Wellness sundaes, anyone?
In my opinion, there is no such thing as ice cream season — because that season lasts all year long. I can enjoy a heaping scoop in the peak of August or the dead cold of January. It’s (literally) all good. But when you love ice cream as much as I do, you can easily fall into a rut and order the same flavor over and over again. Fresh inspiration to mix things up: Order a pint of Frankie & Jo’s, a new plant-based ice cream and sorbet brand out of Seattle that offers flavors like Tomato Melon Mint, Beet Strawberry Rose and Gingered Golden Milk — and is completely revolutionizing the frozen treat.
For starters, West coast founders Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin don’t use any fake ingredients: Instead, this duo — who possess backgrounds in food and fitness — craft their flavors with homemade sprouted cashew milk or gum-free coconut milk, which creates a yummy, super creamy base. They mix in some organic sugar (or California dates, maple or coconut sugar) for some sweetness and then go heavy on “plant magic” ingredients — seasonal vegetables, fruits, adaptogens, herbs — most of which are certified organic and all of which are bursting with natural, healthy flavor. In other words: This is the kind of wellness-inspired ice cream we’ve been waiting for.
To top it all off, Brunson and Martin recently created Moon Goo, a sauce made of dry, burned, salted caramel with activated charcoal that you can drizzle over a fresh scoop. Personally, my mind is exploding just imagining the sundae possibilities. Here, we chatted with the founders about their inspiration, thinking outside the ice cream box and how to make the perfect (season-less) dessert.
What inspired you to create Frankie & Jo’s? Why plant-based ice cream?
Kari Brunson: “Autumn’s love for ice cream coupled with a dairy allergy led her on a path to create Frankie & Jo’s. At the time there was not an option for a plant-based ice cream that met her quality standards. The desire to build an ice cream shop for those eating and living an alternative life, and reducing the use of animals for our food traditions, inspired the Frankie & Jo’s we know today — a magical company and brand built together by both of us.”
What types of plants do you focus on for your ice creams? What’s your criteria?
KB and Autumn Martin: “Cashews and coconuts are our main plant sources for the base in our ice cream. And we love to use vegetables that bridge both the sweet and savory world, but are really inspired by plants that are seemingly more savory and unexpected for dessert, such as kale, taro root or ashwagandha.”
What flavor has been the most popular?
KB & AM: “It is a tie between our Salty Caramel Ash — an activated charcoal and dry burned salted caramel ice cream — and our Chocolate Mint Brownie.”
Tell us about your Moon Goo topping: what inspired you to explore activated charcoal? How does it taste?
AM: “Kari has been using activated charcoal in the juices she makes at her vegetable-focused cafe Juicebox, and thought it would be a unique addition to ice cream. We took that concept and wove it into an organic dry-burned caramel sauce made from coconut milk. Activated charcoal is neutral in flavor, so allows the smoky notes of caramelized sugar to come through.”
What’s your favorite sundae recipe?
KB & AM: “In January of this year, we collaborated with a restaurant called The London Plane for a dinner series. We made a Carrot Za’atar ice cream with pickled red raisins, carrot coconut whip cream, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh marjoram.”
+ Curious to try Moon Goo for yourself? Click here to order!