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.
Find out more at abelandcole.co.uk
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.