It’s the holidays! And who says those of us with food restrictions have to give up all the festive foods and beverages that we love the most this time of year?
When I was a twenty-something, I fell in love with eggnog. I adored the creamy, silky base, the richness of the drink, and the subtle spice of the nutmeg (not to mention the occasional kick from the bourbon!). These days, however, pretty much every ingredient in traditional eggnog–from eggs, to cream, to milk, to sugar, to alcohol–is off the menu for me. So what to do when you want to share the joy and the holiday fare with those you love, but don’t want to stand out like a red nose on a reindeer because you can’t eat or imbibe any of the foods on the buffet table?
Last year, I decided I’d have to recreate the drink I lovedso much, except in an allergy-friendly, whole foods, and healthy version. I wanted the same silky richness, the same cool satisfaction, the same subtle spice. A little ingenuity, a little creativity, a lot of experimentation, and–voilà!–a perfect healthy nog!
This is a beverage that’s rich and delicious in its own right, without any of the usual ingredients that can contribute to added pounds and poor health this time of year. It’s sure to become a favorite with your family and friends, whether or not they have food restrictions of their own!
Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
The pear in this recipe is used to augment the sweetness without adding a distinct pear flavor, while the cashews add richness and creaminess to the drink. The combination of flavors really does work to replicate the taste of traditional eggnog. And if you’re able to add a splash of bourbon to yours, so much the better!
Ingredients Per single serving:
- 1/4 ripe pear, cored (no need to peel)
- 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla rice, almond or soymilk*
- 2 tsp (10 ml) lucuma powder (optional, but highly recommended)
- 2 heaping Tbsp (35-40 ml) raw cashews
- 1 tsp (5 ml) chia seeds**
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp (1 ml) nutmeg
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp (1 ml) rum flavoring (optional)
- 8-12 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste up to one ounce (30 ml) bourbon or rum, if desired/permitted
- Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender** and blend until perfectly smooth.
- Refrigerate until ice cold, at least an hour (this will also help it to thicken up considerably).
- To serve, whisk once more and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon; serve immediately.
Note 1: *if you use soymilk, the recipe is, obviously, no longer soy-free.
Note 2: ** if you don’t have a high-powered blender, grind the seeds to a fine powder first, in a coffee grinder.