Holiday Nog (Egg-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan)

Sometimes with food, you experience the same coup de foudre as love at first sight.  You might spy a mille-feuille (aka Napoleon or custard slice) in the glass pastry case and know just by looking that you’d relish those myriad strata of light, flaky pastry, cool, smooth custard sandwiched between them.  Perhaps you were invited for dinner and noticed a saucepan of chana masala simmering on the stove, saffron and cardamon and cayenne dancing in the bubbles that rise gently to the surface, and you knew you’d be smitten. Or maybe the first time you encounter authentic mole, its rich bitter undertones mingling with spicy heat as you inhale its exotic aroma, you know that the warmth on your tongue, the combination of slow-cooked tomato and chilies will send you into paroxysms of gastronomic ecstasy.  You want to marry that mole.

Sometimes, you just know.

I’ve had a love affair with eggnog from the first time I caught a whiff of that eggy, nutmeg-dusted scent when I was about seven, as my older sister poured herself a glass of the golden elixir; I knew before I even tasted it.  Cartons of the stuff would appear at holiday time, and we were lucky if one lasted a day in our house.  Once I moved out on my own, I attempted eggnog from scratch–once.  The ethereal combination of cream, egg and bourbon confirmed for me how much I loved it.  Even once I eschewed eggs and dairy, I turned to Holly Nog (good) or Noel Nog (superlative) and didn’t for a second miss the “real” thing (adding a shot of bourbon helped, too).

Ever since I began the ACD in March, 2009, there has been no nog in our house.  No dairy-based.  No soy-based.  Nothing. With no sweeteners (except stevia), no fruit, no eggs, and certainly no bourbon, there was no way I could have even a sip of the stuff.

This year, my former love and I have been reunited.  After considering several other variations, I used my noggin (well, really, you knew that was coming) and came up with a batch of this ACD-friendly (for those past the first phase of the diet) libation. I think it’s pretty darned close to the nog of my youth.  Upon taking a sip, the HH even remarked, “Wow, that tastes like the real thing.  In fact, the only thing it’s missing is the booze.”  (Sorry, sweetheart.)

For those of you following a sugar-free diet, or a dairy-free, egg-free diet, or a gluten-free diet, or (sniff, boo hoo) an alcohol-free diet, this is the nog for you.

I’m also submitting this recipe to Amy’s weekly Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. . . so many healthier holiday-themed recipes to check out! 🙂

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Last Year at this Time: Gastronomic Gift: Hazelnut Melting Moments, Times Two (GF and non-GF versions; ACD maintenance only)

Two Years Ago: Gastronomic Gifts V: Tutti-Fruiti Christmas Cookies (not GF; not ACD-friendly)

Three Years Ago: Dog Day: Is that a Treat in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

© Ricki Heller

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  1. Finally, a vegan nog this season that doesn’t include an avocado! 😉

    Happy, happy holidays to you and HH, Ricki!

  2. I am not sure that I have ever tasted eggnog – the idea of raw egg in milk just makes my stomach turn – the only way I enjoy milk these days is with chocolate (at a pinch) but I notice that there are lots of cartons of the stuff in supermarkets these days – but they were never there in my childhood. So while I know about falling in love with food I just wont include eggnog in my long long list! But if I was to taste it, it would be an eggless version like this

    • I think when I first tasted it as a child, I had no idea there were eggs in it! (And certainly these days, I’d be surprised if eggnog had real eggs in it any more!). But I do love creamy, sweet and rich-tasting drinks, and it certainly fit the bill. I don’t find that this tastes milky at all. . . more like an extra-rich smoothie with a kick. 😉

  3. Last year I started making egg nog smoothies that are sugar-free, fruit-free, and dairy-free. I did use egg yolks, but other than that I suppose that recipe is similar.

  4. I have never had eggnog before. Something about the name of it always grossed me out…”egg”nog. Blech! Your version sounds much more appetizing. I might be brave and give it a try, lol 🙂


    • Funny, I never even really thought about it–or if I did, I would have guessed that it didn’t really contain eggs. I think you would like this nog, really! 😉

  5. I guess calling this “Delicious Holiday Drink” wouldn’t give it the delicious, warm, comforting connotations that “Egg Nog” does, but the ingredients to this drink sound delightful, and though I haven’t been a fan of soy nogs, this sounds absolutely scrumptious. I can’t wait to try it. Cheers!

  6. What a brilliant idea to use pear. I make something similar with frozen banana. Can’t wait to try your pear version. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • I use pear in smoothies all the time, or as a sweetener in baking. I like it better than banana, which seems to transfer some of its own flavor to things; pear is more neutral. 🙂

  7. I’m with Courtney — I always found eggnog disgusting. But maybe it was the concept and not the taste. I’ve never been tempted to buy the vegan substitutes in cartons, either. But your version sounds yummy — kind of like a delicious, spicy pear smoothie. Maybe this will be the year I try “eggnog” and enjoy it!

    • I’ve always been a big fan of cream-based things (I think that’s why I glommed on to coconut milk so easily, too). 😉 I like the idea of a spicy pear smoothie–that’s exactly what it’s like!

  8. Perfect! Hopefully we can make this for the family while we are home! Thanks for sharing!!!

  9. I’ve never has “real” nog before, but I do love a good faux-nog! This sounds awesome, and very different from the usual tofu approach.

