It's about time for a review of another meal kit delivery service, and this week I'm talking about Splendid Spoon. The market has become incredibly saturated with these kinds of services, and I think it's important that you know as much as possible before spending your hard earned cash!
If you've been on the hunt for a completely fuss free system to get more plant-based meals into your diet, this is a review you should read. Splendid Spoon delivers ready to eat vegan meals (including bowls and smoothies) so that all of your meal prepping is already done for you.
(I should also note that Splendid Spoon sent me a week's worth of meals for me to try and review. As such, I consider this a sponsored post. That said, the strong opinions I hold about food will be in no way altered or impaired! I can promise that my review will as objective as ever.)
Table of Contents
The Review Criteria
For consistency’s sake, I usually consider the following eight metrics across all of my meal kit reviews: Variety of Options, Cost, Ease of Recipes, Average Time Spent, Clarity of Directions, Flavor, Recyclability of Packaging, and Replicability. I also have a Notes section that I use to pass along any other information to you that is applicable for each plan.
However, Splendid Spoon is the first service I've tried that has literally zero cooking involved whatsoever. That's right, y'all. All you have to do is heat and eat the bowls, or crack open the smoothies or shots and enjoy.
For that reason, this review is going to be missing a few categories that I usually cover, including Ease of Recipes, Average Time Spent, Clarity of Directions and Replicability.
Please note: since Splendid Spoon is a different category of meal kit delivery service, it's a little hard to compare it to competitors that ask you to cook the meals. For that reason, some of my categories won't be rated on a 5-scale like my other reviews.
Let's dig in!
Variety of Options
Splendid Spoon breaks their meals into 4 separate categories: Smoothies, Soups & Grains, Noodles, and "The Reset," which are low calorie soups. (They also offer three kinds of Wellness Shots, but they aren't meals.) From what I can tell, the options for these categories remains the same each week. That said, they have quite a few options within each category.
The menu includes 15 different Smoothie options, 30 different Soup/Grain options, 8 Noodle options and 5 Reset soups. In total, that's 58 different meals you can choose from. Not too shabby, Splendid Spoon!
Oh, and before you get indignant and argue that smoothies are not meals, I'd argue that they are hefty enough to sustain me until lunchtime, making them a perfect breakfast or light meal. That said, if you're not convinced you can always opt to get an "On Demand" box and omit the smoothies from your plan.
One thing to note is that the "Reset" comes as a package of all 5 of the light soups, with the idea being that you spend one day eating all five as a kind of cleanse. They also suggest that these "reset" soups can also be used as snacks throughout the week if you prefer.
In terms of purchasing, there are 4 subscription plans to choose from:
- Lunch (5 bowls)
- Breakfast + Lunch (5 smoothies + 5 soup/grain)
- Breakfast + Lunch + 1 Day Reset (5 smoothies + 5 soup/grain + 5 "reset" soups), or
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner + 1 Day Reset (5 smoothies + 5 soup/grain + 5 noodle + 5 "reset" soups)
They also offer an "On Demand" option where you can order mix & match style bundles of a preset number of items at any time as a one-time purchase.
Depending on which subscription or on demand package you choose, the meals (i.e. grain or noodle bowls, smoothies or soups) range in price from $9-$13 each. (For the first three boxes, you get a discount that can drop the price as low as $7.50 per meal). The wellness shots are $4 apiece.
While this clearly lands Splendid Spoon in the "premium" price category, there are a few things to consider here. First, literally all of the work is done for you. If convenience is a top concern of yours, this is dang near as easy and hassle free as you can get.
Secondly, the meals are all entirely vegan, gluten-free and GMO-free. For those of you who are concerned about potential gluten contamination, this is the best option that I have seen so far. At this price point, part of me wishes that the meals were also made with all certified organic produce, but non-GMO is a good starting place.
Finally, from what I can tell the shipping is also included in the price of the plans, meaning the meals are not going to exceed $13 apiece. While that might personally be too expensive for me and my family to regularly partake in, I can absolutely see the value in what Splendid Spoon is offering.
In terms of how good Splendid Spoon's meals taste, they are doing a great job. I'd rate them as a 4.5/5 in this category.
Typically speaking, I'm not a huge fan of pre-made smoothies. I worked at Jamba Juice as a teenager, and there's just something about the consistency of a freshly blended frozen smoothie that is unbeatable! (I should note that a lot of those JJ smoothies are loaded with added sugar, though, which is something I avoid as an adult.)
That said, since the smoothies arrived partially frozen, I was able to keep them cold enough to still have ice flakes when I went to drink them. Delicious! They did have a tendency to separate if left to defrost entirely, but that is to be expected. Some that had nut butters added were thicker than others that were purely fruit, but they were all delicious.
The smoothies I received in order of most to least enjoyed:
- Mango Guava
- Mint Chip
- Strawberry Goji
- Orange Hibiscus
- Cacao Almond
I received a few noodle bowls and a few grain bowls, but no soups. That said, every bowl I had was very tasty. And let me just say that the Vegan Meatball noodle ball was - MWAH (insert chef's kiss here) - delightful! I would literally order an entire "On Demand" box of exclusively those to keep in the freezer. I want that recipe!
