Dairy Free, Delicious Eggnog
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas season is here! I’m so looking forward to posting all kinds of Christmas recipes for you. Here’s what I have in store this month: fun holiday drinks, cute recipes for entertaining, healthy comfort foods on a cold wintery day, easy crockpot meals for when you’ve had a busy day rushing around from all the holiday madness, and of course the “healthier,” but not less delicious, desserts. I’m most excited about the dessert part because, well….it’s dessert….no explanation necessary
To start the Christmas season off with a bang, I’m starting off with this delcious EGGNOG!
The taste and smell of eggnog stirs up wonderful Christmas memories for me. When I was a child, eggnog was a special treat reserved only for Christmas morning breakfast. I loved it so much and savored every last drop knowing I would have to wait a whole year until I was able to taste it again.
Now, I can make it myself and it still brings those great memories and puts me in the Christmas spirit. I’ve been experimenting with some dairy free, less sugar, and healthier versions of my favorite holiday drink and and this is my favorite. It is so rich and creamy – it’s almost as thick as a milkshake! And it tastes just like the eggnog I remember having for all those Christmas morning breakfasts, but without all that dairy. I don’t like to waste food, so I used some of the egg whites to make a fun cinnamon spiced meringue topping. I think the meringue topping and the toasted coconut rimmed glass add an extra special touch and make drinking these way more fun. If you want to have even more fun, go ahead and add in the spiced rum
*If you are allergic to coconut and can tolerate dairy, a dairy version would look the same, except substitute the coconut milk with milk and/or heavy cream (I would do a 50/50 combination of milk/heavy cream if it were me). I’ve never made it with almond milk, but would imagine it would work and taste great, too. I’d guess that it would not get quite as thick, rich and creamy, though. If anyone tries it with almond milk, let me know the results!
Dairy Free Eggnog with a Cinnamon Spiced Meringue Topping
2 cans of coconut milk (14 oz each)
6 egg yolks (save 2 egg whites for the meringue topping)
2-4 T honey or sweetener of choice (amount depends on your desired sweetness level)
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Optional Cinnamon Spiced Meringue Topping:
2 egg whites
1 tsp maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Alcoholic version: Add in 8 oz spiced rum
Additional optional toppings: toasted unsweetened coconut, additional nutmeg, cinnamon or cinnamon sticks
Whisk together the egg yolks, honey, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
Over medium high heat, bring the coconut milk to a simmer, stirring often. Pour half of the heated coconut milk into the bowl with the egg mixture and whisk together until well blended and pour it back into the pot with the rest of the coconut milk. Turn down the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the mixture is very thick – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. If you are using spiced rum, pour the rum in the eggnog now. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight for best results (something magical happens overnight – the eggnog fairies must come because the flavors blend and it gets amazingly thick and creamy). To make the meringue topping: Blend the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add in maple syrup or honey or sweetener of choice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue blending until very stiff peaks form. Add a dollop on top of the chilled eggnog. Top with optional toppings if you wish and serve chilled. Enjoy!
HOW TO TOAST COCONUT AND RIM YOUR GLASS WITH COCONUT:
Place shredded, flaked or shaved coconut into a skillet over medium heat. Stir often and cook until most of the coconut turns golden brown. It will only take a minute or two.
To rim your glass: With a small brush (or your finger), thinly coat the rim of your glass with some warmed honey. Place the shredded coconut on a plate. Gently press the rim of the glass on the plate with the coconut. Gently rotate or rock back and forth until the coconut sticks to the rim of the glass.