This is not a sponsored post. I just happened to receive my year in review from Blue Apron and decided to share my experience with you and my top 10 Reasons to Love Blue Apron.
I have a Love/Hate relationship with Blue Apron. We tried it after a friend offered us a free trial. The first 2 free meals made me HATE it. Capital H.
Oh hell. Capital ATE, too.
I was so irritated that I actually emailed them to tell them how much I hated them. I hated how much it (would have) cost. I hated how much work it required. I hated that I had to prep ingredients I could easily find already prepped at the grocery store. I hated that it took me an hour just to PREP. I hated that I had to use a zillion dishes, pots and pans. And most of all, I hated that the first meal turned out awful.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I am no chef. I am purely a recipe cook. More of a recipe “finder” as I like to tout but I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business.
Yet I managed to butcher my first Blue Apron recipe. Butcher.
I did figure out why. Their wording is NOT for the ADD afflicted folk (me). Nor is it for the super novice cook.
Short story (haha), but one of my first recipes called for sesame oil. They give you all ingredients but they do not list the items you will need to supply. You do occasionally need to have things on hand like water, salt, pepper and oil (which is generally vaguely listed as “oil” with no indication of the best type – something a newbie cook would find helpful).
This is confusing because they also supply some oil. Anyway, the recipe called for sesame oil and while I skimmed the recipe, I missed the fact that there were two steps calling for oil with one saying “oil” and the other saying “sesame oil”. A novice cook would have been befuddled. An ADD cook (me) would have thrown the sesame oil into the pan when it was time to bust out my own olive oil. A more experienced cook would have known you don’t generally sear meat with sesame oil. I knew this. But ADD.
Nevertheless, it would have been extremely helpful to either say “additional ingredients” and/or add the verbiage of YOUR OWN OIL vs. OUR SESAME OIL. Just sayin’. So I hated them.
Sadly, I didn’t cancel my trial in time to avoid the next week’s delivery (making me hate them even more for making me a sucker.)
So, a week later, I got the next box of torture.
Once I worked through my anger at this box, I embraced the reality of the situation. I knew I’d need to dedicate some time for prepping.
Preparation is key.
I also knew to thoroughly read the recipe.
And just like that, Blue Apron became my friend.
The process of unpacking the box, sorting the ingredients, even the tedious chopping/prepping actually became a very zen activity for me. A glass of pinot helps, too. 🙂
I’ve learned how to use it for our family’s needs and more importantly, budget. We do not (and cannot) have it weekly. But once I realized that I could choose the dishes and weeks to receive or avoid, I was hooked. It’s definitely way more than we would normally spend (even for our own fancier dishes) but the times that we receive that amazing box, make me feel like a kid at Christmas!
Anyway, despite the high price tag, I still found much love for Blue Apron. Here’s why:
Even if the dish isn’t adored by some of us, there is still an appreciation of the (sometimes) new ingredients and almost always new recipes. Other than the first debacle I made, we haven’t had a bad recipe. If anyone doesn’t care for a dish, it’s always because of a general dislike for a certain ingredient.
When I hated them, it was partly because the ingredients were so labor intensive. They provide all fresh stuff you can generally buy pre-chopped/minced at Publix. Not that I mind chopping onions or mincing garlic, but it seemed like their recipes involved a lot of chopping and slicing and dicing and mincing. And I’m not sure about you, but when I know in advance what a recipe requires, I jump all over the grocery store’s pre-chopped, pre-sliced/diced/minced or canned version (without buying a fake and death inducing/cancer causing version, of course).
Once I got over the labor intensive recipes, it truly became an enjoyable experience for me. So much so, that my husband noticed how chipper it made me, making the price tag of the meals even more digestible.
It’s also my understanding that their ingredients are mostly organic from local farmers which makes me happy on several levels.
Once I figured out how to master the Blue Apron method, it changed the way I cook in the kitchen by teaching me that prepping everything before you start cooking anything really is the way to go. I rarely made the effort to do that before.
Having to store the ingredients for the second meal also gave me the idea of my “dinner tonight” meal bin shown here in my fridge organization post. Bonus points to Blue Apron for providing additional OCD inspiration.
Oh wait. I forgot the best part.
I. Didn’t. Have. To. Go. To. The. Store. WITH. KIDS.
Second best part? You know how you have to measure and sort and crap with your typical recipe? Well, Blue Apron generally only gives you just enough for your recipe. So you can chop and slice away and not stress about measuring and storing the leftovers in Tupperware (to be eaten by your fridge). Honestly, the only “leftover” ingredient we ever have is garlic. Garlic. Who doesn’t need garlic for umpteen other recipes?
That brings me to the third best part. Leftovers. None. (unless pasta is involved. that always yields leftovers in our house for some reason.)
But no leftovers. So, with the hefty price tag, maybe you expect them? Me, too. But guess what? We freaking hate leftovers. Hate. So if you hate them, or if you forget about them until they become your next science experiment, no leftovers means NO WASTE! That’s high on my list. I loathe wasting anything, especially food.
Speaking of waste… this reminds me of waist. Their recipes and measurements provide portion control. At first, I thought it was comical when I saw the amount of food in the final dish compared to what we would normally make. I knew my husband would certainly dive into the fridge for a frozen pizza or something to eat after the appetizer sized meal.
But to our surprise, it was plenty to fill him up! He may eat a little more while the girls and I eat a little less of something, which is normal, but the portion sizes prevent the temptation to over do it.
Summary of my Top 10 Reasons to Love Blue Apron:
- Christmas throughout the year.
- OCD options for us crazies.
- Zen activities for all.
- Supporting Local Farmers. (We kinda need them, fyi.)
- No grocery store trip.
- No stress.
- No storing leftovers.
- No waste.
- Slimmer waist. Or at least a shot at it.
Do you use Blue Apron or any other meal delivery service?