I realize it may seem very bah humbug of me to even try to talk about how to make eggnog while simultaneously suggesting we eliminate the key ingredients (dairy, eggs and sugar) that make this classic holiday beverage so deliciously decadent. But I’m not the only one who is tinkering with the eggnog recipe this year…
Even Bon Appetit Magazine Is Making Eggnog Differently!
When my “Super Holiday Special” December 2014 issue of Bon Appetit magazine arrived in the mail the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see the food editors had made the decision to feature a new kind of eggnog this holiday season. The Bon Appetit Cashew Nut Nog recipe featured in the magazine (on page 105) is not without eggs or sugar, but it is entirely dairy free! And it still looks and tastes every bit as festive and fun as the real deal.
But I decided to push the envelope a bit further than Bon Appetit and ditch the dairy and sugar too…
How to Make Eggnog Sans Dairy, Eggs and Sugar
I have actually been making eggnog sans dairy, eggs and sugar for a few years now. In fact, I even feature a recipe for an Eggnog No-Milk Shake on page 311 of our Clean Cuisine book. However, the recipe below is a bit more decadent and richer than the one we feature in the book. I’m sure the addition of the Disaronno amaretto in this updated version is contributes a special something-something too (wink).
As for how to make eggnog without the dairy, eggs and sugar, the secret is 4-fold:
- Instead of Sugar: I sweeten primarily with pureed dates and frozen banana. I then use just a wee bit of pure maple syrup, which is not a refined sugar, by the way.
- Instead of Dairy: I get the rich, creamy texture from a combination of coconut butter (which is different than coconut oil, by the way–I like Nutiva brand coconut butter) and organic coconut milk (I think the banana also helps a bit with the creaminess). However, if you don’t have coconut butter on hand and don’t want to buy it special just for this recipe you can omit the coconut butter and it will still be delicious!
- Instead of Eggs: Again, the coconut butter and coconut milk do the trick and thicken the eggnog perfectly (Note: In case you are wondering, the only reason I don’t use eggs is because traditional eggnog recipes call for raw eggs, and using raw eggs always freaks me out a bit–especially when entertaining, which is usually when I make my eggnog recipe. However, it is not because I think eggs are unhealthy. But for the record, if I were to use raw eggs the only ones I would use would be organic, pastured (NOT pasteurized!) eggs, such as Vital Choice).
- A High-Speed Blender: In the end, its my super-charged Vitamix that steps up to the final job and purees all of my “whole food” eggnog ingredients together (with the addition of some water, of course) so that I end up with smooth, creamy and decadent holiday deliciousness. Although you don’t necessarily need a Vitamix, you definitely need a high-speed blender to make my eggnog recipe because a standard blender just can’t get everything blended smooth enough. (Note: By the way, did you know you can get a certified reconditioned Vitamix for just $379, which is exactly what I did when I bought mine. Click HERE to learn more about how to get a certified reconditioned Vitamix and free shipping too—just in time for the holidays!)
Although classic spiked eggnog recipes typically use alcohol in the form of brandy, rum, bourbon, etc., I prefer the sweet almond-y flavor of amaretto. I am especially fond of the Italian-made Disaronno Originale (see photo left). If you are only buying it for the eggnog recipe, you can just pick up a few miniature bottles. However, I love Disaronno so much that I always keep a large bottle stashed in our home bar; it’s the perfect liqueur to pour over fresh fruit (peaches are my favorite in the summer) or baked apples (in the fall/ winter) as a super simple and elegant dessert for entertaining.
Turn Your Eggnog Recipe Into Ice Cream!
The eggnog recipe below is absolutely delicious when made into ice cream…and such a festive and fun holiday treat if you’ve got a houseful of kids. To turn the eggnog into ice cream simply follow the directions in the recipe below (minus the liqueur) and then transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. If you want the taste of the liqueur you can drizzle it on the ice cream after it is frozen, but do note that the ice cream won’t freeze properly with the liqueur added beforehand.
If you don’t own an ice cream maker you might want to consider adding it to your holiday wish list! A high quality ice cream maker is actually a lot less expensive than you might think (I got mine for just $60!) and you can make an incredible assortment of decadent dairy-free/ sugar-free ice creams using nuts, coconut milk and dates.
Ok, let’s get the holiday party started! Time to make the eggnog….Print
- 1 cup very cold water
- 1/2 cup ice cubes (or enough to make it super cold!)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic full fat coconut milk, placed in freezer for at least 5 hours (see notes below)
- 6 pitted medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut butter (such as Nutiva)
- 1 frozen banana, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/3 cup Disaronno amaretto liqueur (optional) Note: If using this recipe to make ice cream do not add the liqueur or the ice cream will not freeze properly. You can pour the liqueur on top of the ice cream just before serving if you want the flavor.
- Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) in the order listed above and process until smooth and creamy. Chill and serve with cinnamon sticks as garnish.
Remove the coconut milk from the freezer without tipping or shaking. Carefully remove the lid and then scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the watery liquid behind (reserve liquid for use in smoothies). You will want to use the thickened cream only for the eggnog recipe.