When I told my boyfriend that I was whipping up a vegan eggnog for The New Veganism, he scrunched up his nose and was silent — hardly his typical response when I announce that I’m about to test a new recipe. Further inquiry revealed that he despises eggnog — can’t even stand the smell of it — mostly because he finds the egg flavor impossible to escape. I assured him that an egg-free version would change the way he thought about eggnog forever.

Sure, egg-free eggnog may sound like an oxymoron. But is it really the egg we all love about eggnog, or is it the thick texture, the hints of baking spices, and the sweet, irresistible richness? That’s what I remember fondly about traditional eggnog, anyway, and it’s exactly what is captured in this version. A mixture of coconut milk and cashews creates creamy texture — the kind that will result in a nice, thick moustache after you take your first sip — while maple syrup, dates, and a traditional spice combination create authentic flavor. You can spike it with some bourbon or rum, or you can simply enjoy it as a sweet treat.

When I handed my boyfriend a small glass of the nog, he looked skeptical, but upon realizing that the characteristic eggnog odor was nowhere to be found, he intrepidly took a sip. His eyes lit up, and before he could say a word, he’d gone back for another long gulp. “Yeah, this is really delicious,” he said, before proceeding to polish off his glass. It was all the eggnog affirmation I needed to hear.

Vegan eggnog
See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.
Makes 6 cups

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3/4 cup dry cashews, soaked overnight and drained (they’ll plump up to about 1 cup as they soak)
2 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked overnight and drained
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 cups water
1/3 teaspoon (or 1/4 heaping teaspoon) salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 to 1/2 cup bourbon or rum to taste (optional)

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