Splendid Spoon Smoothie & Soup Subscription Review – February 2018
Splendid Spoon is a meal delivery service specializing in nutrient-rich smoothies and soups.
All of their dishes are plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, and made with GMO-free ingredients. Better yet, their products are made to be enjoyed cold—even the soups—so that there’s no cooking required. On their site, Splendid Spoon explains the thoughtfulness with which they develop their recipes:
We combine the power of plants, the science of slow cooking & nutrient bioavailability and the proven health benefits of intermittent fasting to design a formula that easily fits into your daily life. Our advisory board includes a registered dietitian, a specialist on energy homeostasis, and a professional chef who work with us to create recipes that leave you satisfied and energized. Our plans are customizable, and suitable for those on an elimination program, a sugar detox, or paleo diet.
Splendid Spoon offers three different plans—a breakfast plan of 5 smoothies, a lunch plan of 5 soups, and a soup cleanse plan, which is one day’s worth of 4 drinkable soups and one plant-based bowl. Here are the plans and their pricing breakdowns:
- Breakfast & Lunch (5 smoothies + 5 bowls) – $95
- Breakfast & 1-Day Soup Cleanse (5 smoothies + 4 drinkables + 1 bowl) – $95
- Lunch & Soup Cleanse (6 bowls + 4 drinkables) – $95
- Breakfast (5 smoothies): $65
- Lunch (5 bowls): $65
- 1-Day Soup Cleanse (4 drinkables + 1 bowl): $65
Choose the plan that’s right for you, or if you’re ready to go all in, you can get all of Splendid Spoons offerings in their “Program 2.0” package. The site explains the thinking behind the “Program”:
The Program 2.0 is our flagship plan, comprised of Breakfast, Lunch and Soup Cleanse. Looking for a fool-proof wellness plan that improves both body and mind, keeping you fitter, stronger, and more mindful? You’ve found it.
What Arrives Every Week:
Breakfast (five smoothies), Lunch (five bowls) & Soup Cleanse (four drinkable soups and one bowl); that’s 15 total meals, already prepared, and delivered right to your door.
What to do:
5 Days a Week: Breakfast.
5 Days a Week: Lunch.
1 Day a Week: Soup Cleanse.
1 Day a week: Wander. Pause, appreciate your dedication, and let yourself wander. Allowing yourself to eat without restraint is an important part of the process, helping you become more aware of the choices and changes you make.
Wondering what to do for dinner? We like to encourage some freedom to experiment here and know that many enjoy eating out or preparing a special meal with family and friends. Our tips? Add a big leafy green salad, give yourself at least 3 hours to digest before bed, and drink a big glass of water or herbal tea to stay hydrated!
This is a review of the Program 2.0 plan, which costs $135.00.
Splendid Spoon sent us this subscription box to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Splendid Spoon Healthy Meal Delivery Service
The Subscription Box: Splendid Spoon
The Cost: Plans start at $65.00. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Nutrient-dense, plant-based, vegan smoothies and soups that come pre-packaged and ready to enjoy. Choose whether you’d like soups, smoothies, a mix of both, or their 5-product cleanse package which is meant to be enjoyed over the course of a day. Along with the foods, Splendid Spoon also provides lifestyle guidance, such as tips for mindful eating.
Good to Know: Splendid Spoon ships their products frozen in recyclable packaging, so that the foods arrive frozen, partially frozen, or chilled. Their boxes, plastic bottles, and pints are 100% BPA-free and recyclable.
Ships to: Continental US
Splendid Spoon Program 2.0 Review February 2018
One thing I like about Splendid Spoon that I don’t find in other meal subscription boxes is their focus on mindful eating. Food culture in the US is built around the rush of life—fast food, grab-and-go food, foods you can whip up in 3 minutes in a microwave… Unfortunately, lots of those things are synonymous with processed foods, which tend to be less nutritious. I’ve als0 found that scarfing something down fast rather than sitting down to a meal almost always leaves me feeling hungry within a few hours. So I might be able to eat and run errands at the same time, the food isn’t doing its job. I’m eating, but I’m not always nourishing myself.
