Over the 11 years that I have lived in the US, I have tried many new things eat and drink, but never the traditional holiday drink of Eggnog. I don’t know why, it just never appealed and I didn’t really know what it was.
One of my clients jokingly asked me the other day if I would be putting out a recipe for a juicy Eggnog, and never liking to turn down a challenge, I decided to see what I could do, so Jean, this one’s for you!
First I did a little research into the history of the creamy richness which is so much enjoyed in the US. I should have guessed that like all great recipes, it’s believed that Eggnog originated in Britain (!) It may have developed either from the traditional “posset” a medieval drink made with hot milk, and served in a “noggin” a wooden cup used to serve alcohol (hence Eggnog), or from the combination of the words “egg” and “grog”, grog being a colloquial term for a rum based drink, the words being combined to form “egg’n’grog”.
Either way, it was a drink that was only enjoyed by the rich and famous, as they were the only ones who could afford to refrigerate their eggs and milk, and have access to brandy! That could explain why I had never tried it before!! Interestingly, it isn’t a popular drink in the UK at all now and not something that is traditional to holiday time at all.
So, with your interests at heart, dear readers, I bought a carton of organic Eggnog yesterday. As always, my family were part of the tasting experiment, so we lined up our glasses, and got ready to taste. The general consensus was that it was pretty darn good. Obviously we didn’t try it with rum or brandy, the kids still had homework to do after all (!) but I could definitely see the appeal. The question was, could it be recreated without using all that cream, eggs and sugar?
Funnily enough, as I sipped my glassful, it reminded me of a recipe I had made a few months earlier using coconut and soy milk; and as I tried it again last night, I think it’s a pretty good match. As with all these things, you can buy dairy free Eggnog in the stores, but it is likely to have a few other things added too, by making your own at least you know exactly what’s in it, and you can alter the recipe to suit your own tastes.
Finally, there’s the question of “why bother?” If we only have these treats at certain times of the year, and it’s just a little bit, why try and make a healthier version? Isn’t the point of some of these things that they are rich and indulgent and slightly bad for us? Maybe so, in which case, enjoy your rich, creamy, sugary, fat filled Eggnog to your hearts delight! But if you fancy a lighter version which is also a good source of protein, calcium, iron and some B vitamins then give this one a go.
So where’s the juice in this one, I hear you cry? You’re right it’s hard to find, but in the spirit of the holidays, I wondered if we might say the soy milk could be soy juice, and the coconut milk, coconut juice??
Soy Milk 10oz
Coconut Milk (light) 5oz
Goats milk Yoghurt 5oz
Ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon
Ground Cloves ¼ teaspoon
Put everything into a blender and whizz it all up! If you want it a little sweeter, then add some agave syrup or honey to taste.