Spiked eggnog is a great addition to any holiday party, but a large mug of heavy cream and whole milk can take a toll on anyone’s digestive system (and waistline). Don’t, however, banish those Santa mugs to the back of the closet with the paper mache replica family your third grader made in art class just yet. According to Drew Coleman, executive chef at Mohawk Bend in L.A., eggnog can be healthy, too. Or at least health-ish (and still amazingly delicious) when all that heavy cream and whole milk is replaced with coconut cream and almond milk.
He says coconut cream is full of beneficial fatty acids and electrolytes to aid in hydration, while almond milk contains both calcium and protein. Adding egg whites can further increase the amount of protein transforming eggnog from a holiday cocktail to a pre-workout shake. Finally, cinnamon sticks, freshly-grated nutmeg and whole vanilla beans—rather than ground spices and extracts—will make this holiday staple even more egg-cellent (get it?).
See his full recipe below:
- 3 cups almond milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 5 eggs, whites and yolks separated (place whites in a covered container and refrigerate for later)
- 4 oz bourbon
- 2 oz dark rum
- 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped
Step 1: Boil
In a pot, combine spices, coconut cream, almond milk and vanilla bean. Bring everything to a boil, making sure not to scorch the liquid. Once it comes to a full boil, remove from the heat and allow the spices to marinate in the milk and cream.
Step 2: Whisk
Place egg yolks in a bowl and add sugar. Whisk well until the sugar is completely combined with the egg yolks. It’s fully mixed when the whisk forms slight ribbons when pulled out of the mixture. If whisking isn’t your thing, you can do it with an electric mixer, too.
Step 3: Combine
Remove the whole spices (vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg) from the milk. Slowly drizzle milk mixture into eggs while stirring to combine. The milk should be cooled by now, but you don’t want to add it too quickly to the egg mixture, because it may curdle and slightly cook the eggs. Once combined and smooth, add the booze.
Step 4: Refrigerate
Refrigerate mixture in a covered container. It’s best to refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop, but three to four hours should be enough if you’re pressed for time.
Step 5: Add Egg Whites and Drink Up
Before you’re ready to serve, place egg whites in a bowl or mixer and beat until you can form peaks with a whisk or mixing attachment. Next, fold whipped whites into nog mixture, taking care not to over mix. The whites will add richness and frothiness.
*Chef’s Note: Certain precautions should be taken because raw eggs are used in this recipe. Namely, try to purchase pasteurized eggs. Also, make sure not to leave the eggnog out at room temperature all day. Further, it should be consumed within no more than three days to ensure that there’s no spoilage. Finally, if you notice the almond milk separating, don’t fret; this is a natural occurrence.