Splendid Spoon tries to combat that by encouraging their subscribers to appreciate what you feel while you eat so that you can recognize your body’s positive response to healthy, filling food. It might sound a little woo-woo, but I found the idea of making time to intentionally and attentively eat my food kind of revolutionary. After a week of eating that way, I started to understand when my body was truly hungry and what it was hungry for. My autopilot used to be “I feel like I want something… Maybe I’ll swing through Starbucks.” Now, I’m having thoughts like “I want something refreshing, like a juice” or “I want something warm and hearty, like some beans or veggies in warm, rich sauce.” Or even just, “How long has it been since I drank water? I think I just need a big drink of water.”
In other words, I’m no longer reaching for the closest thing that sounds fun. My appetite is learning to be more discerning, and I’m getting better at responding to it with things it actually wants. And when I do eat, I’m trying to give myself time to appreciate the flavors and the ways they do and don’t satisfy me, so I can keep being more and more discerning.
The info booklet lists out all of the products in the program, as well as suggested instructions for how and when to eat each product. The cleanse day is the only time when order matters—otherwise, you can just enjoy what smoothie or soup floats your boat at breakfast and lunch.
A quick reminder that this program does not include dinner, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat dinner!!! The Splendid Spoon folks encourage you to have fun with your dinners—eat out with friends, try new recipes at home, treat yourself and indulge now and then. Of course, they’d probably prefer you nab a hearty plate of greens and lean protein rather than 5 cheese-laden courses at the Cheesecake Factory, but hey, sometimes you’ve gotta go big! The thing is, once I got acquainted with what your body craves and how it responds to foods like the ones in the program, I didn’t have as strong a craving for those more indulgent foods. I got a caramel macchiato as a treat for myself the weekend after I finished all of my soups and smoothies—I was midway through it and literally thought, “Eh, this is pretty tasty. But y’know what sounds really good? A big thick smoothie with avocado and banana in it, mmmm!” Seriously! That kind of thinking is TOTALLY new to me, and yet, it came about so naturally. Long story short, even if I did end up at Cheesecake Factory, I feel like I’d be more likely to nab a big salad and some bruschetta appetizers versus a plate of lasagna thanks to the mindset shift I experienced during this exercise.
Okay, now that we’ve talked a little about the holistic elements of this process, let’s get to the food! Smoothies first. As suggested by Splendid Spoon, I had these for breakfast each day.
One thing to notice about these smoothies—each bottle technically contains two servings. I’d have a whole bottle in a sitting, but just in case you’re looking at the calorie, carb, or sugar counts on the back of the bottles, be sure to double them to get a clear picture of what you’re enjoying in each bottle.
And last but not least, you’re meant to enjoy these smoothies straight out of the bottle, but Splendid Spoon mentioned in the info card that you can just as easily blend them into your existing smoothie recipes or blend them with ice to give them a more decadent flavor. I enjoyed all of mine as they are in the bottle, but there are a few I thought might lend themselves well to other preparations. I’ll mention that as I run through the flavors!
Blueberry Acai Smoothie
The rich purple color is a giveaway that this smoothie is packed with healthy nutrients. I’ve done blueberry smoothies before at home, but acai is something I haven’t played around with yet. Acai berries are supposed to have loads of antioxidant power—they also have a slightly tart flavor that gave this smoothie a little more zip than I expected. (The lemon juice might be to thank for that, too.) I found this smoothie more filling than I expected. There’s pea protein, cashew, and coconut meat in there, so it’s got more heft to it than some of the other smoothies we’ll talk about. Because of that, the smoothie texture was also a little thicker than I prefer—not creamy, just kind of… thick. If I was to get this one again, I’d totally blend it up with ice to give it a little more lightness.
Cacao Almond Smoothie
Separation is natural with these smoothies (I gave each one a good solid shaking before I drank it), but this one was particularly separated when I pulled it out of the fridge. That made sense once I started sipping on it—unlike the last smoothie, this one was very milky and thin, sort of like the consistency of coconut milk. (It does have coconut water on the ingredients list). Therefore, it’s no surprise that the cacao and almond bits sank to the bottom. This is another one that would probably be better blended with ice, just so I didn’t have to keep shaking it as I sipped on it. But it was tasty, almost like a slightly melted chocolate chip milkshake (okay, okay, a wayyyy less sugary, slightly nuttier chocolate chip milkshake). I joked with a friend that I couldn’t quite call it a smoothie since I was munching on the chunky bits with every bite. But amidst the other fruity and green flavors, this mildly sweet, cacao-dotted drink felt like the healthy compromise my chocolate-loving palette wanted.
