November 17, 2017

Human fuel

I hate cooking. I. Really. Do. I can follow a recipe and get something that’s probably at least in the ballpark, but I still find cooking totally pointless when you’re just one person eating that food. And I just cannot see how I could ever make cooking a hobby so I would cook just for the sake of doing it.

So I have taken a lot of shortcuts. A microwave meal here, falafel there. Frozen pizza. Sandwich-a-plenty. In the long run, I doubt I am getting all the nutrients I need. And so I make another effort at trying to make some healthy food. Sallad. But there’s a lot of peeling and cutting and hacking that’s needed for a sallad as well. And let’s face it, peeling and cutting and hacking is the worst part of cooking.

Then one day I had this ad in my Facebook flow. Huel. A complete meal in a shaker. Hmm… I clicked. And read. And researched. You know, if it’s too good to be true? But this time, it is true! Unbelievable. There is more nutrition in Huel than in any meal I’ve ever cooked. And I just need to mix it with water! Even I can do that!

Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all the proteins, carbs, and fats you need, plus at least 100% of the European Union’s “Daily Recommended Amounts” of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals.

So now I’ve had Huel for lunch for a month, and I’m certainly not any worse off for it. Once a week I eat a solid lunch to remind my stomach what it feels like (so I still need to cook once a month, what a pain!), and my breakfast and “dinner” are the same as before.

Ready to eat!

Now I’m thinking about replacing my “dinner” with Huel as well. Notice how I use quotation marks around “dinner”? It’s because it’s not an actual dinner. A sandwich here, omelette there… just something to fill the stomach.

Using Huel has also drastically reduced the amount of waste I produce. It’s just one plastic bag per 2-3 weeks, where I previously would throw away small plastic bags and cans and cartons almost every day. The downside is that Huel is not available in Sweden so I need to get it shipped from the UK, but then again, how much of the food I used to eat before is locally produced? And now it’s just one big shipment a few times a year.

If you’re interested in trying Huel, they have a referral campaign. You can get a £7.50 discount on your first order, so please ask me! One meal costs £1.61 (less, if you buy more than two bags), so £7.50 is a lot of free meals! And yes, for the sake of transparency, I will also get a discount on my next order. I’m not a charity you know. 😉

Q&A

Q: Is Huel a diet?
A: Only if you make it so. But it’s a complete meal with all the calories and nutrients you would get from a normal meal, except better, in that it actually contains all the nutrients and no junk. But it’s super-easy to count calories with Huel so if you want to include it in a diet to lose weight, you can do it.

Q: Can you use Huel on hiking trips?
A: So far I’ve used Huel on road trips. It’s great to be able to eat (well, ok, drink) your lunch while driving! You can mix it before you leave, add some ice in it to keep it cold, and drink when you’re hungry. One hand on the wheel. As for using it on hikes, freeze dried packs more calories. Huel has 402 kcal per 100g, and e.g. a Real Turmat meal has 519 kcal per 100g. However, I think I will use Huel to replace sandwiches on my hikes. For a sandwich you need bread, something to spread on it, and something to put on it (I normally stop being a vegetarian on multi-day hikes so I can have salami on the bread). I can skip all that with Huel.

Q: Is Huel suitable for vegetarians?
A: Huel is suitable for vegans!

Q: Does Huel taste good?
A: It depends on what you consider “good”. The food I cook is lousy, so Huel is a step up for me. Lunch is now something I look forward to, instead of considering it a necessary evil! It tastes a bit like oatmeal, which is not surprising considering what the powder is made of. The powder comes in two flavours, vanilla (which is sweetened) and unflavoured & unsweetened. You can buy flavour boosts which you add to the powder. The vanilla version is a bit too sweet to my taste, so the next time I will get both vanilla and unsweetened and mix them. If you go to the Huel website, you’ll find lots of recipes to use the powder to make something else, so you’re not always stuck with the same taste and form of Huel. But since I started with Huel to avoid cooking, I haven’t tried any recipes yet. I’m thinking about Huel pancakes though!

Q: Can you eat the same stuff every day?
A: You can get different flavour boosts for Huel so it’s not necessarily exactly the same every time. But regardless of the flavour, there’s always that Huel taste behind it. But like I said, the food I cook is not very good and I don’t have a lot of variety in it anyway, so I’m not missing solid meals yet.

Q: Can you replace every meal with Huel?
A: Probably yes, but then you really need to consider the above two points.

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2 Responses

  1. Jennie says:

    Ah, interesting! I’ve only heard about Soylent before (https://www.soylent.com/ ) and have thought about trying it sometime. I am the opposite of you – I love cooking, especially preparing veggies for elaborate salads, but I only cook 2-3 times a week at the most, and I am really, really bored of breakfast and lunch options during work days. Replacing them with something like this is tempting so I could focus entirely on dinners/weekend food. Hmm. Thinking about it. 🙂

  2. Minna says:

    Huel is definitely an option when you don’t have a lot of time. On busy days it’s godsend! 🙂

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