Your favourite holiday drink just turned healthy! This recipe for Eggnog uses plant based milk instead of whole milk, light coconut milk instead of heavy cream and maple syrup or honey instead of refined sugar. And the best part? It’s SO easy to make and is just as good as the classic!
Eggnog is a staple in my house around this time of year and I know I ain’t the only one. There’s just something SO dang cozy about sippin’ on a glass while binge watching every last Christmas movie on TV. Am I right? We don’t let a holiday season pass by without stocking it up in our fridge or trying to see how many Eggnog Martinis we can down before Santa arrives. My boyfriend, who is a lover of all things milk and creamy, (seriously) chugs cartons of it in his sleep. And while he may also beat me in the martini department, I can’t lie… I love it just as much!
But sometimes, even though we often joke that Christmas calories don’t count, we can’t help but subconsciously add them up after every thick and creamy glass of nog we drink. And when something is as good as eggnog is this time of year, trust me when I say that it’s so easy to lose count of how many you’ve had. Especially if you chug it in your sleep like the boyfriend does.
In comes this recipe for homemade healthy eggnog which proves that dreams really do come true. Yes, you CAN have your nog and drink it, too! Made without the use of any refined sugars or fatty milks and creams, this healthy eggnog is lower in calories and saturated fats. But behold, it’s still just as thick and creamy as the traditional. So much so that I’m willing to bet that you’d never even know the difference – sleepwalking or not!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY EGGNOG FROM SCRATCH
Five main ingredients along with a few festive spices is all you’re going to need to bring your homemade healthy eggnog to life. Let’s discuss each ingredient in a little bit more detail down below:
- Almond Milk: A dairy free alternative to milk that provides a subtle nutty flavour which complements the other ingredients perfectly. It’s low in calories and saturated fats, making it a great option for this lighter eggnog. I used unsweetened almond milk but you can try making this homemade healthy eggnog with any of your favourite plant based milks. Oat, cashew or soy milk are great options.
- (Light) Coconut Milk: Adds creaminess to the eggnog without the heaviness of regular coconut milk. It imparts a mild coconut flavour and is often used in healthier recipes as a dairy substitute. It usually comes in a can in most grocery stores.
- Honey: Adds sweetness to the eggnog without relying on refined sugars. You can use maple syrup instead, if you prefer. Although both of these natural sweeteners play the same role in the eggnog, they have slightly different flavour profiles. Honey offers a rich and complex sweetness, while maple syrup contributes a distinct, earthy sweetness.
- Egg Yolks: Provide a creamy texture and contribute to the custard-like consistency of the eggnog. Using pasteurized eggs is a safe option, especially if you have concerns about consuming raw eggs.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a sweet and aromatic flavour to the eggnog, enhancing its overall taste. Its natural flavour complements the spices and sweetness of this homemade healthy eggnog.
- Nutmeg: A classic spice in eggnog, offering warm, nutty, and slightly sweet notes. It provides depth and complexity to the flavour profile and is often used as a garnish as well.
- Cinnamon: Adds warmth and a familiar holiday spice to the eggnog. It has both sweet and savoury undertones, contributing to the overall richness of the beverage.
- Cloves: Provide a hint of spiciness and warmth to the eggnog. Used in moderation, cloves add a nuanced layer to the flavor profile, enhancing the festive experience.
- Optional (not pictured) Rum or Bourbon: Adding a small amount of spiced rum or bourbon is optional but can provide a delightful adult twist to the eggnog. The alcohol contributes additional warmth and complexity to the overfall taste and flavour.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE EGGNOG HEALTHY (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for eggnog in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Use fresh and high-quality ingredients for best flavour, texture and results. You’ll really taste each ingredient shining through since there are so few of them.
- When separating egg yolks, be meticulous to avoid any traces of egg whites. This helps achieve a smooth and creamy texture in the eggnog.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture turns lighter in colour before whisking in the milk. You’re going for a pale yellow rather than a bright yellow like you started with.
- Temper eggs slowly. Gradually add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks while whisking continuously. This process, known as tempering, prevents the eggs from curdling and ensures a smooth consistency.
- Stir the eggnog mixture constantly while cooking to ensure even heating and to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Use a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula for best results.
- Avoid boiling the eggnog mixture at any point. High heat can cause the milk to scorch or the eggs to curdle, leading to a lumpy texture. Heat the mixture over low to medium heat until it thickens but never let it boil.
- Strain the eggnog before chilling to remove any bits of spices or egg for a smoother texture. This step contributes to the overall quality and consistency of the beverage.
- Allow the eggnog to chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Chilling allows the flavours to meld and intensify. EXTRA TIP: The eggnog will thicken more as it cools. However, if you find that your eggnog is too thick after refrigeration, you can always whisk in a bit of additional plant based milk or coconut milk to reach your desired consistency before serving.
- Give the eggnog a good stir or shake before serving. This helps distribute any settled ingredients and ensures a consistent texture throughout. RECIPE NOTE: It’s normal for eggnog to separate a bit over time. Simply give it a good stir before serving to blend the ingredients back together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Traditional eggnog, like this one, is made with a combination of dairy, eggs, sweeteners, and spices. These ingredients come together to create the classic flavour profile of eggnog—creamy, spiced, and slightly sweet. However, it’s worth noting that there are many variations of eggnog recipes, including healthier versions, such as this one, that use plant-based milks, alternative sweeteners, and other modifications to reduce calories and saturated fats. Additionally, pasteurized eggs or cooked egg bases are often used to address safety concerns associated with consuming raw eggs.
Yes, it’s possible to make a healthier version of eggnog by making some ingredient substitutions and adjustments as we do in this recipe. For example, using plant based milk alternatives instead of whole milk, using light canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream and using honey or maple syrup in place of refined sugars.
The most popular alcohols traditionally used in eggnog are rum and bourbon. Both spirits complement the rich, creamy and spiced flavours of eggnog, adding depth and warmth to this favourite holiday drink. Other spirits, such as brandy or cognac, are also popular choices.
If you’re looking for an eggnog cocktail, you’ve gotta try my Rum and Eggnog or my Eggnog Martini recipes!
This recipe for homemade eggnog will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container, bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid for best and longest lasting results. Don’t forget to shake or stir it before serving to recombine the ingredients and ensure a smooth consistency.
- 4 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 cup Coconut Milk (canned, light)
- 1/3 cup Honey or Maple Syrup
- 6 large Egg Yolks*
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
- Optional: 1/2 cup spiced rum or bourbon (adjust to taste)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk, coconut milk, and honey or maple syrup. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning or scorching, until it's warm but not boiling.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
- Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly (about 5-7 minutes). Be careful not to let it boil.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and optional rum or bourbon.
- Strain the eggnog to remove any cooked egg bits. Chill the eggnog in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, give the eggnog a good stir. Serve chilled.
Using pasteurized eggs is a safe option, especially if you have concerns about consuming raw eggs.
The eggnog will thicken more as it cools. However, if you find that your eggnog is too thick after refrigeration, you can always whisk in a bit of additional plant based or coconut milk to reach your desired consistency before serving.
It's normal for eggnog to separate a bit over time. Simply give it a good stir before serving to blend the ingredients back together and ensure an even texture.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 260mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 10g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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