Healthy Food, Quick As A Flash: HelloFresh Rapid
I love cooking, but it's only in the last ten years that I've really got into it. When I first met my husband, I was working full time in London and our evenings mainly consisted of sitting on the M4 for hours, followed by a corned beef sandwich and a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I never had time to go to the shops as I wasn't home, so it was a case of whatever was in the fridge with a dash of mayo. Lucky Joe.
Since I've had children, my cooking skills have upped a level. At weekends, I'm a regular dinner party host and there's nothing better than having friends round and taking the time to prepare something special. However, during the week I work full time and it's much harder to pull it all together. As a result, my kids are well versed in a selection of standard weekday fare on a rotation basis. This includes frozen pizza, sausages, fish fingers, chicken nuggets (or goujons if I'm trying to up my game), all prepared with a selection of various potato shapes including chips, waffles and even smiley faces. I know, I spoil them.
There's something that is so much more satisfying when you cook from scratch, using fresh ingredients rather than a pre prepared dish but let's be honest, during the week we are all busy and although I have all the best intentions to plan my weekly meals in advance, my lifestyle often just doesn't work that way. Every week day evening, I will mostly be found ferrying countless children to football, kick boxing and after school activities so the time and inclination to cook something special is seriously lacking. So when HelloFresh asked me to trial their new Rapid box, I jumped at the chance. As did the rest of my family who are, quite frankly, a little bit bored of freezer specials.
The Rapid box takes 20 minutes from fridge to plate which already has 'winning' written all over it. You can choose a box for either two or four people and it includes three meals. My three meals were Beef Tostada, Pork & Lentils and Red Thai Prawn Curry, all of which were good choices for my family. The Classic box can be ordered for five meals a week and the Family box for four. It arrived on the day specified - a Sunday - and was sturdily packaged in a recyclable box.
So how easy were the recipes? Very easy! Instructions were clear and concise, my daughter Ella cooked them with me and she could most probably have completed them herself without my input (and she's not even taking GCSE Food Tech). All three took precisely the amount of time promised on the cards and were absolutely delicious. Portion sizes were large and there was more than sufficient for four people.
Having your ingredients delivered to your door really does have some serious benefits. Here's my summary of the HelloFresh experience and five reasons why it's such a good idea to avoid the supermarket.
1. It Fits Your Lifestyle
For me, the most exciting thing about the Rapid box is that it really does only take 20 minutes to produce a fresh meal. Like most of us, I have a busy lifestyle and am often not ready to start cooking until 7pm at the earliest, so a quick turnaround is essential. Even if you go for the Classic and not the Rapid option, it's still a maximum of 50 minutes cooking time. There's also a Family box from which you can order four meals a week.
If you work full time, it's an excellent way to have a good, nutritious and healthy meal instead of grabbing a ready meal or worse, a takeaway for ease. We all do it, let's be honest! Plus it doesn't even involve a trip to the supermarket as it's delivered to your door. You're saving petrol money and time but most of all, the stress of doing a shop or standing in a queue when you've been working all day. And you're not tempted to buy any of those extras that are likely to drop into your basket. Perfect.
2. It's Straight To Your Door
You can schedule your delivery for the day that suits you, even if it's a Sunday. Delivery is free of charge by courier and arrives in a large cardboard box with each of the three dry meal ingredients in a separate paper bag.
Cold ingredients are stored in a recyclable cold bag ready for the fridge. It took me about five minutes to put it all away and I was set for the week.
3. You Can Pick From a Menu
Every week, there's a whole selection of menu choices. You can pick your favourite three and there's plenty of vegetarian and even low calorie options. This menu changes regularly and there's a whole host of fab ideas to choose from.
The recipe cards are on laminated card and are clear and easy to read, handy for propping up next to the cooker. Where possible, the ingredients are from independent, organic producers so you are also supporting small business at the same time.
4. There's No Food Or Packaging Wastage
One of the issues going on in my cupboard is wasted food. Half empty pasta packets that have been there for six months, vegetables I bought in bulk and only used half and condiments that are rarely utilised. From a space saving point of view, it doesn't really work.
HelloFresh give you EXACTLY what you need. Thai spice? A small pot is precisely the amount you need for the dish. Four and a half carrots? In the bag. Honey for your carrots? A sachet is the perfect quantity. So there's no food waste and no cupboard storing of leftovers required. This is not only good for your kitchen but also good for the environment as the majority of the packaging is recyclable.
5. Customer Service Is Key
HelloFresh are there to help you if you've got any problems, from menu suitability to delivery instructions. You can e mail them, call them or even live chat. They'll sort out any issues quicker than you can say 'dinner is served'.
Oh, and if you are away for a week, want to make changes or want a week off, it's the click of a button via the handy HelloFresh app that you can upload to your phone. Plus, there's a recipe archive on the website that's super helpful for meal ideas.
So that's my summary. I've really enjoyed trialling this product and will definitely be using it again. The children are happy that they are no longer freezer fed, Joe is happy that he's not thrown a corned beef sandwich and a packet of crisps when he walks through the door and I'm happy that I'm feeding my family fresh and healthy food. Oh, and I'm feeling VERY smug at my recipe prowess in the process. Happy cooking!
The product that I reviewed was the HelloFresh three day Rapid box. If you click here, you'll receive a whopping 50% off your first two boxes.
This sponsored post was in conjunction with the lovely people at HelloFresh. I would never consider promoting a product that I didn't love and wouldn't recommend to others.