The Ice Cream Minus the Cream
The sweetest things in life are, well, sweet. Whoever boasts that they are not in possession of a sweet tooth is probably lying. At least, this is what I tell my health-conscious self when my inner cookie monster takes over my cravings and just begs me to get a little sugar high. But as a vegetarian and aspiring vegan, I too, sometimes find myself left out of the ice cream scream. What am I to do when the mood strikes? Enter Phro*Zen vegan desserts, a soy-based ice cream, to the rescue.
"I started Phro*Zen last summer after pulling some inspiration from my vegan sister. Food is supposed to be very communal, and there were a lot of foods I couldn’t share with her. It was frustrating, but the hot, humid Cincinnati summer led me to believe ice cream should be the one thing we could share," says Meg Swallow, owner and founder of Phro*Zen.
At just 23 years old, Swallow has created a product we all can feel good about eating. The creamy treat is a base of soy milk and all-natural plant ingredients, with no added chemical fillers or preservatives. You’ll find the sugar content similar to that of regular ice cream, so by comparison, it’s just as sweet. But without all the saturated fat that comes from butter and milk, you’re reaping the benefits of soy’s heart-healthy compounds.
Many vegans prefer soy to other dairy alternatives, and it really helps to give Phro*Zen a similar – but not entirely identical – texture to the real thing. And the ever-inclusive Swallow is now working with a food allergy clinic to develop a rice milk-based recipe for those who can’t tolerate soy.
"I believe people should care about what they eat and feed their bodies the right things," Swallow says. "I try to be really honest with my products, and I wouldn’t put anything in there if I didn’t trust it."
Swallow experiments with seasonal flavors, like pumpkin pie for fall, and you can find flavors like Enlightened Lemon Lavender, Chocolate Peanut Butter Peace Train, Mint Meditation and Cookies ‘N No Cream always circulating. Just head to the freezers of local businesses Park + Vine, Picnic and Pantry, Meals To Go and Caffeine Dreams to "get a taste of nirvana," as Phro*Zen’s mantra states.