners like coconut, dates, honey, and maple syrup.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners, Daily Harvest pairs different sweet fruits with healthy veggies, for example, vanilla bean with cacao and coconut, dragon fruit with lychee, pineapple, and hemp seeds, strawberries with almonds, cherry and sweet potatoes, and tons more.
There are 31 different types of smoothies on their menu. The quality and texture of the smoothies are very homemade and fresh. To ensure freshness, the smoothies are served frozen, and all you need to do is blend them with water or plant-based milk after taking them out of the freezer.
Harvest Bowls come with whole plant-based foods, advertised as super-nourishing and satisfying. A Harvest Bowl meal takes only minutes to heat up and eat. Black beans filled with avocado, sweet potatoes with wild rice, lentils with basil, garlic, and kale, and lots of delicious and nutritious pairings are included.
The menu has over 20 new types of plant-forward bowls made up of ingredients that you probably wouldn’t cook at home yourself. Chipotle flavor, zesty lemon, earthy turmeric, cumin, Bolognese, and meat-inspired flavors are also available.
With a slightly larger serving than Harvest Bowls, the servings of Harvest Bakes are big enough to be shared. Homemade and classic dinner recipes that simply require assembly and baking come with zero prep.
For interesting recipes and flavors made with all plant-based ingredients, I see 6 different recipes for every day of the week. This includes coconut curry with chickpeas, wild rice with squash, and Gigante bean with an artichoke olio – the options are varied and delicious.
You can think of these as mini pizzas or garlic bread or appetizers. The flatbreads are tasty crunchy, and delicious any way you slice them. The menu features 10 different toppings and sauces on a 100% plant-based crust.
And yes, there is a special treat with smoked paprika and pineapple for those who love pineapples on pizza!
Classic combos and creative recipes make Flatbreads one of the more popular choices on Daily Harvest’s menu. The flatbreads are all gluten- and dairy free. The crust is made from a variety of different plant-based ingredients such as broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.
Soups contains 10 different varieties that are packed with nutrition and which make Daily Harvest a wholesome and satisfying meal delivery service. There are different pairs of healthy veggies like carrots with coconut, lentils with cremini, tomato with zucchini, butternut squash with rosemary, sweet potato with miso, etc.
Forager Bowls work great as breakfast and snacks. They contain power foods such as chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut, bananas, berries, cinnamon, etc. All superfoods are full of healthy nutrients and are great pick-me-up energy boosters before a long day.
The varieties seem endless and super creative with peach and cinnamon, cold brew and coconut, strawberry and goji, apple and cinnamon, and a few more. There are 14 new and exciting varieties of satiating ingredients and foods that you can eat at any time of day, especially during mornings and early afternoons.
The bowls also contain natural sweeteners like cherries, vanilla beans, coconut, dates, maple syrup, bananas, and so much more for extra flavor and texture.
Scoops and Bites
Scoops comprise 8 different types of ice cream flavors, all plant-based and dairy-free. Classic as well as creative flavors that taste delicious and are super healthy to eat are included in the menu. This includes pistachio with buttery hazelnut, mint with cacao chips, gooey chocolate with fudge, vanilla with salted caramel, cold brew with roasted espresso, and the list goes on and on.
If you stay away from sugary treats, you’d be pleased to know that Scoops are dairy- and gluten-free.
Bites are superfoods that are balled up in a variety of flavors – matcha, raspberry, hazelnut, coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and a few more trending and delicious treats. The best thing about these bites is that they’re packed with nutrition and healthy fats, ideal for boosting energy, helping with muscle recovery, and immunity-replenishing.
Some of the best come with rich and special flavors like cinnamon spice, ginger, matcha, dates, figs, and berries. Some contain nuts like almonds, while others are nut-free with natural sweeteners like coconut.
