HEALTHY LIVING: 3 healthier ways to enjoy eggnog this holiday season

HEALTHY LIVING: 3 healthier ways to enjoy eggnog this holiday season

It’s no secret that eggnog is a crowd favorite this time of year. It’s truly delectable with its rich nutmeg, cinnamon seasonings, and characteristically thick texture. 

Typical eggnog that you would find at a major supermarket isn’t particularly healthy, although there are “light” varieties for those looking for a lower-fat option. 

I’ve researched some delicious homemade eggnog recipes in an effort to compare them to the real deal.

The recipes that I’ve chosen and modified to my own specifications are on the healthier end of the spectrum of seasonal drinks. I’ve included a dairy-free and egg-free option for those with food allergies or specific dietary preferences, and it turned out to be my favorite of the three!

I started with a more traditional take on eggnog, with the low-fat folks in mind.

The first recipe calls for:

    ◦ 2 cups milk (options: milk, unsweetened rice milk, almond milk or soy milk)

    ◦ 3 large egg whites

    ◦ 1 tablespoon of pure agave nectar 

    ◦ 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Yields: 2 servings

The type of milk that is used will affect how thick the finished product is. I chose to use dairy milk with two percent fat. This gave a smooth texture to the final product without it being watery.

It’s important to use pasteurized eggs to avoid potential exposure to dangerous bacteria that is found in raw eggs. 

For the second recipe you will need: 

    ◦ 1 cup milk of your choosing 

    ◦ 1 cup whole milk 

    ◦ 2 large egg whites

    ◦ 1 large egg 

    ◦ 1/3 cup honey

    ◦ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Yield: 2 servings 

This is for those who prefer a thicker nog. You can use an egg-substitute for the whites, or separate them from their yokes easily using suction from a plastic bottle.

The final recipe is intended to be egg-free and dairy-free. 

You will need:

    ◦ 2 cups unsweetened almond and coconut milk (or a non-dairy milk of your choosing) 

    ◦ 1/2 cup raw cashews (soak overnight or for 1 hour) 

    ◦ 3 tablespoon maple syrup 

    ◦ 1/4 cup water  

    ◦ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    ◦ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Yields: 2 servings 

The last recipe combining almond, coconut, and cashews was my absolute favorite.

The cashews gave the eggless nog an interesting texture. Even though it didn’t have the typical velvety taste of traditional eggnog, it was refreshingly light in a way that the other versions of this holiday favorite are not. 

I recommend using a whisk for the first two recipes. A blender is a must for the third recipe in order to integrate the raw cashews into the nut milk blend. 

These easy to make eggnogs are a great accompaniment to homemade trail mix festively called “reindeer mix.” Which is just as easy of a concoction with the right ratio of sweet to savory popcorn and the candy of your choosing. 

The delicious pairing is sure to make for popular host and hostess gifts at holiday parties

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford resident,  NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris –