Building more hours into the day and bringing a happy, healthy diet to the nation without resorting to diet fads and Hello Fresh is the new name helping you to be a high flier by day and a domestic god/goddess when you get home!
For a nation obsessed with food, drink and anything else we can consume, it is amazing how much of our day to day life is spent inhaling sub standard ingredients, whether intentionally or not. Jamie Oliver has tried his hand at nipping it in the bud, and the government bangs on about it with as much impact as a toothless crocodile, but no matter how many five minute recipes are produced, or how many basics lines in the supermarkets aim to bring down the prices of fresh produce, none of it will add more hours into the day for the vast majority of us who simply don’t have the time to plan, purchase and produce freshly cooked meals each evening if we want to be dining before midnight.
There will be a fair number of sceptics about this line of argument, surely it’s just a question of a well organised schedule? Well, that may well be the case, but as someone who’s weekday organisational skills descend from military to minute once I step out of the office, I empathise with the feeling that running your free time in that manner is simply unsustainable.
So this is where fresh foods service, Hello Fresh has tapped into a very useful service indeed, by removing two seriously time consuming elements from the equation – deciding what to buy and then actually managing to buy it.
Hello Fresh delivers all the ingredients in the correct quantities to your door, complete with recipe cards for meals that typically take 30 mins to prepare. So all you have to do is slice, dice, and pop it on the stove. You do have to have the basics such as olive oil, salt and pepper in your pantry already, but you don’t have to give another thought to the rest of it.
This type of home delivery is of course not unique diet food delivery services have been delivering food designed to keep honed and toned celebrities in shape without the risk of temptation for the best part of a decade now, and they have the added dimension of preparing all the ingredients as well. Not to mention the good old takeaway, the Friday night favourite of many a knackered busy bee. But Hello Fresh falls somewhere between the two – it isn’t a diet, but it’s healthy and balanced because everything is fresh and subsequently conducive to healthy living. It isn’t a take away because it still allows you the therapeutic wholesomeness of cooking your own food, a task that may seem like the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, but which produces the pleasant byproduct of allowing your brain to disengage from the day.
Best of all, the recipes are simple but effective, even with my lowly culinary skills. The three meals delivered to me provided enough for two people, and enough for lunch the next day. It also looked as though I had gone to a huge effort for my guests, which was extremely gratifying. Sea bream with ratatouille, lamb kofta with spiced couscous, and lamb pittas were my menu for three days; the food has a pleasantly low fuss nature to it with meals invariably featuring protein, vegetable and carbohydrate in rather traditional proportions – no room for carbaphobes and fad diets here!
The classic box for two people is priced at £39 for three meals, and you can order for two, four or six people for either three or five days. Obviously in terms of cost, it initially looks like something of an extravagance, but given that unplanned shopping usually results in a fridge full of ill matched ingredients and a large proportion of waste, it can no doubt result in a bit of a false economy that Hello Fresh does not.
What I also particularly liked about the service was that simple as they are, having been left with the recipe cards you are of course now able to reproduce the meals yourself should you find a time when you are able to fend for yourself in the isles of Tesco, and might even find yourself cooking things you had previously not considered.
I am not sure the idea is completely unique – it’s a bit like a cross between Ocado and Marks and Spencer’s meal deals, and you do still need to find the time to actually cook. Also, you need to have a think about where it is delivered because the box is too big to have it sent to the office and the fresh ingredients mean it needs to go straight in the fridge.
However, I couldn’t fault the food itself, and anything that gets us all feeling a little happier, healthier and bypassing trendy food fads has an enthusiastic thumbs up from me, so thanks Hello Fresh for an extremely well fed week! Now, that’s dinner sorted, what’s for lunch?
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