9 best vegetable boxes
With these delivered to your door and chosen for you, there's little excuse to not get your five a day
If your resolution for 2019 is to tuck into more fruit and veg, you’re not alone.
With many of us falling short of our five a day, vegetable box schemes could well be the answer.
Not only are they are a great way to guarantee you eat plenty of the green stuff, but they can also be a great source of inspiration: introducing you to new products and encouraging you to eat more seasonally and forcing you to get a little more creative in the kitchen.
But as there are so many different boxes on the market, it can be difficult to know where we begin.
We took on the task of eating our way through a variety of veg boxes to see how they measure up when it comes to quality and value of produce, value for money and ease of use.
Whether you are looking for a bargain bundle of veggies or curated, organic and British only produce, here’s nine of the best vegetable boxes to try this year.
Large Fruit & Veg Box: £17.25, Oddbox
Social Enterprise Oddbox is on a mission to slash the percentage of fruit and veg that goes to waste due to minor imperfections. The company snap up surplus and ‘wonky’ fruit and veg direct from suppliers; pack them up and deliver them across South London as either home boxes (which start at just £8.99 for a small veg box) or work boxes (an office box delivery service that starts from £14.99 per week for 10 members of staff).
In our box, we received an extremely generous helping of a wide range of produce: including mini-avocados, kale, sprouts, kiwi, parsnips, cherry tomatoes, mango and more. We also loved the extra touches: the inspiring recipe (carrot cappuccino) and a weekly newsletter printed on recycled paper. Don’t be put off by the ‘wonky’ label either – other than a few misshapen kiwis, we couldn’t detect any flaws in the remaining produce. Overall, a fantastic initiative offering excellent value in the capital.
Too Good to Waste Box: £1, Morrisons
Morrisons launched their Too Good to Waste Box – an even more budget-friendly option to their £5 wonky veg box – at the end of last year. Despite only costing a quid, the boxes still managed to contain a decent variety of fruit and veg (in our 1kg box we received a pear, an apple, several kiwis, a mango, a few carrot and potatoes) without any blemishes or rotting produce in sight. Being only available in-store does mean it’s ‘first come first serve’ and, admittedly, you bypass some of the benefits of regular box schemes (such as have them delivered to your door and being able to subscribe on a rolling basis). However, this box offers unrivalled value for money and should be commended for making fruit and veg accessible for everyone.
Available in store
Fruit & Vegetable Box: £9.99, Milk & More
Milk & More are bringing back the traditional milkman-with an online portal that lets you order dairy products, baked goods, fruit, veg and food essentials to your door before 7am. In our vegetable box, which for £9.99 offers a vibrant and fresh selection of the basics, we received potatoes, cabbage, carrots, grapes, apples and bananas. Unlike other boxes, the produce is a set offering and doesn’t vary each week; but we were impressed by the freshness of the British sourced products. If you’re looking for the basics (rather than trying more exotic offerings that change weekly), this is a great choice.
All British Veg Box: £12.50, Abel and Cole
Eating seasonally is important to many of us and this veg box from Abel and Cole makes it that little bit easier. Containing only organic produce from British farms, our box contained sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, celery, celeriac and mushrooms. We loved the additional information that came with the box; listing the farm each item of produce has been sourced from meant we could be assured we were supporting small, homegrown farms. Of course, eating seasonally can limit the variety slightly and there isn’t an option to swap item – but it’s a small price to pay to support local farmers and ensure your produce is the best.
Large Box: £25, Boxxfresh
While many box schemes offer some degree of customisation (such as swapping items you don’t like), Boxxfresh is the first we’ve come across that is truly bespoke. Customers first select their size (ranging from a small box of 10 items for £15 to an X-Large box of 30 items for £25), then individually select the items and quantities they’d like to create the box from a seasonal selection of up to 40 (largely British) different types of produce. It’s an ideal setup if you’re the type that can easily get through a pile of avocados but just can’t stand the sight of the mushrooms
Once done, you can choose to add a variety of delicious looking extras: from free-range eggs to fresh juice and deli items. The only downside is, that while it's on the horizon, Boxxfresh don’t currently deliver nationwide. But if you live in Hampshire or its borders and are looking for something different, we’d definitely recommend signing up.
Seasonal Soup Recipe Box: £15, Abel and Cole
Another offering by established veg box supplier Abel and Cole – this time their seasonal soup recipe box. If you like the idea of eating more vegetables but aren’t sure how to go about it this makes it so simple to get creative with soups instead. Each week comes with the fresh organic produce you’ll need to make two soup recipes, along with all the added extras (such as milk, cheese, herbs and flavourings) and the recipe cards. We loved tucking into our creations: smoky sweet potato soup and the luxurious porcini mushroom and onion soup with sheep’s cheese.
Medium Vegetable Box: £14.25, Eversfield Organic
Sometimes choice can be a little overwhelming so Eversfield Organic keeps things much simpler. Based in the Devon, this organic, soil association approved farm offers a simple choice of a small, medium or large vegetable box. We opted for the medium, which can be ordered weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The organic produce shone through this box, with the flavours of the courgettes, carrots, squash and potatoes being exceptional. It’s a simple, fuss-free option that delivers across the UK.
Salad Box: £13.55, Riverford
If cooking your vegetables isn’t really your thing, this organic salad box could be another way to get your five a day. With 100 per cent organic and seasonal produce, the box is miles apart from your average bag of supermarket salad. Wrapped in brown paper bags, we received crisps mixed salad, crunchy cucumber, vibrant cherry tomatoes, juicy lettuce and peppers. The offerings change each week meaning there’s no chance of getting bored either.
Ocado Organic Vegetable Box: £9, Ocado
We all know eating organic produce isn’t the cheapest option, so this vegetable box from Ocado is a great choice. A set vegetable box (containing potatoes, carrots, garlic, beetroot, parsnips, leeks and onions) rather than one that changes weekly is ideal for adding to your weekly shop, and, if your budget can’t quite stretch to it, it also do a non-organic version for £6.
Verdict: The best veg boxes
Oddbox’s Large Fruit & Veg box gets top marks for both variety of produce and its valiant efforts to slash food waste. For those on a smaller budget, we can’t fault Morrison’s ‘Too Good to Waste’ box. Finally, we loved the bespoke aspect of Boxxfresh – perfect for those who like to curate a personalised veg box with plenty of added extras.
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