Lattes and Mylk
Plant-based milk and creamy espresso make up the Latte menu on Daily Harvest. There are 3 different coffee flavors with chocolate, matcha, lemongrass, and almond milk. Each serving comes with 2 single-serve pods of coffee.
To prepare the coffee, you need to run hot water over the sealed pod and unpack the contents into a microwave-safe mug for heating with any plant-based milk of your choice. You can also heat it on the stovetop with milk for 1 to 2 minutes.
You can make the lattes hot, iced, and Mylk-based (Daily Harvest’s plant-based and 100% whole milk). Mylk has no fillers, gums, preservatives, or added sugar. The Mylk is served in wedges that you simply need to blend with water to make into the liquid quickly.
You can even use Mylk wedges for smoothies, oat bowls, chia bowls, and lattes. They have two flavors – almond and almond and vanilla flavor.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Meal Customization
Thistle lets you modify orders and customize the meal plans according to the number of servings and meals for each week. If you’re looking for meal customization to eliminate some ingredients from your meal plan, that’s not possible with Thistle.
Thistle already features a gluten-free and organic plant-based diet for vegetarians and an organic and healthy meat-based diet for those who eat meat. So, the majority of the meals already meet certain dietary requirements such as gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free.
The ingredients of each recipe are listed so you can see exactly what a meal contains. Also included on every recipe card are the nutrition profile, reviews, and plant-based or meat options for you to pick from.
You can, however, customize your order until the cutoff time, which is before midnight Friday. So, you have until 11:59 pm on Thursday to make all the necessary changes.
You can add or remove meals, skip a week, pause your subscription, change the delivery address, and move the delivery date up or down based on the options available to you.
On the Meal Plan page, after you log in, you can edit your meal deliveries easily. Click on the Custom plan to get started, and you can add or remove meals, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.
Daily Harvest offers more features of meal customization than Thistle. With them, you can customize the meals you want to add based on the ingredients you like and dislike and your dietary requirements.
Based on the filters you select, the menu matches your needs accurately. It’s very accessible and straightforward, which makes browsing for different meal varieties on Daily Harvest very exciting and easy.
The menu also features separate subcategories of meals such as Smoothies, Harvest Bowls, Harvest Bakes, Flatbreads, Soups, Forager Bowls, Scoops, Bites, Lattes, and Mylk.
Within each sub-page or sub-menu, you can filter the meals by ingredient and dietary need. If you’re keeping away from carb-heavy meals, there is a filter for that. If you’re on a low-calorie diet, you can select the filter that shows only those meals with fewer than 250 calories per serving.
In this manner, you can customize your meals by diet types such as FODMAP, AIP, Keto, and Paleo or by nutritional value such as low fat, low carb, high protein, high fiber, low sugar, and low sodium.
You can also make quick changes to any order before the cutoff time, which is 5:59 pm ET every Sunday before the delivery week begins.
You simply have to log in to your account and go to your plan details. From there, you can quickly edit your orders by adding or removing meals, skipping a delivery, pausing a subscription, and changing your delivery address.
You can even cancel your subscription temporarily. If you do it before the cutoff time, you will receive a refund promptly, and all your pending orders will get inactive.
If you pause or cancel your deliveries after the cutoff time, the pending order gets delivered to your home address without fail and then the new changes get updated on your account. For emergencies, you can easily contact customer care to help you out.
Thistle vs Daily Harvest – Nutrition and Recipes
Thistle gives you the option to select between a plant-based meal and meat for the same meal recipe. Every lunch and dinner meal recipe comes with two such protein options, and you can select which one you want.
