Purple Carrot Review: A Dietitian’s Honest Take
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Purple Carrot is a weekly meal kit delivery service that provides pre-portioned vegan ingredients along with easy-to-follow recipes.
Providing unique and flavorful meals, Purple Carrot is perfect if you’re looking for more variety in your diet or if you want to follow a more plant-based diet.
However, you may wonder how Purple Carrot works or compares to other meal delivery services that offer plant-based meals.
This article provides a detailed Purple Carrot review, explaining how it works and its pros and cons, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
How it works
Purple Carrot allows you to choose two or four servings and three or four dinners per week.
The cost of Purple Carrot starts at $9.99 for four servings and increases to $11.99 with two servings.
I opted for two servings — since it’s only my wife and me — and three dinners per week.
From there, you can pick from meals that are high protein, gluten-free, quick and easy, or allow Purple Carrot to automatically choose your meals that match your preference each week.
To get the most variety, I didn’t select a preference and was happy with the meals Purple Carrot pre-selected.
However, if you’re unsatisfied with Purple Carrot’s choices, you can select the meals that look and sound good to you.
Depending on your location, you’ll receive your weekly delivery on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
Unboxing, ingredient quality, and cooking
Purple Carrot uses an insulated box equipped with non-toxic ice packs to ensure your ingredients arrive cold.
I was supposed to receive my delivery on Tuesday, but with a shipping delay, my meals didn’t arrive until the next day.
Still, all the items were at the appropriate temperature.
Most ingredients come individually packaged, labeled, and sorted into a larger bag based on the recipe.
Except for slightly wilted spinach, all the ingredients in my order looked and smelled fresh.
Purple Carrot recommends cooking your meals within 3–5 days of delivery for optimal freshness, but if stored properly, many ingredients will stay fresh for up to one week.
All three recipes were relatively easy to make using the included recipe book and require around 30–45 minutes to prepare and cook.
The recipe book also includes the specific kitchen tools — which are common to most kitchens — needed to make the meals.
Purple Carrot does not include kitchen staples like vegetable or olive oil, salt, and pepper, but they have you covered for all other ingredients, seasonings, and condiments.
Although the meals didn’t turn out to look just like the picture from the recipe book, they were all brimming with flavor, unique texture combinations, and color.
In trying many of their meals and combing through all the information on their website, Purple Carrot has a lot to offer.
Here are a few pros that stood out to me:
It can help you lose weight
Purple Carrot meals are pre-portioned, which is not only great for reducing food waste but also weight management.
With pre-portioned ingredients, you’re better able to manage your portions and control your calorie intake.
And because Purple Carrot encourages you to cook at home, you’re less likely to eat out or order takeout.
Indeed, research has shown that people who frequently eat home-cooked meals tend to eat healthier and maintain a lighter body weight compared with those who eat fewer home-cooked meals (1).
Being vegan, Purple Carrot meals also tend to be high in fiber, which can help increase satiety, leading to reduced calorie intake and weight loss over time (2).
On average, Purple Carrot meals contain between 500 and 800 calories per serving.
Lots of variety
With meat, dairy, poultry, and seafood off the menu, it can be challenging to come up with tasty, nutritious vegan meals.
Fortunately, Purple Carrot provides eight different dinner options each week so you never get bored.
In addition to their dinner meal kits, Purple Carrot also offers vegan breakfast and lunch meal kits, although with fewer choices than the dinner meal kits.
I tend to eat a mostly plant-based diet and was surprised with the variety of ingredients — many of which were unfamiliar to me — Purple Carrot uses in their meals.
Minimally processed ingredients
Products labeled as “vegan” and “plant-based” tend to fool people into thinking they’re healthier than the regular alternative.
But that’s not always the case.
For example, 1 cup (240 mL) of cow’s milk contains 8 grams of protein, while the same amount of sweetened almond milk contains only 1 gram along with 16 grams of added sugar.
Other vegetarian products, like plant-based burgers, sausages, and even vegan fried “chicken,” are highly processed and contain a long ingredient list of additives.
