I still remember the first time I tried eggnog. I loved it so much I could have guzzled the whole carton, until my mom informed me – mid chug – that it was made with raw eggs. To say I was disgusted would be an understatement; and as a result I steered clear of the whipped egg concoction for the rest of my childhood and early adult life.
To say vegan eggnog has been life changing would be a slight exaggeration; but there’s no denying that upon the first drink each holiday season, I am reminded of that feeling of intense satisfaction I had when I tried eggnog for the very first time. Although this tastes slightly different than the egg and dairy-laden version I remember as a kid, there’s no doubt this recipe gives it a run for it’s money. The cashews give the beverage a bit of creamy depth, and the nutmeg and spiced rum help to disguise the otherwise intense nut flavors.
Although this recipe won’t fool your eggnog-loving Uncle who drinks a carton of the stuff a day, it’s an excellent alternative for those of us who prefer something a bit more nutritious this holiday season.
Although the liquor is optional, I do not recommend skipping it as it balances out the cashews and almond milk. If you’ve got a nut allergy, feel free to swap the almond milk with two cans of full fat coconut milk, and omit the cashews all together. The nog will be a bit on the coconut-y side, but if you add the liquor it’ll do a pretty decent job of covering it up. I add a tiny pinch of ground turmeric to help mimic the color of real eggnog (which isn’t necessary), but saffron strings will work, too. If you’re not using a high speed blender, you’ll want to soak the cashews for 24 hours.
For those of you who enjoy traditional eggnog, here’s a homemade boozy version that’s sure to please all the ‘nog lovers in your life.
Homemade Vegan Eggnog
Makes about 6 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
- 4-6 medjool dates, soaked for 30 minutes
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Tiny pinch of ground turmeric (for color)
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3-4 tablespoons spiced rum, optional
- Strain the water from the dates and cashews and add them to the base of a high speed blender.
- Add the almond milk and vanilla extract, then blend on high speed until smooth. If using a normal speed blender, this could take upwards of 3 minutes; if using a high speed blender, this will take about one minute.
- Add the salt, turmeric, nutmeg, and rum, then blend on high speed just until combined.
- Store nog in an air tight container for up to three days. Shake well before using.
Photo credit: Ashlae Warner