In comparison, Daily Harvest is an all-plant-based meal service, but it does feature many meat-inspired recipes that I will use as examples too.
|Roasted Veggie &Romesco Pasta||Squash & Wild Rice Gratin|
|610 calories||590 calories|
|28 g fat||33 g fat|
|74 g carbs||58 g carbs|
|27 g protein||20 g protein|
|Thistle Cobb Salad||Brussel Sprouts & Tahini|
|590 calories||520 calories|
|19 g fat||36 g fat|
|87 g carbs||37 g carbs|
|23 g protein||18 g protein|
|Hearty Green Juice||Avocado & Greens Smoothie|
|60 calories||260 calories|
|0.5 g fat||14 g fat|
|12 g carbs||24 g carbs|
|2 g protein||8 g protein|
|Superfood Ashwagandha & Seed Bar||Matcha & Murasaki Bites|
|460 calories||80 calories|
|41 g fat||3 g fat|
|17 g carbs||12 g carbs|
|10 g protein||1 g protein|
|Violet Smoothie with Blackberry & Hibiscus||Strawberry & Goji Berry Bowl|
|290 calories||280 calories|
|18 g fat||7 g fat|
|31 g carbs||48 g carbs|
|6 g protein||8 g protein|
|Dirty Rice Bowl||Red Cabbage & Buckwheat Donburi (Plant-Based)|
|530 calories||670 calories|
|20 g fat||28 g fat|
|60 g carbs||88 g carbs|
|30 g protein||16 g protein|
Frequently Asked Questions About Thistle and Daily Harvest
Where Do They Deliver?
Thistle delivers to a select few parts of the United States such as San Francisco Bay Rea, Sacramento, the Greater LA area, and some parts of Las Vegas, Seattle, and Portland.
Local delivery throughout California and some parts of Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are accessible. The meals get delivered directly by Thistle, which may be restrictive for some regional areas, but overall, their delivery is on time and consistent.
To know whether they deliver to you or not, you can enter your zip code to view your options. The menu plan varies according to the location. It is a weekly rotating menu, which means the meals keep changing from week to week.
Any changes that you’d like to make to an order after you’ve placed it can be easily done before the cutoff time, which is at midnight every Thursday before the delivery week. Changing your existing delivery address and leaving any special delivery instructions are possible before the cutoff.
You can set up any order with special delivery instructions like sending timely notifications regarding the delivery of an order, ringing the doorbell, leaving the parcel unattended on your doorstep, etc. It’s easy to modify the delivery settings of orders.
Daily Harvest uses special delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub for the delivery of parcels. They currently deliver to NYC, LA, Philly, Miami, Austin, DC, Baltimore, and very soon to Atlanta as well.
According to their website, they deliver to 95% of the continental United States. If you want to check for your area, you can enter the ZIP code on their Get Started page to check for availability.
The cutoff time is 6 pm ET every Sunday before the delivery week. Before that, you can change your delivery address and modify your order easily without paying extra. Pausing, skipping, and reverse modifications are also possible before the cutoff time.
Is the Packaging Durable and Eco-Friendly?
Thistle packs meals in single-serve containers. Sometimes, the sauces and condiments come in 2 servings to save excess plastic usage. You can easily read the labels on each packed item to know exactly what it’s used for.
Salads and dry ingredients are stored in cups instead of sealed bags. Wet ingredients like protein and marinated foods are stored in airtight seal bags and cups depending on the serving size.
All of the packaging provided by Thistle is recyclable, including the thermal cooler bags that keep the food fresh during transportation. Some of the plastic containers containing dry ingredients can be washed and reused for storage easily.
Plastics used for wet ingredients must also be thoroughly washed or rinsed before recycling.
Thistle also reuses their packaging, especially the 64-ounce ice packs and carry bags. If you keep them on your doorstep, the Thistle delivery person will pick them up while delivering your next order.
Daily Harvest offers a recycling and packaging guide for all the packaging materials it uses. How to get rid of each plastic container, cup, lid, and seal is mentioned on their recycling page.
It’s safe because all the packaging provided by Daily Harvest is recyclable in some way. Although it might take you some time to get used to the process of recycling, from the guidelines mentioned, I take it that it’s not as accessible as Thistle’s, but it’s worth it.
