For many people, making the switch to a plant-based diet can be tough. This is especially so if you’re venturing to do so alone and for the first time. Among the questions first-timers have, these are the most common…
- Where do I start?
- What if I don’t like it?
- Is the food going to taste good?
Thankfully, with the explosion of speciality vegan meal kits you have the opportunity to dip your toe into going plant-based, without having to five in head first.
Today, we’re looking at one of the most popular plant-based cleanses on the market — Splendid Spoon. They’re a plant-based, gluten-free meal delivery service that’s designed to help you eat high-quality, nutritionally balance, and convenient vegan meals.
Splendid Spoon was launched back in 2013 by Nicole Centeno, a French Culinary Institute trained chef who wanted to make eating healthy an easier experience.
The Splendid Spoon program is a bit different from your average meal kit (keep reading to find out why). The unique program they’ve developed for their customers is based off of research regarding diet and fasting, customer feedback, and more.
If you’re ready to learn more, here’s what you need to know before making up your mind…
To get started and place your first order with Splendid Spoon, you’ll have a couple options to choose from. There are 3 main plans:
- Lunch — Includes 5 grain bowls or soups delivered weekly
- Breakfast + Lunch — Includes 5 smoothies and 5 grain bowls or soups delivered weekly
- Breakfast + Lunch + Reset — Includes 5 smoothies, 5 grain bowls or soups and 1 full-day reset delivered weekly
Choosing your plan really depends on what your goals are. If you’re looking for Splendid Spoon to make lunchtime a bit less of a hassle, I’d recommend going with the Lunch plan. On the other hand, if you’re looking for the “whole 9 yards”, their Breakfast + Lunch + Reset plan is worth checking out.
No matter which plan you choose, you’ll be in full control of what is in your box. After you choose your plan, you’ll have the option to choose what’s in your box, your shipping preferences, and actually checkout, you can make your specific meal selections. Or, you can always let Splendid Spoon make those decisions for you.
Types of Food They Offer
When people think of going vegan, the initial thought that usually goes through their mind often revolves around taste. Vegan and plant-based meals have a reputation for not having flavor or variety.
Based on the foods Splendid Spoon offers on their site as well as the foods they sent us (which we go in-depth on later) this meal kit takes flavor and variety seriously. You don’t have to worry about boring your tastebuds.
Below is a quick rundown of some of the options you can expect. However, they’re constantly updating the menu so these specific smoothies and soups are subject to change…
- Orange Hibiscus Smoothie
- Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
- Strawberry Goji Smoothie
- Green Matcha Smoothie
To see an an updated look at their current smoothies, check out our newest video review here.
What’s great about the smoothies is that they are all nutritionally well-rounded in terms of having the right amount of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. This is especially important when following a vegan diet.
Lunch (Grain Bowls & Soups)
- Pumpkin Pear Bisque Soup
- Green Split Pea Soup
- Tuscan White Bean & Tomato Grain Bowl
- Lemon Wild Rice & Broccoli Grain Bowl
Check out our in-depth video review (unboxing, cooking, taste test) of their grain bowls above.
Reset Meal (Soup)
- Butternut Turmeric Soup
- Cauliflower Potato Chowder Soup
- Fennel Consommé Soup
- Pumpkin Pear Hempseed Soup
Upon looking at the list of different meal options they offer the first time I peeked at their site, I was blown away. Some of the combinations seemed too strange to possibly taste good (example: Lentil & Kale with Saigon Cinnamon & Rosemary). However, I kept an open mind (and it ended up paying off in the end).
Splendid Spoon delivers orders to all of the contiguous United States. Unfortunately, that does mean they’re unable to ship to Alaska and Hawaii. However, you can always check back at a later date to see if they’ve expanded their service to your area if you live in either one of those states.
Each order is delivered via FedEx. You can expect orders to arrive either on Wednesday or Friday, as those are their only two available delivery days at this time. They are working to add more delivery days for their customers. Luckily, you’ll have the ability to choose your delivery day and you won’t need to be home in order to receive it.
Because your food is shipped frozen, this allows Splendid Spoon to use minimal packaging that’s also recyclable, biodegradable, compostable, and/or reusable. In fact, the packaging they’re currently using has 67% fewer materials than what they used previously. The boxes and containers they use are all 100% BPA-free.
The boxes, cardboard sleeves, bowls, tote bags, and the bottles you’ll find inside your box are all recyclable. The padded insulation is also recyclable and biodegradable. The plastic encasing that surrounds the padding can be recycled and the interior can be thrown in the trash since it will biodegrade.
Ice packs are used to keep your food cold, which can be reused or recycled. If you want to get rid of them, simply drain the non-toxic, eco-compatible fluid that’s inside. Then, you can recycle the plastic liner.
For many, making the leap to a plant-based diet is more than just changing the food you eat. It’s a lifestyle change. Going plant-based is a great way to minimize your carbon footprint so the fact that Splendid Spoon reflects this in their packaging is a great to see.
