What do I love about Austin?
Lots of things. But to name a few: the weather, the festivals, the lakes, the hill country, the fact that we host Paleo f(x) each year, and the fact that I make so many new connections and friends at Paleo f(x) each year.
One of those friends was Zach Rusk. We met at the very first conference I attended, in 2015. Though I'm not really sure how we stayed in contact, Zach has a way of doing that. He meets weird people and stays in touch.
So I wasn't really surprised when he graduated from Ohio State, moved to Puerto Rico, and started an iguana hunting business. Or when he texted me 7 months into his ex-pat excursion saying, "I think I might move to Austin." Or when he texted me a week after that to say, "coming to Austin on Friday!" And then once more to say, "My couch surfer bailed! Can I stay with you till I find a place?"
He's a lot better at being easy-going than I.
But one thing we have in common: an obsession with ice cream and food quality.
This led Zach to create Earthchurn Ice Cream.
Made with a few simple ingredients, this stuff is changing the game in the frozen dessert world. While the dessert industry seems to be flooding with new innovations in this field lately, Zach has created something unique in Earthchurn. Some companies boast their high protein content. Others talk about their low net carb content. Even more decide that dairy is the issue.
Here is what makes Earthchurn stand out: It is high-protein, high-fat, no sugar ice cream. No other brand has all 3 of those qualities. And it's delicious.
How does this all work? Well, the baseline ingredients are grass-fed whole milk (much better quality than you'll find in other brands), pasture-raised egg yolks for omega-3 and choline, and the only sweeteners used are stevia and erythritol. Stevia and erythritol are zero-calorie natural sweeteners that do not raise blood sugar. And since it's only the yolks, I didn't break out from eating this. Kind of a selfish last point there. But it all sounds great to me! ;)
Being a self-proclaimed ice cream snob, I've probably tried all the healthy spin-offs I could. My favorite brands to find in the store are either still super high-sugar, even if they cut dairy, or leave me feeling bloated if they're high protein. And no one is touting high-fat! So I was thrilled when Earthchurn didn't leave a tummy bump from gas, no sugar sweats, and I felt satiated! I'm even wondering if I'd be able to maintain ketosis while eating this stuff!
That being said, let's take a look at what I've tried so far.
Fat Funk Chocolate Chunk
Okay, of course I'm not going to not like chocolate ice cream. But let's break this down. The texture of this flavor changes with how long it's been out of the freezer. With Earthchurn's higher fat and protein contents, it takes longer to thaw. So, if you eat it straight out of the freezer, it will seem a little icey. The lovely amounts of fat are actually the culprits, as they take the longest to thaw and can make a similar texture to ice.
However, if you're patient and can wait a few minutes before digging in (it's hard for me too, trust me) the texture molds itself to be wonderfully creamy. It's not like exactly traditional high-sugar ice cream, but is actually thicker. It's like halfway-ice cream, halfway-gelato. And my summer living in Florence made me a super fan of the latter, so no complaints about that here! Oh, and there's chocolate chunks in there, too. Drooling.
Flavor ingredients: Mill-King Market & Creamery whole milk, Organic Creamery whole milk, Organic Valley heavy cream, Organic Valley free-range egg yolks, Truvia, Dagoba Organic chocolate cacao powder, Simply Organic pure vanilla extract, Real Salt
Balsamic Foraged Fig
This stuff is just as creative and epic as it sounds.
Like I've already mentioned, Earthchurn is all about sustainability and that includes seasonal eating. Zach may have found a fig tree that is easily accessible for us to pick from near my apartment... and thus, this flavor was born!
I'll admit that balsamic vinegar is not generally the first thing I want to throw onto my desserts. It kinda weirds me out. But I never regret it when I give in and take the plunge to try it. That narrative rings true with this flavor. The sweetness of the fresh figs tossed with some good ol' fatty dairy and the unmistakeable flavor of balsamic vinegar creates a luscious flavor that can really only be related as similar to what you'd find in a specialty creamery. Throwing some extra figs on top never hurt anyone, either. ;)
I'm not much of a fruity dessert person, and chocolate in ice cream still holds a special place in my heart. But this is what I would go for if the fruity dessert train ever inclined me to hop on!
Rating: 8 out of 10
Flavor ingredients: Mill-King Market & Creamery whole milk, Organic Creamery whole milk, Organic Valley heavy cream, Organic Valley free-range egg yolks, Truvia, Fresh organic figs, Balsamic vinegar, Simply Organic pure vanilla extract, Real Salt
I am in love with what Zach is doing and can't wait to se his business grow! This truly is a brand-new startup as of 2017, so help ya guy out and visit the Earthchurn site to place some orders today! You'll be supporting one of the most conscientious people I know and eating healthfully delicious ice cream while doing so.