HelloFresh: Fresh? Certainly. Healthy? Ehhh…
It’s the twenty first century.
Getting your meals delivered is almost a no-brainer for anyone with a busy schedule, kiddos running around 24/7, or an absolute and undeniable hatred for grocery stores. And with the competitive prices these companies are offering, it doesn’t have to break the bank (or the waistline) either!
Although there are more local food delivery and meal prep services I would like to try out (listed at the end of this post!), I came upon a coupon code for HelloFresh and decided to give it a whirl. One less Sunday afternoon spent at the grocery store for me. BLESS.
*Also, before I dive in to my Hellofresh boxes, I’d like to make the following two disclaimers: A) This was not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my opinion on the nutritional value of the meals with you all, I hope you enjoy it! B) The quality of most of these pics are absolute garbage. Shortly after I snapped the pics for this post back in May, I discovered two amazing things: natural light and how to use the manual mode on my DSLR. So please bear with me. 🙂
Like anything else in this entire world, HelloFresh has an easy to use app. I really did think the app was simple to navigate- you can select your meals by week (only about 7-8 options per week to pick from) and if you can’t find 3 meals that look good to you, you can just postpone your order until the next week. Here’s a screenshot of one of the pages:
As you can see, HelloFresh is great at designating which meals contain gluten, dairy, are paleo friendly, etc. Nutritional information is also included for each meal, which I’ll get to a little later in the post. I picked out my three meals and selected my delivery date for the next week and was good to go.
Each meal came in its own labeled brown paper bag, which meant no confusion as to which ingredients went with which dinners. I threw my 3 bags in the fridge and forgot about them until it was time to meal prep!
Because all of the spices, ingredients, and veggies are already pre-portioned, my meal prep time was cut down significantly. The most prep I had to do was peel and cut up veggies, which I don’t mind doing most of the time anyway!
The Meals: Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with a Sweet Potato Mash and Garlicky Green Beans
The brown paper bag included a large recipe card, which I found to be a nice alternative to the “keep wiping the crap off of my fingers to unlock my phone screen to see the recipe” method that I normally abide by when making recipes from blogs or Pinterest online. I’d say the first recipe I made was definitely the hardest, probably at an intermediate level. I’m not too skilled in the meat-cooking department (especially a hunk of pork THAT large) and was a little nervous about making the maple glaze.
Oh. And the nutritional information I mentioned earlier? Let’s talk about that.
If you’re a decently-healthy eater like me, seeing an average of 900 calories per serving for these meals might be a little (a lot) alarming. I totally respect that not everyone wants to eat healthy for every meal, and maybe they’re even treating themselves when ordering meal delivery. After all, I did see a lot of burgers, sandwiches, and pasta dishes on the Hellofresh app, so that must be what sells! Even if the highest cal dish was 1,200. Yikes.
When making my selections for meals, I picked the healthiest options available and they weighed in (per serving) as follows:
- Maple Glazed Pork Chop: 710 calories, 35g fat, 58g carb, 24g sugar
- Parmesan Crusted Fish: 540 calories, 26g fat, 49g carb, 8g sugar
- Sweet Potato Hash: 820 calories, 28g fat, 87g carb, 13g sugar
Uhhh yeah. These were the healthiest choices available to me, and my first meal has almost as much sugar as a Snickers candy bar.
Now, let’s keep in mind that some of these macros aren’t necessarily bad for you. For example, the parmesan crusted fish (pictured later) has 26g of fat, but they give you a HUGE piece of tilapia. Fish is packed full with Omega-3s and healthy fats, so unless this baby is coated with butter, the 26g of fat is okay. So let’s say “proceed with caution”.
Remember that you don’t HAVE to stick exactly to these recipes- I didn’t! The recipe for the Maple Glazed Pork Chop in particular called for 3 tablespoons of butter melted and poured over the green beans.
There’s 300 of my calories right there! Mystery solved. I can swallow the idea of a 600 calorie dinner a littttle easier than before, knowing I’m losing a good amount of the saturated fat as well. Oh, and those mashed sweet ‘taters? I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I don’t think I’ll eat them without pecans again! Hello Thanksgiving dinner.
The maple glazed pork chop was definitely the most indulgent of my three meals, but what I’ve got next was clean, fresh, and made me fall in love with crusting my fish.
