REVIEW: HOW HEALTHY IS BLUE APRON?

When it comes to the kitchen, I’m not so adventurous. I like my routine of recycling the tried and true healthy recipes that require little time and little effort, like my four breakfasts. It’s also another way I monitor my caloric intake. If you’re boring like me, you need to spice things up in the kitchen and one way to do that is Blue Apron, a meal subscription service that delivers fresh ingredients and new meal ideas weekly. I was thrilled to try some new recipes but nervous about how healthy the food would be. Here’s how it turned out…
Blue Apron review

Blue Apron showed up exactly when it said it would…unlike your local cable provider. I was SUPER impressed by how neatly packed the box was with all ingredients pre-measured, individually wrapped, and labeled with Blue Apron stickers. There was even a nice welcome letter and recipe cards for me to keep. This week’s recipes included:

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs
Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas
Shrimp Quinoa “Fried Rice” with Asparagus and English Peas

Blue Apron quinoa shrimp fried rice
Blue Apron quinoa shrimp fried rice
Blue Apron review healthy
Blue Apron review healthy
Blue Apron review healthy
Blue Apron review healthy

PROs:
– Fresh ingredients.
– Easy-to-follow instructions.
– All ingredients are used (don’t you hate buying a whole head of lettuce, only to use half of it?)
– SUPER convenient.
– Restaurant quality food without restaurant prices. Each meal is $9.99 per person.
– Large portions.
– Recipes are printed and shared so you can recreate meals later.
– Recipes are shared ahead of time so if you don’t like a particular item, you can skip that week.
– You can cancel any time.

CONs:
– Even though the packaging is recyclable and bio-degradable, it seems really wasteful. I’m uncomfortable with the carbon footprint I leave with each delivery and the amount of cardboard and plastic used.
– Not great for those with dietary restrictions. Your only options are meat vs no meat. If you’re gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, halal, or just have specific food preferences, this may not be for you.
– Six day cancellation notice.

I wasn’t too thrilled with my first round of recipes. The spaghetti and enchilada recipes were mediocre compared to my own; however, the quinoa shrimp “fried rice” was amazing! The aromas of fresh cilantro, ginger, and garlic were intoxicating. That combined with the hoisin, sesame oil, and sambal oelek was unbelievable. It was by far the best thing I had made in my subpar NYC kitchen.

Most of the recipes fall between 600-800 calories per serving. After seeing that, my biggest concern was how healthy Blue Apron is as I typically keep my meals 400-500 calories. But as I previously mentioned, the Blue Apron portions are large. Each serving could actually serve two people. I had left overs every time. Even though the shrimp quinoa “fried rice” is 690 calories per serving, I consumed only half (around 350 calories) and was full…although, I was seriously tempted to eat the entire dish because it was so good!

Blue Apron includes a variety of vegetables in every dish and opts for healthy choices like whole wheat pasta, low-fat milk, and olive oil. And when the recipe calls for cheese or butter, you can use sparingly. Just because the recipe calls for it, doesn’t mean you have to use it! Replace butter with olive oil, or sour cream with greek yogurt.

Would I do it again? Absolutely, but I would limit my Blue Apron deliveries to once per month or every other month to limit my carbon foot print.

Have you tried Blue Apron? What did you think?

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  • TreesOnTheBeach

    I’m not a lean girl, or a girl for that matter, but I’m thinking about trying these guys. Thank you for the review that is not all positive with no negatives. It is appreciated!

    • Thanks for stopping by @treesonthebeach:disqus. I hope you tried them out and had a great experience. I will say, one of the biggest benefits is that it makes gourmet cooking relatively convenient. I’m no means a chef and I’m nowhere near as adventurous when it comes to food, but they made it easy for me to try new recipes.

      • Ray Domingo

        We’re on our second day. The nice thing is that it takes the guesswork out of what’s for dinner and they are relatively simple recipes. Regarding the calories…uh, cut the portion size. I find their portions to be on the larger size (and I’m not a small man).

  • Marie Sebbio Fero

    Hi All,
    We’ve been home cooks for a long while, and we also look closely at nutrition, etc. Does anyone think the calorie counts seem rather high in Blue Apron meals? We believe they’re much lower than indicated in the recipes. 🙂

    • Mary Lou Tierney

      Yes, I think calories are high as well as sodium! Trying to understand all the sodium. We’ve just finished our first week. Almost every step calls for more salt and peppers which I skip or do sparingly. The first two dinners were relatively painless – two pans and not too much longer to prepare than “advertised”. Last night’s dinner was too much – too many bowls and pans and took 3x the amount of time.

  • AirJunkie

    I just signed up with Blue Apron and they have recycling information. Particularly of interest is “Option 2: Return your packaging to us” for free. https://www.blueapron.com/account#recycle Just an ICYMI note. Thank you for your article.

    • @airjunkie:disqus – apologies for the delayed response. I did not know this, so thanks for letting me know they’ve updated their options.