Daily Harvest uses sustainable materials that are compostable, recyclable, and post-consumer recyclable for safe and eco-friendly packaging.
During transit, the meals are frozen and kept cold with the help of dry ice. Once the dry ice melts, you can then remove the meals from a cardboard box and place them in the freezer.
Based on the weather, more or less dry ice will be used to ensure the food stays frozen and fresh. Once the dry ice dissolves, you can recycle the entire box and insulated bags for curbside pickup or take them to a recycling center nearby. Most of the paper materials are also made with plant-based parts, which makes them eligible for curbside pickup.
Are They Allergy-Friendly?
All of Thistle’s meals are dairy-, egg-, and gluten-free. If you have an allergy to these ingredients, then opting for Thistle is a safe option.
Thistle also offers some meals that do not contain soy and nuts. You can read the ingredients list of each recipe to find the ones that are allergy-friendly. Thistle lets you customize your meals by removing those that don’t contain common allergens.
You can also opt for a meal substitute in case you don’t want to eat a specific meal. Substitute meals, if available, will be accessible to you in place of the meal that contains an allergen.
Since all the meals are gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, Thistle does not process the meals in a gluten-, dairy-, and egg-included facility. It’s kept out of reach, so you can rest assured that there won’t be any chance of cross-contamination.
Thistle does its best to accommodate different allergies and help you find meals that are healthy and personalized to your taste.
Daily Harvest, on the other hand, processes all ingredients in the same facility. Though they offer specific filters for excluding ingredients, the meals are still processed together. So, there is a risk of cross-contamination.
Read the labels on all their meals carefully if you have a severe allergy to deal with. Daily Harvest is very transparent about how they process their ingredients, especially common allergens like peanuts, soy, eggs, and dairy.
All the meals on Daily Harvest are gluten-free and plant-based, which is safe for people with gluten and meat allergy. But it does process gluten for other meals in the same kitchen, so there is the risk of cross-contamination that you need to keep in mind before subscribing.
Thistle Pros and Cons
- Great meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
- Gluten-, egg-, and dairy-free meals for allergies.
- Locally sourced ingredients are organic and very healthy.
- All meals are made without artificial ingredients and preservatives.
- The nutrition profile is balanced and weight loss-friendly.
- It does accommodate allergies to gluten, egg, and dairy.
- Easy to customize meal orders with recyclable packaging.
- No meal customization for ingredients and dietary needs.
- Limited delivery locations.
- No information about organic ingredients.
- All the meals are single-serve, which increases the use of plastic.
- No dietary restrictions for low-calorie, high-protein, keto, and paleo diets.
- Higher cost per serving than most other meal delivery services.
Daily Harvest Pros and Cons
- All meals are gluten-free and plant-based.
- Various filters to add or remove ingredients like avocado, nuts, spices, garlic, caffeine, etc.
- You can also filter the meals by dietary preferences – keto, paleo, low-calorie, etc.
- The meals are frozen to prolong their shelf life.
- Snacks, desserts, smoothies, and quick bites are also included.
- The meals require minimal prep and no cleanup.
- This is a great option for vegans and vegetarians looking for a foolproof meal plan.
- The packaging is durable and sustainable.
- Most meals are relatively expensive with small portions.
- It’s not the best choice for full, satisfying meals.
- Some of the ingredients are not organic.
- The meals are not filling enough for most people.
- Not a suitable choice for people with food allergies.
What Do You Think?
If you’re seriously considering making a new lifestyle choice, meal subscription services like Thistle and Daily Harvest can help.
The first thing that needs to stop completely is takeout food. Ordering takeout is very expensive, but on busy days, that seems like your only option. A meal subscription takes care of that effectively plus trumps any impulse purchases that you might make.
Subscribing to a meal kit service is not complex or confusing. They have interesting meal recipes that you can select from, and the meals are freshly cooked and packed with the help of ice packs and insulation. You can be as picky as you like and find meals that fit your dietary needs.