The Meals: Parmesan Crusted Fish with Herbed Potatoes and Carrots
My only complaint about this recipe would be the lack of vegetables.
One carrot? For two meals- really? One??
I was complaining to a friend the next day about the lack of vegetables in this meal, and she made a good point. Why didn’t you just add more of your own? Right. Good point. Maybe next time I order from HelloFresh I’ll make sure I have a couple extra veggies hanging out in the produce drawer of my refrigerator, but that’s really not the point of having my food delivered. I’d still have to drive to the store!
Other than the lack of green (or orange) on my plate, I was totally happy with how easy to prep this meal was. I usually try to stay away from any fish or chicken that’s “crusted” as it usually means that’s extra carbs and/or butter to make the crust stick to the fish. But with a total of 540 calories per serving on the original recipe, I was happy to try something new. And I’m glad I did!
As it turns out, the 1 tablespoon of butter (for 2 servings) wasn’t even necessary to include in the parmesan crust for the tilapia. The recipe called for melting the butter and pouring it straight over the carrots and potatoes. Do I sense a theme here…?
Listen, I might be a little health-nut cracked out sometimes, but I think vegetables taste good enough on their own with the proper seasoning, cooking techniques, and maybe even a little olive oil or coconut oil if necessary. But butter? Nah. I’m good.
The quality of the tilapia was fantastic, and it was such a big piece (bigger than any size I’ve EVER seen at my local Kroger!) I saved some leftovers for the next day. The crunch of the breadcrumbs and flaky parmesan on the outside of the warm, tender fish worked together marvelously. The crust was just a mix of (a very moderate amount) breadcrumbs, parmesan, olive oil, and spices. I can get down with that. And I’ll be the first to admit there should have been a few more potato halves on this plate- I couldn’t help sneaking a couple while the fish was finishing up in the oven! This is definitely a meal I’ll be replicating soon.
The Meals: Southwestern Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon and Avocado Lime Crema
TBH, when picking out my meals, I guessed that this would be the “lowest calorie” option.
However, as I mentioned before, healthy doesn’t always translate to low-calorie. This recipe is packed with tons of good-for-you ingredients: black beans, sweet potato, and avocado. Each of these are higher in calories but are great sources of protein, healthy carbs, and good fat (respectively) when eaten in moderation.
And I just found another plus to Hellofresh- they give you exactly the right amounts of ingredients, so you won’t accidentally overdo it on one thing or another! I’m the unnamed queen of “eating just a few more” pieces of my leftover ingredients until they’re all gone, and I’ve eaten enough for three people. Whoops.
The original recipe (2 servings) called for four ounces of HUGE strips of bacon, cooking the sweet potato in said bacon fat, and two tablespoons of sour cream. Because tonight wasn’t a “treat yoself” type of night, I saved the bacon for another meal and cooked my sweet potato in a little olive oil instead. Oh, and the sour cream? It was to be used for the “avocado lime crema” on top of the dish. Hold up. WHO decided that one needs to add sour cream to avocado to make it taste better??
I skipped the sour cream entirely and mashed up my avocado with the included cilantro and other seasonings instead, and made a makeshift guacamole. Then, I cooked up the rest of the recipe as listed and had a few leftovers for the next day. I was satisfied and full from my last HelloFresh meal!
- Ordering process and shipping was seamless and high-quality
- Decently healthy options, if you tweak just a little
- Included large, easy-to-read recipe cards with each meal
- All ingredients included in package except olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter
- WHAT IS WITH ALL THE BUTTER??
- Not enough veggies! Throw a girl a couple extra carrots, ya’ll
- All of the meals I received needed to be made within 5 days, so there wasn’t much room in my schedule for spontaneous trips out to eat. (so uhh maybe that’s a pro..?)
All in all, I enjoyed the meals I received in my HelloFresh box and would definitely order from them again. However, there are so many (seemingly healthier) services out there today that I might explore the market a bit more before coming back! Here’s a few I plan on trying out in the future:
Porttion Gourmet: Healthy Meal Delivery in Columbus, Ohio. No cooking necessary!
Food by Bel: Another Meal Delivery service in Columbus. I follow her on IG and man oh mannn do their healthy options look yummy!