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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nut Nog (a vegan version of egg nog)

I am a LOVER of egg nog.  Come Thanksgiving & Christmastime & I am usually guzzling as much as I can the whole season through.  As a child I often dreamed of finding a way to make my own egg nog so that I could make it all year long!!  I can also remember that they used to also sell a brand of it in cans on unrefrigerated shelves & I would dream of being able to buy enough of those to last the whole year through as well.  My mother never bought the canned stuff, at least not that I can recall, so I have no idea how it tasted or if they still make it or not, we always bought the stuff out of the refrigerator in cartons, next to the milk.

But while I am not completely egg free in my diet these days I am dairy free.  And while I have purchased silk nog & other brands, I do find soy milk hard to digest.  I get a bad stomach-ache after drinking it & I sometimes end up very constipated.  And that puts quite a damper on the holiday spirit, to say the least.

So I went to work on finding myself an egg nog replacement to love & cherish (& that I could actually make any time of year I want says my inner child!!).  And I eventually came up with this recipe.  In buying different brands of soy nog I did notice a HUGE difference in the flavoring of each brand.  So I will say that you can easily toy with the flavoring of this recipe to suit your taste as well.  I, personally, am not a big nutmeg fan.  It is needed, but only a tiny dash is needed for my taste.  The same is true of cloves for me.  Feel free to experiment & customize it to your liking!  I prefer using dates over refined sugar, but again, you can feel free to use whatever sweetener you prefer.

I do soak my nuts overnight & then throw out the soaking water & rinse the nuts well prior to blending.  If you didn't plan ahead you can soak for less time & I suppose in a pinch you could skip soaking altogether, although I don't think it's as healthy (nutrient-wise) or as digestible that way.  Be sure to use RAW UNSALTED nuts for this.  I usually get mine at Trader Joe's. 

Nut Nog

3 Cups water
1 Cup raw almonds
1/4 Cup raw cashews
4-5 dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free is preferred in a recipe like this where it's not cooked)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash cloves
dash salt

*combine all ingredients into blender jar & blend well
*strain (you can use a nut milk bag or go to your local hardware store & buy a paint straining bag--it's the exact same thing for much less money)
*chill & enjoy--I store mine in a quart mason jar, this recipe makes ONE quart of the nut nog