Dairy & Egg-Free Eggnog

Dairy & Egg Free Eggnog

Details

This delicious vegan eggnog is amazingly close to "traditional" eggnog. It's made with cashews, coconut milk, dates and all the right spices and flavorings that you would expect in a good eggnog.
  • Serves: 7 cups
  • Active Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 7,942
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Making the "Eggnog"

• 8 medjool dates, pitted
• 2 cups water
• 1 - 15 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
• 1 cup raw cashews
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg*
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but recommended)*

Method

Place the dates and cashews into two separate small bowls. Add 1 cup of water (or enough water to cover) and set aside to soak at least 8 hours or overnight. If pressed for time, you can speed the process by covering with boiling water. The cashews should only take about 30 minutes to soften.

Drain and rinse the cashews. Transfer to a high-speed blender. Drain the dates and add them to the blender along with the coconut milk, vanilla. nutmeg, salt, and xanthan gum, if using. Process for about 2 minutes or until very smooth. Transfer to a clean container. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well-chilled. Stir before serving. If desired, add a bit of spiced rum.

The eggnog, will last, covered and refrigerated, for 2 to 3 days.

*Note: Do not use pre-ground nutmeg, as the end result will be nowhere near as good freshly ground.

Xanthan gum will give the eggnog that traditional eggnog-like consistency.

5 Comments

  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    I've done a fair amount of baking with xanthan gum and find that I don't really like the flavor. To me, it has an aftertaste that is similar to baking soda (slightly salty and metallic). In fact, I often omit salt from gluten free pie crusts that use xanthan gum as the binder because I find the overall flavor closer to a standard pie crust. I'm guessing that xanthan gum is recommended for this recipe because it has a kind of slimy texture. I find that chia seeds do, as well, but without the aftertaste. Would this recipe work with chia seeds instead of xanthan gum as the thickener? If so, what ratio of seeds to liquid would you recommend? Thanks
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Rebecca- I've seen people use coarse ground chia and then strain the nut milk out - it does thicken the milk but some pieces of chia will sometimes remain unless a fine mesh strainer is used. I'd start with 1-2 tsp per cup to see where the texture takes you. Keep n mind that the starches in the chia will also swell more over time in the refrigerator. ~Ken
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    Thanks Ken. I will try pre-soaked chia with this recipe. I recently purchased a Soyabella brand vegan milk machine that has both a grinder fine metal mesh strainers to separate the mash from the machine. It seems to work well and I find myself more motivated to experiment with alternative milks due to the ease of use and cleanup. I will probably try this recipe both ways -- with chia, and with xanthan gum. (I like the idea of using chia due to health benefits.) I've decided that I much prefer the texture of store bought brands of vegan milk over the plain recipe at home. I'm just finding it challenging to acquire specific technical information about thickeners, gums, synergistic relationships and proportions used to create a good mix. This recipe seems to be working on that track, which is why I asked my question here. So far, I've tried lecithin and chia separate and in combination. I used about 1/2 of the chia that you suggested and noticed a subtle change in viscosity. I haven't had success with fully emulsifying the milks with the lecithin, though, so I will probably up the amount on that ingredient as well. I've also mail ordered food grade locust bean gum and gellan gum, because those seem to be popular in almond and soy milk store brands for thickening and emulsifying. Most companies appear to be phasing carrageenan out. Do you know if xanthan gum can help enhance foaming (milk frothing) of vegan milks? I haven't had much success in frothing of these homemade milks, and was hoping gellan gum (also a bi-product of fermentation like xanthan) would help without an aftertase. If I understand things correctly, xanthan and gellan are made in much the same way, but that xanthan can at high pH's can have a diacetyl flavor -- which may be the flavor that I don't like in the baked goods I've tried, but it's hard to say exactly, because it's a subtle aftertaste. However, if xanthan gum promotes frothing, I might try it again anyway and this recipe seems like a good springboard for practice with both emulsifiers and thickeners.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Wow, you are really doing great work in this area! The Soybella will be useful in your nut milk adventure. I tend to use very little xantham. I find I can use smaller quantities and get good results in some cases (especially after the product can sit for a while). It will help frothing for sure, even just in a vitamix. I've seen versawhip used with xantham to make thick foams - like 2-3% versa whip to .5% or so xantham. It's not a whole food at all, but soy based. http://www.modernistpantry.com/versawhip-600k.html Gellan gum is a whole other beast so to speak. I have used it only a few times, and not for a drink but for harder gels in desserts. I've seen it used like a very strong agar and it's heat stable once set (does not melt). I think it only needs to be used in a small amount in a liquid if you want to make a creamy drink. It is also suitable for high or low pH, in my research. ~Ken
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    Hi Ken, Thanks for your thoughtful answers. Right now I'm working with both almond and soy milk. My hope with the gellan or xanthan gum is to use it primarily for stabilizing the vegan milks. There are a lot of suspended solids that settle very quickly -- like within minutes -- and look sort curdled at the bottom and watery at the top. The lecithin seems to work well, but I have to use a large quantity -- like 1 TBS per cup. Of course, I would also like to use the homemade version in espresso, so holding a foam would be nice. I can get the raw milks to froth with lecithin, especially with a high speed blender. The froth just doesn't seem to hold for very long in the soy milk. The almond milk holds better. I tried the chia, soaking it overnight first, and then placing it in the metal strainer with the mesh at the dose of 1 tsp per cup liquid. It seems to work well at increasing viscosity. I think you're spot on with the 2 tsp per cup for a thicker version, like eggnog. I haven't noticed increasing thickness or lumpiness after being placed in the fridge overnight or the following day -- but that's probably because the actual seeds are strained out by the mesh basket. I probably won't resort to versawhip because it sounds like the versawhip also has a slight aftertaste. Since you've found it useful in combination with versawhip for producing froth, I will try both xanthan and gellum separately with lecithin to see if it will help hold the foam. If I can devise a workable recipe, then I might not ever have to go grocery shopping again. On a side note, I found an online google books reference to the various gums, and it sounds like xanthan, under most circumstances, shouldn't have a salty taste. However, it also sounds like xanthan can be perceived as saltier when used in combination with high potassium. That may be why I taste salt in pie crust with xanthan and no added salt. Many of the gluten free flours have high levels of potassium and may provide the environment that makes that possible. (Pg, 1892, Modern Magnetic Resonance: Part 1) I don't know if gellum does the same thing. The study referenced in this book was from 1995. Becky

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