I am addicted to all things holiday season. Joy and spirit fill the air and send me on a seasonal happy high. Lights strung throughout our home, the faint piney freshness of a Christmas tree, the jingling of bells, ginger spiced cookies, holiday sweaters, and the creamy, nutmeggy flavor of eggnog.
My childhood Christmas memories always included drinking eggnog. I thought everyone drank it! But I’ve since learned there are two kinds of people in life: those who love eggnog, and those who won’t touch it with a ten-foot straw (eh hem, my husband). It’s RICH! Cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and bourbon — basically the equivalent of drinking melted ice cream. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if that’s the case, I’d rather eat eggnog ice cream. Unfortunately, it’s been years since I’ve enjoyed a glass without feeling guilty, heavy and bloated.
No, but not this year! What I’ve discovered is a more gut-pleasing approach to enjoying this once-a-year holiday drink. VEGAN EGGNOG. This recipe blew my mind when I tasted it for the first time. It’s much healthier than traditional eggnog, AND it is still just as creamy with the rich flavor of fresh nutmeg. It also takes no time at all to make. Add that to your holiday to-do list!
How does it get so creamy? CASHEWS! Once soaked in water, cashews soften and can be made into cheeses, milk, spreads, ice cream, and dips. I soaked my cashews for 8 hours. If you are in a hurry you can also pour boiling water over them and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse them a few times, and then add them to a blender with two cups of water. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. You want the cashews to be completely broken up and for your mixture to be white and smooth.
Next add a can of full-fat coconut milk, 6-8 pitted dates, vanilla, salt, and freshly ground nutmeg to the blender. In my mind, there’s really no exception to fresh nutmeg, but if you only have ground it’s absolutely okay to use it. Now blend everything again on high speed for another 1-2 minutes. The dates should be completely broken apart.
Mixing everything at high-speed will add a little warmth to the eggnog. While I personally believe eggnog should be served ice cold, don’t feel bad if you immediately pour yourself a little taster of this vegan eggnog. Fresh out of the blender — so frothy, so creamy, so nutmeggy. SO GOOD! Of course, to make it the adult version, add in spiced rum, bourbon or cognac (or all three)!
WHO KNEW VEGAN EGGNOG COULD BE THIS CREAMY?