I really really liked this smoothie! The first sip delivered on that familiar PB & J flavor I was expecting, but the real surprise of this smoothie is the flavor I started to notice as I got further into the bottle. This is going to sound weird, but it not only tasted like tasty almond butter and strawberry jam but also… wheat bread! Do you want a smoothie to taste like a hearty wheat bread? Maybe not always, but in this case, it was kind of magical! I was literally chuckling to myself about how cleverly they got every flavor of that classic sandwich into a smoothie. I don’t know if it’s the pea protein or the baobab powder (which I’ve just recently learned about) or all of the ingredients mixed with the almond butter, but it was really delicious, convincing, and best of all, FUN!
Power Greens Smoothie
Okay, let’s be honest—this smoothie looks… well… swampy. It’s not just green, but sort of baby food green. The kind of green that people who scoff at healthy food think all healthy food looks like. And for that reason, I wasn’t particularly stoked to try this smoothie. But of course, this blend, which features powerful nutrients from kale, spirulina, wheatgrass, and other superfoods, was my absolute, hands-down favorite drink in the box! Like, if I had gotten five of these green bottles, I would’ve been thrilled. First of all, it tastes great. It’s lightly sweet, refreshing, and only “green” enough to give me that “wow, Anna, you’re being SO healthy” vibe, not that “wow, I feel like I’m eating lawnmower clippings” vibe. But it also has the most pleasant consistency—my guess is the banana and the coconut oil (not water, but oil) is what’s responsible for giving this smoothie a truly smooth, delicious, mmmm-inducing texture. I want a fridge packed with this nutritious blend!
Hibiscus Maqui Smoothie
I didn’t love this smoothie, but it’s definitely the prettiest smoothie I’ve ever had! I didn’t know what to expect with a hibiscus smoothie—it really did taste like the midpoint between a berry and a flower. Maqui was new to me, too. It’s apparently a Patagonian superfood berry that’s full of healthy antioxidants. This smoothie definitely tasted like a detox recipe to me. The flavor was extremely subtle and refreshing, and the consistency was lightweight and thinner. Weirdly, I did feel more hydrated after I drank it—like, my body felt soothed from the inside out—even though I didn’t think it was the most filling. So it definitely had its benefits even if it wasn’t as straight-up delicious as the others.
So during the same week that I was sipping on my smoothies in the morning, I was also eating these five soups as my lunches at work. Unlike the smoothie bottles, these soups come in microwavable containers so you can heat them and eat them in about 3 minutes total. I’ve found that when it comes to lunches and dinners, I’m rarely satisfied unless something on my plate is warm. Raw food just never quite works for me. Warm, cooked food just feels more filling, soothing, and satiating. So soup is a perfect match for my needs.
Like the smoothies, these soup containers hold 2 servings of soup, each. And like the smoothies, I ate an entire container in one sitting. I think that’s what’s intended, but again, just a heads up if you’re peeking at those nutrition facts.
Each soup comes wrapped in a cardboard sleeve with an inspiring quote on the top. I think this is part of Splendid Spoon’s mindfulness message—the package acts as a thought-provoking stop sign that forces you to slow down before you dine. That said, I could kind of do without these sleeves. They struck me as just an extra bit of packaging that ended up getting tossed. (The plastic containers, I can keep to use again, but this paper is just kind of one and done.)
Red Lentil Dal with Cumin and Rosemary
Knowing how “clean” these soups aimed to be, I was a little worried I’d be underwhelmed by these soups. But no, no, no! This dal was the perfect introduction to Splendid Spoon’s “bowls”, because as clean and nourishing the ingredients are, they were also incredibly flavorful, rich, and filling. This soup was thick with tasty red lentils, which were deliciously starchy and hearty but not grainy in the way that lentils can sometimes be. Better yet, they’re swimming in a broth full of classic mirepoix flavors and rich seasonings like curry, cumin, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. The flavor still wasn’t as loud as a big-brand soup you’d buy at the grocery store, but I sincerely felt like I was eating comfort food.