  10. Oh yummy yum yum yummy!!! I looooove me some eggnog and am so excited to try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. This looks like another brilliant Ricki recipe! I adore egg nog and so does Son, but when I drink it, the results are not good. I could make this except for the lucuma powder. No subs for that I presume? I know you say optional, but also highly recommended. Hmmm, I just looked it up and read that it resembles maple syrup in taste. Wondering if I can add some of that instead. Anyway, brilliant, Ricki! BTW, I’m taking your Cinnamon-Almond Fudge to work for my treat today (or maybe breakfast!). That high protein healthy dessert is fabulous. Stay tuned for my post. 😉


    • In my mind, the lucuma added that rich, butterscotchy flavor. . . but I bet if you’re good with maple syrup, that would be delicious, too. You could probably omit the stevia in that case as well. Let me know how it turns out if you do give it a try! 🙂 (And looking forward to the review, too!)

  12. I love that this is sweetened with pear and stevia. Wonderful, Ricki!

  13. Hey Ricki – I remember the first time I tried egg nog. It was an adult only drink and I was about 8. I was in love, simply because I was drinking a forbidden drink! My Dad’s always loved it, I should make your version for him!

  14. Oh, I’m sorry, I got so carried away fantasizing about this that I forgot to tell you how AWESOME this looks. Thanks once again for blowing my mind.

  15. What a creative recipe! It’s on my list of things I’d like to make. Happy Holidays Ricki!

  16. Ooooo I want to drink this so bad! Maybe I’ll make a big batch for the family on xmas eve 🙂

  17. I’ve loved eggnog since as long as I can remember, but haven’t been able to enjoy it as much the past few years because it’s just too rich. Your recipe sounds rich without being bad for me — I can’t wait to try it (altho’ I’m not sure I’ll have the lucuma to put in it).

  18. Yowza yum, yum!!!!

  19. I have not had egg nog in 3 years…. Mmmmmm looks so good.

    When things slow down, I am going to have to give this a try.

    Thanks for posting it.

  20. This looks fantabulous! I might just have to serve some.

  21. The pear is genius! I’m not a big pear fan lately, but just a little bit for body and sweet seems like a great idea. Haven’t tried lucuma yet. So many expensive ingredients to trial, so little free cash 🙂

    • I find that pear doesn’t really transfer its flavor in things like this, while banana really does. I know that lucuma is really expensive. . . it’s not essential here. I had heard so much about it, I decided to try it. And when you can’t use most sweeteners and miss out on butterscotch (like me), it’s a good sub!

  22. Must find some lacuma . . . My Mother used to whip up an eggnog for my brother Chaz and me when we were in grade school. It was during the height of the polio epidemic. Dad mandated that we ‘rest’ every summer vacation day from 1-4 PM and Mom made the eggnogs as a health drink. They were made with milk instead of cream and not very sweet. This recipe with fruit, nuts, and chia sounds lovely and probably more nutritious than our former ‘health’ drink.

    • I had no idea it could be used that way–I guess people did whatever they could to avoid or treat polio, understandably. I would guess that this version is easier on the system, but back then, who knows? 😉

    • Mine too! We had lovely raw milk from across the road, & my mom would make me ‘milkshakes’ that were really eggnogs (I don’t think I knew they had eggs in them for awhile!) She did include some of the cream, & probably vanilla & cinnamon.
      I think it was to try to build my iron – I was always ‘anemic,’ now I think more Vitamin E deficient (crisco & wesson oil) & perhaps early signs of gluten intolerance!
      My mom had polio during one of the early epidemics (1921) – I don’t think of the eggnogs linked to preventing that, but who knows!
      This does sound yummy – I use squash/sweet potatoes in everything I can this time of year, & have been using some in smoothies w/ chia & coconut milk kefir (my homemade)
      Thanks for a fun recipe!

  23. Sounds interesting. We don’t use alcohol and its the “eggy” smell and taste that we don’t like. Is there something I could use instead of chia seeds. I don’t get that here.

    Seasons greetings and best wishes for a happy new year, Ricki.

  24. Yum I love eggnog! What a great version of it. I’ve never heard of lucuma powder and am intrigued.

  25. fetured your recipe this morning.. I HAD to have it right then. It is AMAZING!!! Thank you for the delicious recipe

  26. This looks really great – I’ve never used lucuma powder, though I’ve heard of it before. Guess it’s time for me to go outside my comfort zone. 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe, Ricki!

  27. Just made this recipe. Super yummy! Thanks so much for posting this. I have always loved eggnog, but have been off dairy, eggs, and sweeteners of all kinds for the past two years. This was a great substitute. Hit the spot for sure! I used almond milk and alcohol-free vanilla. I omitted the stevia, Lucama powder, and rum flavoring and it still came out great! I am now experimenting with adding a little guar gum for a little extra thickening. Thanks again Ricki, you’ve made me look forward to treats at the holidays again!

    • I am SO glad to read this! We should all look forward to treats at the holidays, whether or not they contain sugar, alcohol, etc. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. And happy that you enjoyed it! 🙂

  28. Thank you, thank you thank you!! My partner and I have a friend who can not have any dairy, eggs, soy or alcohol of any sort and the one thing my partner and I love to do at Christmas is have our friends over, and we always make a huge batch of eggnog, but we have not the last few parties because of our friend and his allergies.
    But now my partner and I can make it again!! My partner will be so happy as he loved his eggnog and was missing it from the parties we threw..

    • So glad to hear that, Jerry! And glad you both enjoyed it. (Hmmm, making me think I should whip up a batch, holidays or no holidays. . .!!) 😀

  29. I love eggnog in small doses …like in our coffee :p

    Going to give this a try for a healthy alternative.

    Thank you!


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