Healthy eating made simpler (but does it taste good?)

Healthy eating made simpler (but does it taste good?)

There’s something appealing about receiving a boxful of ingredients with all the spices and loose ingredients measured out for you in little pots and pouches, primed for action. It’s like the wrapped-up neatness of plane food – but without the bland, mass-produced taste and plastic cutlery. How much more appealing if the ready-to-go kit delivers you a healthy meal in less than half an hour (with, okay, a bit of chopping and cooking on your part)?

That’s exactly what kitmeister company Hello Fresh is offering. We thought it’s an idea worth road-testing, so two of us put one of the three-meal kits for two through its paces. Here’s the verdict…

The pros: the vegetables are super-fresh (it would weird if they weren’t  given the name of the company), the meat is of good quality, the fish is sustainably sourced, and there’s no wastage because it’s all measured for you, ready to go. If you like to cook, it’s gratifying you have to do a bit of chopping and stirring, which means you can still call it proper cooking. The instructions are given in pictures and words, so it would be hard to go wrong.

The cons: if you’re a keen cook, it’s a bit daft having 1tbsp of balsamic vinegar presented in a tiny (albeit recyclable) pot as you’re likely to have it in the cupboard anyway. But then this is no-thinking-required food (okay, if that’s what you want, but I’m happy to think about food, any time). I was disappointed with the lack of seasonality: one of our dishes featured tomatoes in a starring role – distinctly lacking flavour in the middle of winter. Also new potatoes, which are months away from coming into season. It seems a missed opportunity not to make use of slow-release-carb butternut squash or pumpkin, to lend comfort-factor satisfaction as the temperatures plummet to freezing outside. Flavour was slightly lacking, too: pearl barley could have been cooked in veg stock, rather than water, and freshly chopped herbs wouldn’t have gone amiss stirred through the salad for the chicken dish or as a finisher for the bean stew.

The cost: a three-meal box for two works out at around £6.50 per head, which isn’t prohibitively expensive – but a darn sight more than a ready meal from one of the supermarket ‘healthy’ ranges.

Overall, though, if you’re time-poor and want to cut out decision-making, thinking, shopping, weighing of
ingredients and food wastage, the boxes have a certain appeal. Visit to find out more.

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