Ok, for me, the holidays always included eggnog.  Thick, rich aromatic and spiked with a bit of joy.  I still can see the my mother’s serving tray of garnished glasses of eggnog – with a smaller version of the same for kids – waiting on the coffee table for all of us after dinner (now, how did we down that after all we had just eaten?).  It was with a great sense of sadness when I realized that this holiday cheer was a causality of my lost battle with lactose. But, now I have found a way to have it back in my holidays and not only lactose-free but with a few fewer calories too! This uses nut milks of course inlieu of dairy and coconut milk in lieu of heavy cream.  Most recipes do call for sugar but I have found maple syrup to be just fine.  And, yes, sugar is sugar, but maple syrup has some nutrients and is less processed than refined white sugar. Oh, and beating the egg whites adds thickness.  Some find it is overkill with the coconut milk, but its up to you.  I serve this as a dessert option so it can stand a bit of thickness in my holiday menu. This does put the merry into my Christmas!  It may not be exactly like Mom’s but its hard to match memories, right?  Play with it, alter the ingredients, and make it perfect for you.  This is not baking so there are few rules – just the way I like to cook! Happy Holidays!

Happy and Healthy Eggnog

Ingredients

4 egg yolks ¼ to 1/3  cup maple syrup or to taste 1 cup nut milk unsweetened – almond or cashew 1 can of organic coconut milk – you can use the light version, but, really, it is the holidays! 3 ounces of a liquor (optional) –  bourbon is traditional.  I prefer Amaretto Splash vanilla to taste 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg plus more for garnish 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

Directions:

Separate the eggs.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Stir in maple syrup. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the nut milk and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. In small amounts, gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg mixture while beating on low. Remove from the heat, stir in liquor, if using, and vanilla.  Pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill. In the stand mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar, if using, and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. Scoop into glasses and sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg   Happy Holidays!  Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.      

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