Freshness of Food
All of the ingredients that Splendid Spoon uses to create their meals are non-GMO and sourced within the United States. In fact, they choose to source their ingredients within a 200-mile radius of their kitchen whenever possible to ensure freshness.
Their products are not 100% organic. They are, however, working towards being fully organic in the future. For now, they do offer a number of smoothies that are organic. These are noted on their site, should you only want to eat organically.
Each meal is made in small batches with fresh, whole vegetables. Then, everything is packaged immediately and flash-frozen or High Pressure Processed. With flash-freezing, they’re able to lock-in the vitamins, nutrients, and flavor of every meal. For the High Pressure Processed technique, the bottles are pressurized at cold temperatures to kill any potentially harmful pathogens and maintain the nutrition of the ingredients.
These processes will keep your meals fresher for a longer period of time, but how long will they really last? If you store them in the fridge, they’ll be good for one week. However, if you stash them in the freezer, they’ll be safe to eat for up to one month.
Upon opening our box, inspecting each, and actually eating/drinking them, everything we received from Splendid Spoon seemed as fresh as possible. On all of the packages they include a “best by” date so you have a good idea of when you should have it by. While this seems like a simple detail, it’s one that’s greatly appreciated. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve gone to eat/drink a smoothie or juice that we ordered a while ago, only to find that it doesn’t have a “best by” date.
Ease of Cooking
Preparing the meals couldn’t be easier since they’ve already been made for you. You simply need to heat them up or enjoy them as is, depending on which one you’re consuming.
While you could technically eat the soups cold, we found heating them up in the microwave actually brought out more of the flavor. Just pop it in for a minute, take it out to stir, and pop it back in for a minute or so. Same goes for the grain bowls!
The smoothies can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature. We found that they were perfect to pack in a bag or briefcase to take as an “on the go” breakfast.
In our first Splendid Spoon Box, we received the following:
Breakfast Smoothies (1 each day for 5-days a week)
- Plant Based Probiotic: Purified Water, Organic Bananas, Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Almonds, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Flax Seeds, Himalayan Salt, GanedenBC30 Vegan Probiotic
- Raspberry Cacao: Purified Water, Organic Bananas, Organic Raspberries, Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Cashew Butter, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Beet Juice, Organic Rose Water, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cacao, Himalayan Salt
- Ab&J Smoothie: Purified Water, Organic Strawberry Puree, Organic Bananas, Organic Almond Butter, Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Baobab Powder, Organic Pea Protein, Himalayan Salt
- Blueberry Acai: Organic Coconut Water, Organic Blueberries, Cashews, Organic Lemon Juice, Coconut Meat, Pea Protein, Organic Acai, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Beans
- Cacao Almond: Water, Coconut Water, Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk® (Almondmilk, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum), Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Cacao Nibs, Prunes, Sesame Seeds, Pea Protein, Vanilla Beans
Soups (1 each day for 5-days a week)
- Beans and Greens: Water, Organic Carrots, Pinto Beans, Onions, Black Beans, Spinach, Bok Choy, Organic Tomatoes (Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Juice, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride), Organic Celery, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Sea Salt, Curry Powder, Rosemary, Cumin, Black Pepper
- Chickpea Harissa Tahini: Water, Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Tahini (Crushed Sesame Seeds), Organic Tomatoes (Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Juice, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride), Onions, Currants, Scallions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Harissa (Sweet Paprika, Garlic, Caraway Seeds, Sea Salt, Hot Chili Peppers, Vegetable Oil, Water), Sea Salt, Sumac Powder, Cumin, Ginger, Coriander, Black Pepper
- Cauliflower Tikka: Water, Cauliflower, Organic Tomatoes (Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Juice, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride), Onions, Cashews, Tomato Paste, Coconut Oil, Lemon Juice, Coriander, Cumin, Cilantro, Ginger, Turmeric, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Chili Powder
- Ikarian Stew: Water, Tomato Puree, Black Eyed Peas, Fennel, Onions, Olive Oil, Garlic, Dill, Rosemary, Sea Salt, Black Pepper
- Lentil and Kale: Vegetable Stock (Purified Water, Carrots, Onions, Herbs), Red And Green Lentils, Lacinato Kale, Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Sea Salt, Madras Curry, Cinnamon, Black Pepper
Cleanse (all 5 in 1 day)
- Cauliflower Coconut: Purified Water, Cauliflower, Navy Beans, Yellow Onions, Celery, Coconut Oil, Garlic, Madras Cury, Sea Salt, Dry Rosemary, Black Pepper
- Pumpkin Pear Hempseed: Pumpkin, Pear, Onions, Hempseed, Garlic, Lemon juice, Sea salt, Vanilla extract, Rosemary, Saigon Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Cardamom
- Carrot Turmeric Elixir: Carrots, Coconut milk, Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Ginger, Sea Salt, Turmeric, Rosemary, Black pepper, Cayenne Pepper
- Vegan Bone Broth: Shitake Mushrooms, Carrots, Celery, Bak Choy, Spinach, Ginger, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Pumpkin Seeds, Thai Basil, Sea Salt, Cumin, Spirulina, Rosemary, Black Pepper
- Garden Minestrone (soup): Water, Organic Tomatoes (Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Juice, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride), Zucchini, Navy Beans, Tomato Paste, Onions, Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes, Green Beans, Organic Carrots, Organic Kale, Organic Celery, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Oregano, Chili Powder
The first thing we noticed is that these smoothies are hearty. By that I mean they pack a lot into a little container and you can tell by the texture and thickness. If hearty and thick smoothies aren’t your thing and you’d rather it be more “drinkable”, just throw it in the blender with some ice cubes. That’s what we did to make it more like a juice.
