I’ve never been the biggest eggnog fan.
I mean, how is a person who grew up on skim milk supposed to drink eggnog without choking? It was always a little too thick for my liking and I was never sold on the flavor.
I’d rather eat ice cream.
My dad, however, loved the stuff. So every year I would take little sips of eggnog here and there just to confirm my distaste for it.
While it’s true I am slightly egg-obsessed, I would rather eat my eggs than drink them. The mixture I’ve whipped up is a thick, slightly sweet milk, spiced with nutmeg and vanilla. It tastes like a dream.
So while this is not like traditional eggnog much at all, it wins my vote by a mile.
To make the “milk” base I used almonds and toasted coconut, which creates a rich and nutty base for this mixture. The coconut flavor is mellow but crucial. It doesn’t overpower but adds just the right amount of flavor to the milk.
For sweetness, we’re going au naturel and using dates. And whenever there is an opportunity to add vanilla to something I take it. In this recipe I actually just throw in a piece of the vanilla bean and blend it right in. This adds a lot more vanilla flavor with a lot less vanilla bean. Win.
There are a few options for this drink, all depending on what you want.
- creamy + smooth – Using less water to blend the mixture and straining with a nut milk bag will create a perfectly smooth and thicker nog. This will also result in a richer and sweeter flavor since you’re using less water. This version is in between the thickness of half & half and heavy cream.
- thinner + smooth – Using more water and straining with a nut milk bag will create the consistency of a slightly thickened almond milk. The flavors will still come through enough, it just won’t be quite as thick. You’ll get more servings with this option.
- super thick – You can achieve this two ways. You can leave the mixture unstrained (with heavy pulp), or you can strain the mixture and then add back in the exact amount of pulp you choose to thicken.
My favorite was option 1 or 2. Option 1 was definitely a bit richer, but you still got all the flavor with option 2. It really just depends how thick you want it to be.
Oh, and don’t forget the booze. Sorry, not a rum fan.
Homemade Vegan Eggnog
gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-6, 3/4 cup servings
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 6-12 hours
- 2 – 3 1/2 cups water
- 8-10 medjool dates, pitted + soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- 1/2 – 2/3 whole vanilla bean, appx. 5-inches
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- rum or bourbon/whiskey
Preheat your oven to 325° F. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 3 minutes until evenly golden brown. Keep a close eye so it does not burn. Let cool.
Rinse soaked almonds. Place coconut, almonds, 2 cups of water, soaked dates, and the vanilla bean into your blender. Turn on low, working to high and let blend for 1-2 minutes until fully smooth. Add more water if desired.
Note: The mixture will seem extremely thick with only 2 cups of water, but when the pulp is strained through a nut milk bag it will be the consistency of cream. Add another cup of water for a slightly thinner strained consistency.
Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and pour the mixture into the bag, scraping all sides of the blender. Squeeze as much liquid through the bag as possible. Whisk in desired amount of nutmeg and serve over ice with a splash of your booze of choice (optional). Or, refrigerate (sans booze) in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
If a thicker consistency is desired, whisk in a few tablespoons of pulp.
Notes: This may take 1 trial before you figure out the exact consistency and sweetness you prefer. I liked using 3 cups, 9 dates.
I recommend using a nut milk bag for perfectly smooth nog (or nut milk) with no pulp. If you don’t mind a little pulp, cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer will do the trick.
Using 2 cups of water will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups nog.
Using 3 cups of water will yield approximately 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups nog.
Not sure what to do with your leftover almond/coconut pulp? Then check out my almond pulp crackers and bread recipes. They’ll turn out even more delicious with this vanilla, date sweetened pulp!