Leek and Turnip Chowder
Speaking of comfort food, let’s talk about this amazingly savory soup! This soup had more of a pureed soup feel, though it wasn’t perfectly smooth. Of course, it’s dairy-free, so if you’re expecting the heavy-cream vibe of a seafood chowder, you might be disappointed. But there was a satisfying thickness to it that I really liked (especially on a chilly afternoon). Now let’s talk flavor. I don’t know if it’s because this blend includes close-to-the-earth plants like leeks, celeriac, turnips, and shiitake mushrooms, but this rich soup instantly made me feel more grounded and settled. The flavor was fall-like—savory, herby, and subtly oniony—and so easy to fall for. I found myself wanting to rush through it, it was so tasty. Reminding myself to stop and savor it, however, made the flavors pop even more!
Lentil and Kale with Madras Curry and Saigon Cinnamon
This soup was a lot like the dal, except the addition of the kale gave it a delicious depth of flavor. The name of the game, once again, is “savory”—this soup was a little earthy, a little spicy (flavor-wise, not heat-wise), and truly wholesome-tasting. The addition of greens made it feel like a blended-up version of a complete meal. This was the first soup where I noticed how small the bits of ingredients were inside the soup. The bits of yummy veggies are what I’d call half-a-bite-size. They’re teeny compared to most packaged soups. That means 1) you get a little bit of everything in every bite and 2) it’s just really easy to eat, and presumably, to digest.
Red Cabbage Borscht
Okay, so borscht isn’t my favorite soup out in the real world, so I wasn’t thrilled by this particular bowl. That said, if you are a borscht fan, I think you’ll like this little concoction. One thing I found fascinating was that there’s Fuji apple in this recipe list—there is a subtle sweetness and tartness in this soup that I didn’t expect. You have to be a cabbage fan, because that funky flavor is definitely coursing through this bowl. (Can you tell that I’m sort of meh on cabbage?) Still, there are a lot of other tart, perky flavors in this soup to distract from it.
I’ve read a lot about khichri lately, mostly because I’ve been poking around, reading about Ayurvedic nutrition online. Khichri is said to be awesome on your insides, easy to digest, and great if you’re looking for a way to balance and detox your body. This was my first go ’round with khichri, and I found this particular recipe deeeelicious. It’s traditionally an Indian dish so it has some flavorful spice to it, but I didn’t find this soup to taste as strong as a curry that you might find in an Indian restaurant. It’s mild, mushy, and more filling, to me than the other soups I got. The best way I can describe it is like a hug you can eat. I want to learn to make this for myself, because this satiating, yet light dish was super tasty.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, I was feeling pretty great after five days of smoothies and soups. I felt (and still feel) way more in tune with what foods my body is actually craving at any given time. And being that I’ve taken the time to recognize how beautifully my body feels when I’m not just drinking lattes, eating from the office snack cabinet, and nabbing sushi at Whole Foods when I feel hungry, I’ve started making better choices when the hunger pangs come. Pretty sweet, right?
But there’s one more day of goodies left to review! This grand finale of Program 2.0 is a day-long soup cleanse. All of these bottled “drinkable” soups, as well as the single bowl, are meant to be enjoyed on the same day. It’s kind of like taking your body through a day-long car wash where every few hours, you rinse it with a new bout of nourishment.
Okay, a fast pro-tip on these bottled soups in particular. Splendid Spoon products last about a week in the fridge, or a month when frozen. Just to be safe, I tossed my cleanse bag into the freezer at the start of the week and left everything else in the fridge. The thing is, these babies take foreeeever to thaw. I thought I’d leave the bag out overnight and let everything thaw on the counter for the next day, but even the next morning, big chunks of the bottled soups were rock solid. Unlike the bowls, the bottles aren’t microwave-safe, so I found myself swirling a few bottles around in a pot of boiling water until the icy chunks dissipated. Glamorous, I know. So give it time if you’re planning to freeze ’em!
The bottled soups can be enjoyed hot or cold (you have to pour them into a microwave-safe bowl or a small pot to heat them). I enjoyed the bottled soups cold, just to see what that experience would be like and heated up the bowl soup.
Whew! Okay! Ready to cleanse? Let’s go!
Celery Plant with Russet Potatoes and Thyme
The day begins with this starchier soup, which is full of energy, complex carbs, and healthy fats. It was interesting drinking this soup cold, but I really do wish I had tried it warm. It’s potato-y, pureed, smooth, and deliciously herby. It would be an awesome first course at a Thanksgiving feast. Cold, well… it’s not quite as smooth as I imagine it could be, but it’s still really good. Almost like a savory, root veggie gazpacho, haha!