However, Purple Carrot prioritizes the use of healthy carbs from fresh vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, and fruits.
Except for non-produce items like beans, nut milk, tofu, vegan cheeses, and yogurts, Purple Carrot ingredients are not organic or non-GMO.
Along with the pros, it’s always best to consider the cons of a product or service in making a decision.
Here are a few cons about Purple Carrot to consider:
Many high-carb, low-protein meals
Vegans and vegetarians rely on beans, peas, lentils, grains, and nuts to meet their protein needs.
Except for nuts, these plant-based sources of protein are also rich in carbohydrates.
Consequently, most vegan or plant-based meals contain a high amount of carbs.
As such, if you follow a low-carb diet like a keto diet, Purple Carrot wouldn’t be a good fit for you.
Many Purple Carrot meals are also relatively low in protein, with some meals containing less than 20 grams.
Research suggests that consuming meals with less than 20 grams of protein can be suboptimal for muscle growth and recovery and healthy aging (3).
Of course, there is the option to choose high-protein meals, which generally contain 20–30 grams of protein per meal, but you may have fewer meal choices to choose from.
Unlike HelloFresh, Sunbasket, Blue Apron, and other popular meal kit delivery companies, Purple Carrot doesn’t have an app.
Without an app, it can be less convenient to have to access Purple Carrot through a browser to choose your meals, change your order, or put your subscription on pause.
However, I think it will only be a matter of time before Purple Carrot develops an app to allow a more convenient and user-friendly experience.
Not suited for severe food allergies
Although Purple Carrot individually wraps most of the ingredients, the ingredients are processed in a facility that also processes common food allergens like peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.
So while Purple Carrot offers gluten-free meal kits, people with severe celiac disease should avoid them due to the risk of cross-contact with gluten-containing ingredients like wheat during processing.
Slightly more costly than its competitors
Purple Carrot is slightly more expensive than its competitors that also offer plant-based but not vegan meals like Sunbasket and Blue Apron.
So if you’re not a vegan, there are less expensive options available.
However, with Purple Carrot dedicating themselves solely to vegan meals, Sunbasket, Blue Apron, and Green Chef lack the variety and uniqueness that Purple Carrot delivers with their meals.
Other factors to consider
Instead of offering a variety of meal options that fit different dietary preferences and goals, Purple Carrot has narrowed its focus to only vegan meals.
This narrowed focus has allowed Purple Carrot to deliver a variety of vegan meals that don’t disappoint.
Even if you’re not vegan, cooking with Purple Carrot can introduce you to ingredients you may be unfamiliar with and flavor profiles that you wish you knew existed earlier.
At the same time, trying ingredients that you’re unaccustomed to can help force you out of your comfort zone to appreciate new tastes.
While Purple Carrot does offer quick and easy meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, other meal kit delivery services require a smaller time commitment to make their meals.
Purple Carrot also doesn’t currently offer fresh or frozen prepared meals, which can be inconvenient if you’re pressed for time or just don’t feel like cooking.
Overall, I enjoyed what Purple Carrot had to offer in terms of its ease in selecting meals, the delivery process, the cooking, and of course, expanding my palate.
If you try Purple Carrot and decide it’s not for you, they make the cancellation process simple.
You can also pause upcoming orders for up to ten weeks as an alternative to permanently canceling.
The bottom line
Purple Carrot is a completely vegan meal kit delivery subscription service.
They deliver pre-portioned, minimally processed ingredients that can help you lose weight and stave off food boredom.
However, many of the meals are high in carbs and low in protein, which can be suboptimal for older adults and those looking to optimize muscle growth and recovery.
Also, keep in mind that Purple Carrot doesn’t offer the convenience of an app, their meals are slightly more expensive than other meal kit services, and they are not suited for people with severe food allergies.
Consider these pros and cons along with other factors mentioned in deciding whether Purple Carrot is right for you.
Interested in trying Purple Carrot?
Check out the plans and enjoy $20 off your first week when you join today.