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Holiday Nog 01

© David James Di Pardo – 2016

It really doesn’t feel like the holidays without eggnog. Whether its for sipping while decorating the tree and blasting Christmas music, toasting at a holiday party, or for gulping down at 3am when you sneak out of bed for the leftover gingerbread cookies (which has never happened by the way).

I used to make traditional eggnog every year prior to going vegan. It was a Martha Stewart recipe (of course) that I had scribbled into my notebook and made faithfully each year serving it in my grandmother’s crystal punch bowl topped with extra whipped cream. If you’re not familiar with what goes into traditional eggnog, besides the booze, let me fill you in. Heavy cream, whole milk, a few cups of sugar, and about a dozen egg yolks… Yup, not exactly vegan, or heart healthy for that matter.

Since going vegan I’ve made a bunch of different recipes over the years. Some with bananas, which were good, but tasted more like a smoothie. Others with almond milk which unfortunately lacked the richness of traditional eggnog in my opinion. The recipe below has become my favorite. Thick and silky from the combination of coconut milk and cashew milk, and not overly sweet while making use of natural sweeteners.

Holiday Nog 02

© David James Di Pardo – 2016

Does it taste like traditional eggnog you ask? Nope, somehow its better. Not just because its healthier and a more compassionate choice (the animals thank you), but it has more depth of flavor. I served it to my guests on Christmas Eve, somewhat reluctantly because I knew there were people who loved eggnog as well as those who despised it. To my surprise it was a huge success, and I got requests from everyone for the recipe as I repeatedly refilled glasses.

The best part, its so ridiculously easy to make. Everything goes into the blender and gets a good whiz. No fussing with egg yolks over a bain marie trying to avoid making scrambled eggs…

 

Holiday Nog

Makes about 5 cups

 

  • 3 cups of unsweetened cashew milk, homemade or store bought ( I use Silk Cashew Milk)
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 3 Medjool dates
    *See Notes
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of rum, preferably spiced rum
    **See Notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra for serving
  • Ice for serving

Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth.

Transfer to a pitcher or carafe and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 3-4 hours.

Serve over ice with a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

Notes:
*If your dates are on the drier side (or if you don’t have a high speed blender) you can make them easier to blend by soaking them in hot water for about 20 minutes.
**The amount of rum will really depend on your tastes. I find 6 tablespoons to be perfect for my taste. There is enough for you to notice that its an alcoholic beverage but not enough for an unpleasant burn on the way down or to take away from the other flavors.
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