Pumpkin Pear Hempseed with Cardamom and Saigon Cinnamon
More tasty fall flavors! Two hours after the first soup, I was swigging this pumpkin soup that’s been lightly sweetened with pear and a ton of spices. If you’re used to holiday pumpkin soups filled with butter and cream, you’re going to be a little underwhelmed here. The texture is looser and a little grittier than I would’ve liked, but hey, it’s a cleanse! It’s meant to be hydrating, not stick to your ribs-ish. And I did feel full and refreshed after this guy. I think just knowing that this was part of a prescribed program made me more open to the less indulgent flavors. At this point in the week, I was starting to think of foods as medicines in addition to sustenance. So as I picked out a new soup from the fridge, I would think “Oooo, what is this blend of foods going to do for me?” rather than just “Will this taste good because I feel like I should eat now?!”
Carrot Tumeric Elixir
I was surprised by the sweetness I noticed in this carrot soup. It’s really more of a savory soup, with plenty of spices and herbs, including turmeric, to give it a comforting, earthy flavor. But I think my sense of taste was becoming a bit more discerning after having much less sugar than I typically do all week. This was another one that I think would’ve been better heated up. It’s got a nice smooth texture to it, but I think a little heat would’ve made it not just tasty, but decadent.
I honestly could’ve been cool stopping this cleanse before this dinnertime soup hit, just because I found each of the bottled soups to be pretty filling (plus I’ve been drinking way more water between meals thanks to this program). But I’ve gotta say, it felt so heartwarming to eat a tomato-based soup. I grew up on Italian food and pasta sauces, so nothing makes me feel more comforted and satiated than something doused in tomato. This recipe is inspired by the Greek island of Ikaria. I have friends from Ikaria (Hi, George and Bella!), and I’ve heard that its Mediterranean way of eating (and living) has made it a beautiful example of health and happiness. Full of black-eyed peas, tomato, fennel, and other flavorful ingredients, it’s filling, grounding, and settling after a day at work. It’s also the first dish of the day that I ate warm, which made it feel extra nourishing for my body and my spirit.
Vegan Bone Broth with Shiitakes and Bok Choy
Vegan bone broth? Wait, how does that work? I know that bone broth is the new magic food in the health world, thanks to its many nutrients and natural collagen content (which can be really helpful to your hair, skin, nails, and joints). This vegan version is obviously not bone-derived, but it is built around shiitake mushrooms and bok choy. These two plants are packed with vitamins. More importantly, they lend to a taste that might not be meaty but is certainly rich in umami. I really liked this final soup for how hearty it tasted, despite it being relatively thin in consistency.
The Verdict: I’m really happy to have experienced Splendid Spoon’s Program 2.0. The foods were tasty, the packaging made eating well easy (even at the office!), and I spent the week feeling more nourished throughout my days. But the food would’ve meant nothing without the call for mindful eating. I know it sounds weird to commit to, but I found that paying attention during my meals (closing the laptop, putting the phone away…) really did help me reconnect to what my body is actually hungry for. More importantly, I reconnected with how good my body feels when it gets what it really wants. In the time since I tried this program, I’ve been more consistent about carrying a water bottle with me everywhere I go and staying hydrated, I’ve ordered more nourishing foods when out to eat, and I’ve found myself drawn to different things in the grocery store than usual (produce and spices that might help me mimic the flavors from this box). Know that if you’re coming from a super standard American diet (lots of fast food, lots of meat, cheese, bread, etc.) this box of very, very, very clean foods will probably be a bit of a shocker for you. Plus, it’s expensive. (It’s about $9 per product.) I think the perfect customer might be someone who needs a little reset, rather than a transformation. But as a reset, its holistic approach and fresh, convenient, super healthy foods, are rejuvenating.
To Wrap Up:
Can I get this same box if I sign up today?: Splendid Spoon rotates its menu weekly, so there’s a chance that your assortment might be a little different than mine.
Value Breakdown: This box contained a total of 15 “meals” (5 smoothie breakfasts, 5 soup lunches, and 5 soups for the cleanse day). The cost of the box is $135.00, meaning the average cost per “meal” is $9.00.
What do you think about Splendid Spoon?