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With heavy and hearty meals filled with gooey pies and buttery potatoes, the holidays aren’t exactly known for being the healthiest. But you don’t have to throw in the towel: your goal to eat healthier before and after then may have gotten a bit easier.
Earlier this year, meal kit delivery service Blue Apron partnered with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) to serve up WW x Blue Apron meal kits throughout the entirety of 2019 — choosing from a selection of weekly rotating healthy recipes inspired by the WW Freestyle program delivered right to your door, all year long.
Now, just in time for 2020, Blue Apron announced some changes to the recipes on its menu. Instead of WW x Blue Apron meal kits, the brand said it would include new recipes that have a WW badge of approval. The first of these “WW Approved” recipes will appear on Blue Apron’s menu for the week of Dec. 30.
These new recipes follow guidelines that are about being more health conscious and line up with some WW principles, according to a press email from Blue Apron. Some of the guidelines include making veggies the lead in a meal and using lean proteins.
Blue Apron’s menu will also have more recipe options — the brand’s signature two-serving weekly plan will have 11 recipes now, up from original eight offered. And new labels on these recipes will be more clear for special diets, like a label for a vegetarian option or one that’s 500 calories or less. The WW badge is a part of this new labeling system.
Part of the Weight Watchers rebrand to WW was to broaden the role it plays in helping people live healthier lives. The Freestyle program was launched to include less “point counting” to a more focused approach to healthy eating. The TL;DR version is that the Freestyle program now prioritizes eating more fruits, veggies and lean proteins and cutting down on sugar and unhealthy fats, rather than counting points.
Interestingly, this is isn’t the first time that Blue Apron has partnered with an external healthy eating program to deliver healthier meal options. In 2018 they partnered with Whole30 to deliver eight weeks of regimented recipes that contained no sugar, grains, legumes, soy or dairy. That partnership relaunched in September of that same year, for a short time period.
WW x Blue Apron offered a lot more flexibility than Whole30 and featured healthy, well-rounded meals without cutting out any of the good stuff like cheese and bread.
WW’s experts worked closely with the culinary teams at Blue Apron to create those recipes inspired by diverse cuisines using high-quality ingredients. We’re talking parmesan-crusted cauliflower steaks with white bean sauté and lemon (this recipe also has Blue Apron’s “Plant Forward” and “Carb Conscious” health labels), and ancho beef and black bean bowls with chayote squash, shishito peppers and tomatoes (another “Carb Conscious” recipe).
“Our new WW Freestyle menu is designed to bring discovery and achievement to the home cooking experience, introducing consumers –– including WW members and Blue Apron customers –– to ingredients, techniques, and delicious meals that empower them to develop a wellness-inspired home cooking routine,” said Blue Apron CEO, Brad Dickerson.
And, while we’re of the belief that all bodies are good bodies, and that your relationship with your body and the food that goes into it is a very personal thing, we’re also of the belief that healthy eating can be an easier and more enjoyable experience. More enjoying food with family and friends, less counting of points behind the scenes, please.
While the WW x Blue Apron kits are going away, the new recipes with the WW badge of approval were designed to make health and wellness more accessible, according to an email from Blue Apron.