My only complaint in this department is that the Brown Rice Taco Bowl tasted nothing like a taco. It tasted good, but had no flavor notes like cumin, coriander, hot pepper or really anything that would indicate that it was taco-ish in any conceivable way.
The taco bowl was actually kind of tangy, which was off-putting based on the name. Had it turned on me? Once I got over the mental hurdle and realized the problem was in the nomenclature, it was a perfectly pleasant lunch. If I had opened it thinking it was a black bean and vegetable salad bowl, I would have liked it immediately.
The bowls I received, in order of most to least enjoyed:
- Vegan Meatballs and Marinara Sauce
- Roasted Cauliflower Bowl
- Vegetable Bolognese Bowl
- Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta
- Brown Rice Taco Bowl
Recyclability of Packaging
To see my full unboxing, check out my YouTube video here!
I was super pleased with Splendid Spoon's packaging choices. I'll award them a 5/5 in this category, a first ever for any of the reviews! Here's why:
Not only were all of the items completely recyclable through curbside recycling, there were also no ice packs to dispose of because the meals themselves arrived frozen. SO SMART! That meant that I didn't have any plastic wrap to deal with, which is a near miracle in this space.
All of the insulation and packing materials were made of paper, meaning they can at least break down even if people opt not to recycle them.* The plastic used for the meal packaging is also BPA-free.
I also appreciated that all of the bowls came in the medium sized delitainers that I already use for all of my food storage, so they fit right into my collection seamlessly. I love when things are reusable!!
Finally, the company clearly values being environmentally friendly. In fact, they have a whole page on their site dedicated to explaining their commitment to sustainability. Excellent job, Splendid Spoon!
*Please don't be one of those people. Be kind to the planet. Recycling is as easy as microwaving a grain bowl for lunch!
Splendid Spoon did an excellent job of shipping the food in a way where most of it arrived frozen (AMAZING!). Not only did that impress me from an operations standpoint, but more importantly it allowed me to stretch out my shipment. I was able to throw many of the bowls and smoothies into my freezer, pulling them out on the days that I needed some help.
Because of this potential to extend the shelf-life of Splendid Spoon's meals, I could see myself ordering an On Demand box of bowls every now and then. Having some tasty, healthy, gluten free and vegan meals at the ready at all times regardless of how crazy my life gets? That's definitely something I could get behind.
I also appreciated that all of the meals that I received were under 400 calories apiece. While Splendid Spoon doesn't purport to be a weight loss program, it's absolutely conceivable that folks could potentially lose weight if they followed a strictly Splendid Spoon diet.
I should also note that while the calories were low for all of the meals, the satiety levels were decidedly not. As of the last few months, I have been getting back into running, which generally turns me into a Hungry Hungry Hippo. A smoothie for breakfast paired with a bowl for lunch were plenty to keep me going throughout the day without my energy flagging.
Splendid Spoon Review Conclusion
I should preface this review by saying that I am a person who literally cooks for a living. Cooking is my thing. I love to do it, so permanently relinquishing my meals to a meal kit service is literally never going to happen.
As my family's Chief Food Officer, I should also mention that I operate on a relatively tight food budget. Staying within (or under!) the USDA’s low cost food plan budget of about $9 per adult per day is part of my personal financial ethos. Spending that much per meal simply doesn't vibe with my normal lifestyle.
All that said, I quite honestly enjoyed my experience with Splendid Spoon. I can definitely see myself purchasing a box in the future to keep some healthy, easy grab and go items close at hand to keep myself in check on busy days or to feed Joe something nutritious when I'm not around to cook.
I could also see myself purchasing Splendid Spoon for Joe and my upcoming road trips now that we've turned the quar-ner. (Get it?? Sorry, couldn't help myself.) If the choice is between having to spend $5-10 on a fast food meal that I try to order as healthfully as possible or having a cooler stocked to the gills with veggie packed yumminess? I'm choosing the latter. Because I'll also obviously be eating my guilty road trip snacks.
So, if you're someone who doesn't have the time or desire to cook or meal prep, but you're wanting to eat healthy, plant-based foods, Splendid Spoon may be an excellent option for you. The meals come pre-cooked, pre-portioned and ready to roll. Splendid Spoon is completely vegan and gluten free, and appears to be prepared to handle some other food sensitivity issues.
As a result of this unsurpassed convenience, the pricing is definitely on the premium end of the spectrum. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash to keep your fridge stocked with good-for-you grab-and-go meals. But if money isn't a limiting factor or you're already used to eating out on the daily, Splendid Spoon isn't a crazy indulgence.
If you happen to give Splendid Spoon a shot, here's a link to $60 off your first three boxes! If you use that link, I will receive a commission for your purchase, which helps me keep this whole blogging thing going. So, thank you in advance if you try it!
More Honest Meal Kit Reviews
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Until next time, friends! I hope you have a happy, healthy and well-fed week.