Nogging with neither eggs nor booze

Well, it’s the holiday season, a time when peppermint rears its noxious and sometimes incongruous head in everything from chocolates to milkshakes to pancakes. But before I let you think I’m sounding somewhat humbug, know that AWS really does know how to celebrate the holidays.

After all, I am the genius (well, I found the basic idea while noodling around on the Internet and modified it to my own liking) behind an eggnog that is eggless, nogless, sugarless and if I really wanted to go this route, it could be dairy-less (but I’m not there yet). If this sounds “Grinchy” and unappetizing, you may just want to try it. This concoction is delicious and solved a few issues I had with traditional eggnog, the taste of which I actually really love.

Eggnog, historically has been made with eggs that are raw. While AWS is not too squeamish about dipping her finger in a batter with raw egg to give a taste, the concept of drinking raw eggs has never sat quite well with me. Traditional eggnog is usually quite sugary, and AWS tries to keep sugar to a minimum, particularly when drinking it. As for the booze or nog (some say the English term eggnog came from combining the words “egg” and “grog,” which is clearly firewater-related), AWS does not do alcohol for personal and health reasons. I am no Carrie Nation, so if your joy comes from a bottle, well, cheers to you, but I am high on life! So, my eggless nogless nog contains rum flavoring to give it that exotic and heady edge.

Here is what I came up with for my yuletide nog-like drink. I use instant sugar-free vanilla pudding as a flavor base, mixed to a more liquid-y consistency by doubling the amount of milk called for on the package and adding some half-and-half for extra richness. Since the pudding has been diluted, I add a sugar substitute (I have come to love Stevia, a natural powder made from dried sweet leaf plant), than use flavorings of vanilla, rum extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Don’t be dainty with the spices – they really impart the true essence of what I believe makes this drink a treat. Go with a lighter hand for the rum extract and taste as you go – some folks like a heavy rum flavor, some do not. This drink chills up in a few hours and can be served in a decorative tumbler or mug, topped with a festoon of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. You won’t be able to tell much difference between this and the “real stuff.” Real stuff is a relative term.


Happy Holidays!

Yuletide Nog-like Drink

(Makes 4 servings)

4 cups low fat milk

1 cup half and half

1 1-ounce pkg. sugar free instant vanilla pudding

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream for topping

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or plastic pitcher, whisk for one to two minutes. Let chill several hours. Whisk again before pouring into festive glasses. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

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