California-based Pressed Juicery has done the unthinkable by swirling together two huge food trends: green juice and soft-serve ice cream. The company recently introduced a line of vegan soft-serves, called "Freezes" ($5 for four ounces, $6 with additional three toppings), with six flavors ranging from green to citrus to chocolate to vanilla almond milk. Just like at any froyo joint, Pressed also offers a host of toppings like fresh fruit, chia seeds, granola, hemp seeds, chocolate-covered goji berries, Hawaiian pink salt, and even healthy syrups like almond butter, rose syrup, and cacao nut (essentially chocolate hard shell).
Unlike New York's Chloe's Fruit, which features single-fruit soft-serves with a touch of sugar, Pressed Freezes are sugar-free and highlight multi-fruit-and-veggie juice blends. In addition, the list of ingredients is transparent, directly on the board, and without any hard-to-pronounce chemicals or additives. The signs in the juice shop say, "100 percent fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Nothing else." To prove it, it even compared the list of ingredients in the chocolate almond Freeze with Yogurtland, Pinkberry, Skinny Cow, and Baskin Robbins. The results aren't pretty, y'all. Many (if not most) conventional chocolate froyos and ice creams contain partially hydrogenated oils, stabilizers, and preservatives.
After educating myself, I returned to the counter to try all six Freezes (greens, roots, citrus, fruit, chocolate, and vanilla); my favorites were the greens and chocolate.
The greens Freeze isn't your run-of-the-mill sorbet soft-serve. It's thick and creamy (not icy) due to the addition of coconut meat. Though kale, spinach, and romaine are included in the list of ingredients, there's no grassy or supergreen flavor, just a perfect balance of acid (from the lemon) and sweetness (from the apple and dates). I topped mine with granola, but next time I'll try warm almond butter, as the attendant recommended.
I would give anything to have had the chocolate Freeze around when I was vegan. Made from almonds, dates, sea salt, and cacao, this soft-serve is a bit icier and less creamy than a typical chocolate froyo but delicious nonetheless. I drizzled mine with cacao-nut syrup, a blend of cocoa, coconut oil, and honey that hardened upon contact with the Freeze. Finally, I sprinkled a little Hawaiian sea salt to bring out the flavor of the dark chocolate. Next time, I'll top it with raspberries or strawberries to balance out the bitter chocolate flavor.
Overall, Pressed Juicery's Freezes prove that healthy can also be delicious and that the froyo trend isn't dying, it's just evolving. I'm hoping Pressed Juicery expands to the rest of the US so more people can get their greens Freeze on.