The first smoothie we tried was the Blueberry Acai (as seen in this video review). It definitely seemed fresher than similar smoothies we’ve purchased at the grocery store and local health food store. While I’m not usually a big fan of added protein, the pea protein in it was barely noticeable. Overall, it had a nice fruity taste. As did almost all of the breakfast smoothies.
Next, we moved on to the soups. We first tried the Lentil and Kale. Since it’s fully cooked, you can eat it cold but we decided to heat it up. What we noticed about the soups is that, like the smoothies, they’re super hearty as well. Splendid Spoon packs a ton of veggies into these soups! Surprisingly, the addition of the cinnamon added a nice added kick to it.
Grain Bowls Taste
The addition of grain bowls to the Splendid Spoon family is newer so we didn’t have them in our first box. However, in our August 2019 box, we did receive the grain bowls.
These bowls are the perfect addition to Splendid Spoon. Why? There’s something you miss when you are only drinking smoothies and eating soups. It’s like your brain wants to chew something. These grain bowls are both hearty and filling, yet packed with flavor and nutrients.
The current pricing for each plan is as follows:
- Lunch — $65 per week ($13 per meal)
- Breakfast + Lunch — $85 per week ($8.50 per meal)
- Breakfast + Lunch + Reset — $125 per week ($8.33 per meal)
Obviously, the best deal is both the “Breakfast + Lunch” and “Breakfast + Lunch + Reset” plans, with meals coming in at around $8 each. Comparing it to other pre-made meal kits, their pricing is actually one of the lowest. For example, Freshly can run around $10 per meal and up (depending on which plan you select).
Splendid Spoon Pros vs Cons
Now that you’ve gone over our review of Splendid Spoon and seen what our personal experience was like, let’s talk about the pros and cons of their service so you can find out if it’s right for you…
Splendid Spoon Pros
- Incredibly convenient. Everything is pre-made and you don’t even need to heat up the meals since they’re drinkable.
- Will save you time. Regardless of the reason why you’re thinking about using Splendid Spoon, it will help save you time. You can cut out going to the grocery store, planning/cooking meals, and even clean-up (since you just recycle the smoothie bottle).
- Makes going vegan easy. There’s a lot to consider when you make the switch to a plant-based lifestyle. First of all, what are you going to eat without animal products? It’s a lot harder to find vegan products than you might think. Second of all, there’s a lot of planning involved since you need to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients. You won’t be getting animal proteins. Splendid Spoon takes care of all this, which can be a lifesaver for those new to going vegan.
- A lot of variety. Vegan meals can be limiting due to the restrictions. Splendid Spoon currently has 40+ different meal options.
Splendid Spoon Cons
- Drinking most meals can get boring. Everyone is used to biting into, chewing, and eating their meals each day. So when you switch to a meal delivery service like Splendid Spoon that only sends “drinkable” meals, it can be tough to transition.
- Does not include dinner. They only offer two meals per day in their plan.
- Can be a tough transition at first. If you’re someone who is looking to start a plant-based diet but hasn’t yet, the switch can be a bit tough for your pallet at first.
Splendid Spoon is a great option for someone who is looking for a plant-based meal delivery service that’s super easy to use, cook, and eat. It makes going plant-based an easy and organized — there’s no thinking about what to cook up next that fits into your diet.
Using our Splendid Spoon goodies, I realized they’re perfect for those who are on-the-go and live busy lifestyles. Everything is packaged relatively small so you can fit it in a briefcase or pure pretty easily — just grab and go. Also, there’s no need to worry about cooking or even heating them up. I found myself grabbing a smoothie on mornings and drinking it on the way to meetings.
In my opinion, what makes Splendid Spoon stand out among the other vegan meal delivery services (beyond their unique program) is the fact that they work with an advisory board to develop all of their meals. This board includes a registered dietician, a specialist on energy homeostasis, and a professional chef. This gives me peace-of-mind, knowing that my smoothies and soups aren’t just a hodgepodge of random vegan ingredients.
Beyond all of this, their main focus is to help people eat more mindfully — meaning they want to encourage you to be in the moment when you’re eating their foods. They don’t want people rushing through a meal on their phones, half paying attention to what they’re eating. They want to encourage people to take a moment for themselves during the day.
And while it is a bit more money than making soups and smoothies yourself, I will happily pay extra for convenient and nutritiously balanced plant-based meals.
Overall, I’m really impressed with Splendid Spoon.