Is Eggnog Vegan, Or Nah?

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When it comes to holiday drinks, one beverage reins supreme over even the Pumpkin Spice Latte. That holiday drink is eggnog, which arrives warm your soul with creamy goodness every winter holiday. A major question worth considering, though, remains: Is eggnog vegan? Whether you live a cruelty-free lifestyle or not, there are a number of good reasons for people might be cautious about what they put into their bodies. They all go back to what is actually inside eggnog — something which is especially true for vegans.

Sadly, traditional eggnog is not vegan. As the name suggests, eggnog does contain actual eggs; it also consists of a whole lot of dairy, usually heavy cream or milk (or both). Add in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and some bourbon, and you have a classic holiday drink that many people crave as soon as the snow hits the ground.

While there are plenty of store bought options, eggnog is definitely one of those drinks you can make at home and adjust to your liking. Alton Brown's recipe for traditional eggnog seems to be a crowd pleaser; it calls for four egg yolks, 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon sugar, one pint whole milk, one cup heavy cream, three ounces bourbon, one teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and four egg whites. If you don't drink or cook with alcohol, you can, of course, leave the bourbon out.

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But for people who avoid eggs and dairy, is there an eggnog alternative to enjoy? Thankfully, there both plenty of store bought options (Silk's Holiday Nog, for example) and vegan eggnog recipes for those who like to experiment in their very own kitchens. For the DIY crowd, the two key substitutions you need to make for vegan egg nog are to recreate the creaminess of the milk or cream and the richness and flavor of the eggs.

Simple Vegan Blog's recipe, for example, uses coconut milk; as the site explains, it's a great substitute for traditional dairy because it has a naturally high and rich fat content (which is where the creamy mouthfeel of most dairy products comes from). Meanwhile, to replace the eggs, you can blend up 1/2 cup of raw, soaked cashews. From there, you use the traditional eggnog seasonings of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove to literally spice it up. Easy, right?

What's more, there are lots of creative ways to make vegan 'nog. According to Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows, you can make vegan eggnog using avocados. That's right: Her recipe calls for avocado and banana, along with the more familiar ingredients like coconut milk, vanilla, and spices. The avocado and banana help make the drink rich and creamy in the same way that traditional eggnog is.

To make a version of peppermint vegan nog, you can also add some peppermint extract to your recipe. Because what else says "winter" like the cool bite of peppermint? Nothing. That's what.

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Depending on your area, you can also purchase vegan holiday eggnog from your local grocery store. Numerous brands have vegan versions of nog, including So Delicious, the aforementioned Silk option, Almond Breeze, Califia, and even Trader Joe's. Many of these brands use a base of almond, soy, or rice milk so you will taste some difference between them. One thing for certain: These versions are definitely cruelty-free, and require a whole lot less mess than making it yourself.

Happy holidays, everybody!

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