Wednesday, 27 May 2015

abel & cole box review.

Abel and Cole
Abel and Cole Veg Box

For fresh fruit and vegetable boxes, Abel & Cole have got to be one of the most popular choices in the UK. I love scrolling through my Instagram feed seeing what other people have in their little boxes. Having found a brilliant introductory promo code, I thought I'd give them a go for a few weeks. It wasn't look before I was trying out their seafood offerings, fruit boxes and even a handful of complimentary treats from A&C themselves. I thought I'd put together a little review, for others who are thinking about getting their produce delivered to their door.

Week One. A warm welcome from Abel & Cole! We got their Medium Veg Box which is usually £14 a week. The voucher code I found included a vegetable box companion - full of tips about seasonal recipes, unusual veg and their health benefits. It was a really chunky book full of gorgeous food photography - which you can get free if you just enter the code EATVEG at the check out. If only for the endless foodie puns throughout.

If you don't like a particular veg - that's fine - just amend your settings to adapt to the ones you love most. You always gets spuds too, unless you decide otherwise. I made a variety of healthy lettuce wraps, mushroom stir fry and celery soup that week. There is always a recipe in each box in case you're stuck for ideas too!

Week Two. Week two rolled around, and admittedly I still had a few mushrooms and tomatoes in my cupboard. The potatoes are super generous portions too - so you might want to only order them biweekly. My medium veg box was happily delivered by my local Abel & Cole delivery man on time, even though it was super snowy and icy. And guess what - I got a free 4 pack of free range eggs. What a lovely touch.

Wondering what that pumpkin-like green vegetable is? I was too. That's an acorn squash, and similar to the likes of butternut squash and sweet potato. I decided to slice and stuff it with lots of veggies, served with mash swede and buttered chard, which were also in the box. I also got sent a recipe card anthology; a handy folder to organise the many cards I was getting sent.

Week Three. Making a rather large potato curry and opting out of potatoes for this week, I got a similar mix of seasonal veg. Think carrots, shallots, green cabbage, yellow peppers... I made a rather yummy carrot and coriander soup, which I served with pumpkin seed and Red Leicester bread. I also got to pick another free gift - choosing wildflower honey amongst other jams and conserves.

Week Four. This week I tried out one of the recipes that came along with the box; Heartbeet Risotto. As well as the fresh beetroot and other vegetables, the box came with a piece of fresh horseradish to use in the risotto recipe. I hadn't actually considered what real horseradish looked like before then, so was a great chance to experiment with the fiery flavour.

In this box, I also added a few extras to my order; salmon fillets (£7.25) and fresh Cornish white crab meat (£5.29). I used a code at the time (COAST2) for £5 off when you spent £10, making it just an extra £2.54 to my order. Love a bargain, me. 

With these I made my favourite summery evening dish of Nigella's crab linguine, and enjoyed the salmon with simple seasoning and steamed veg.

I had the vegetable boxes as part of a deal for 4 weeks and then thought I'd try out the fruit offerings, since all the other groceries had been so good.

Week Five - The Fruit Box Edition. 

I do love getting my five a day, so thought I'd give a fruit box delivery a whirl. This one was the medium fruit box (£12). As the minimum order value is £12.50, I added in 500g of white onions for £1.10 as I knew I needed to stock up on those anyway. This did put me off ordering again though, as if I only wanted fruit I'd have to pay delivery costs or choose something I didn't use. The delivery is £1.25 if under £12.50 - but you mightaswell have a bag of onions instead!

Oh and since I love codes, using my recommend a friend voucher meant I got a free tin of tinned tomatoes - chilli all round!

As you can see, the fruit box itself is super generous and more than enough for two people. I was sorted for the week and the mango was a nice unusual addition that I wouldn't usually buy.

The verdict? With the amount of introductory codes flying about I'd urge anyone to try out the Abel & Cole boxes. We had the medium veg one for 4 weeks and were never short of healthy meals every time. The recipe cards and lovely book made it easy to think of ideas, and the freebies were a fab addition to make you feel valued as a customer. 

Would I buy again? I'm pretty savvy with my fresh produce shopping and always seek to get good deals - whether that's from a local market or my supermarket reduced section. So I think for me, Abel & Cole is only something I turn to now and again either for a treat or when I see a tempting discount code come around. This is no reflection on A&C - I thought they were truly fab! 

If you're looking to try one, CLOUD15 currently allows you 25% off your first 4 deliveries and a free cookbook. Or if recipes boxes are more your thing, you can get 1/3 off your 1st and 4th boxes with the code COOK1.

Would you try a fruit or veg subscription? Or have you tried Abel & Cole for yourself?

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Note: I paid for my Abel & Cole boxes. They are in no way affiliated with this post and all opinions as always are my own.


  1. I'd love to try veg boxes, but living on my own makes this really difficult - the amounts are always off unless I live on soup! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    1. I know what you mean! You can get smaller ones than this but maybe not as good value xx