When we are lucky enough, something comes along that cannot be expressed in words. For us, that is the culinary artfulness of Laura Wright, who has created The First Mess. The First Mess is a blog that features plant-based, organic food creations that rival recipes from top Michelin-star restaurants and are captured with such photographic artistry, they could be featured in Saveur Magazine. Her inspiration stems from her surroundings, as her home sits between a peach orchard and vineyard, which is what allows her to be so in tune with all things natural. She believes a meal should never be taken for granted, which is why we are so enthusiastic about her healthy vegan eggnog. Let the party begin!
The first time I tried the-real-deal eggnog was at a holiday party for a restaurant I was working at. I had just arrived, and my boss/chef offered me a cup ladled right out of a big trifle dish. Prior to this, I had never loved eggnog. All boxed versions tasted sickly sweet and way too artificial, but since I have never been one to refuse offerings of any kind, down it went!
To my surprise, it was so good. I mean the texture was velvety and a bit frothy and there was a detectable backbone of nutmeg and spiced rum. The most appealing part of it was that the eggnog was extremely rich. And like all things conventionally rich, it was made with heavy cream, egg yolks, whipped egg whites and sugar.
Therefore, in a quest to turn this holiday classic into a less health-damaging beverage, I set out to make a vegan version. The key was to match the rich flavor and creamy texture, without the eggs and cream. So what was the solution? A base of coconut and raw cashews. I created a velvety milk out of the two, then sweetened it up with dates, and filled out the flavor with warm vanilla and freshly grated nutmeg. It is a pretty amazing, more nutrient-dense take on the classic… without the all the sugar and the cream coma. I opted to keep this eggnog sans booze, but you are always welcome to stiffen it up by adding some rum, bourbon, brandy or any spirit you love.
Vegan “Egg” Nog
makes 7-8 cups
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or more
2 cups filtered water
1 400 ml can of coconut milk (organic + non-BPA-exposed is preferable)
5-6 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg + extra for serving
Strain the cashews and place them in a blender with the 2 cups of water. Blend on high until a smooth and creamy milk forms, about one minute.
Add the coconut milk, pitted dates, vanilla bean seeds, sea salt, and nutmeg to the cashew milk. Blend the mixture on high again until you have a smooth, homogenous mixture. Transfer the nog to a serving vessel or jar and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. I like it slightly cooler than room temperature. Once you pour the nog out into serving glasses, top it with a bit of extra grated nutmeg.
Note: If you’re making this ahead of time, it’s great to shake it up in a jar or re-blend it right before you serve it to achieve that frothy quality of traditional nog.
the idea of traditional eggnog has always sort of grossed me out (and i’m afraid to admit it to people in person because when people love eggnog, it’s like nothing can get in their way), but i LOVE this ingredients list! they’re all things i normally have on hand anyway. go laura!!
Let us know if you try it out, Molly!
To make it boozy, how much rum would you add?
Hi Mariela, we recommend a shot or less per mug, to taste and preference – rum can be strong stuff! Happy Holidays!
Is this light or full-fat coconut milk?
Hi Katie – It is full-fat coconut milk. From our experience, light coconut milk just never seems to turn out right. Enjoy!
I’m with Molly, traditional eggnog grosses me out. Eggy warm drink? Blegh. But I have all of these ingredients and plan on whipping this up tonight!!
Yum! Happy sipping, Abby!
This is an excellent recipe, definitely going to try it out!
My blender isn’t a crazy high speed blender like VitaMix. Would it come out as smooth, or can you strain through a nut bag?
Hi Aaron, it might take a bit longer depending on speed, but this recipe works for any type of blender. Happy Holidays!
Love love love this. I was looking for the perfect vegan nog recipe, and this seems just that. Thanks!!!
Let us know how it turns out, Melissa!
If I wanted to make this in advance, how long will it stay fresh in the fridge? It looks AMAZING, can’t wait to try it!
I adapted the same recipe from Chalkboard. OMG it’s the best, right?! Hurray for vegan goodness! 🙂 Your photos are gorgeous!
I just finished a glass of real egg nog that I made, because I adore it, but am looking for a vegan recipe to cut down on the calories. (Despite using almond milk instead of real milk, let’s face it, I’m not really helping anything by continuing to use heavy cream.) This one seems great! I’m excited to try it.
Let us know how it turns out, Georgia!
I was a little skeptical, I made this today. I actually think it is more delicious than regular eggnog!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe.
You are so welcome, Bobbie – Happy New Year!
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