I’d never had homemade eggnog until the first time I spent Christmas at my in-laws house. Up to that point, I assumed it came in a carton and that was that. Like Athena from Zeus’s head, it sprung fully-formed from grocery store shelves. So my father-in-law’s homemade version came as quite a revelation. Thick and frothy and rich, it was truly a meal unto itself. It was gorgeous, and I’ve thought about it every year since (as I bought my fully-formed version from the grocery store).
This year, when faced with the necessity of making my holiday favourites more friendly to my blood sugar, I finally got up the gumption to make my own eggnog. And I took it one step beyond just substituting a low carb sweetener for the sugar. A lot of diabetics find the lactose in milk to be too much for their endocrine system. I myself can drink it in small quantities but I decided to experiment anyway, as almond milk has become a low carb staple in my pantry. It’s wonderful stuff in it’s own right, much tastier than soy milk, and is a great replacement for milk when baking and cooking. So I simply followed the eggnog recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, swapped almond milk for milk and erythritol and stevia for sugar, and hoped for the best.
The Results: Bottoms up! I am thrilled to discover that eggnog made with almond milk tastes just like the regular kind. It was wonderfully thick and rich, and there wasn’t a hint of almond flavour. With a little whiskey or rum, and the traditional sprinking of nutmeg, it’s a perfect low carb treat with which to ring in the holidays. Or have it alcohol-free as a breakfast or brunch treat. My only complaint is that the recipe said it made 10-12 servings and it was more like 8 servings.
I decided to make mine with the whipped cream that the traditional recipe calls for, to make a really rich eggnog, but if you wanted to go dairy-free (besides the eggs, of course), you could add in more almond milk after the custard is chilled. The custard itself was incredibly thick, so you would want to add something to thin it out a bit and make it more drinkable.
And if you wanted to make this with almond milk but use regular sugar, you can sub in 1/2 cup sugar where I’ve put in erythritol, and omit the stevia extract.
Almond Milk Eggnog
6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups unsweetened almond milk (like Blue Diamond)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
20 drops stevia extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
Whiskey, rum or brandy (or whatever liqueur you like)
Whisk eggs, yolks, erythritol and salt together in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in almond milk until well combined. Using a candy thermometer, cook mixture over low heat while stirring constantly, until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 180F, about 20 minutes.
Strain egg mixture into a large bowl and stir in vanilla, stevia and nutmeg. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least three hours and up to 2 days.
Just before serving, whip cream into soft peaks and gently fold into the egg mixture. Add 1 oz liquor or liqueur to each glass and pour eggnog over. Stir gently and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.
Serves 8. Each serving has 9.5g total carbs, but only 3.5g if you subtract erythritol.