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Almond Milk Egg Nog

Like most people, we’re concerned about our health. We want to live longer, happier, productive lives in optimal health, eat safe and healthy food, and avoid disease-producing conditions like inflammation. But we also understand the desire to indulge in delicious treats every once in a while, especially during the holiday season. While many of our favourite treats – whether snacks, desserts, or beverages – are loaded with sugar and dairy which can be hard on the stomach (especially for those with lactose intolerance, which includes many black folks) and hasten ailments like diabetes, we are happy to share some excellent festive alternatives.

If you’re like us, one of your holiday favourites is egg nog. Although its precise culinary lineage is debated, according to Elizabeth Dias, most scholars date its invention to thirteenth-century Britain when monks were known to drink a hot, ale-like beverage called posset, a combination of milk, figs, sherry, and eggs. Egg nog crossed the Atlantic in the 1700s where people began swapping the sherry for rum which was widely imported from the Caribbean where enslaved people laboured on sugar cane plantations. Today egg nog also features cinnamon and vanilla.

Versions of egg nog also emerged in the Dominican Republic (ponche navideño or ron ronche), Mexico (rompope), and Puerto Rico (coquito). As for the name nog, Dias notes that while some claim it emerged from the term noggin, meaning wooden cup, others argue that it came from the word grog used for strong beer and for watered down rum. But while these traditional Christmas staples centre dairy milk, condensed milk, and/or evaporated milk, we are pleased to announce that some healthier alternatives now exist.

As we’ve previously noted, almond milk products like coffee creamers and Silk Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative have come a long way, developing wonderful flavours with excellent “mouth-feel” that rival traditional dairy products. This is also true for the almond milk egg nogs. Just in time for your holiday gatherings, we’d like to recommend two tasty dairy-free varieties: Blue Diamonds Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog and Califia Farms Holiday Nog. While both products are free from dairy, gluten, and soy, Califia’s is also carrageenan and BPA free, vegan and kosher, while Blue Diamond has also ditched the peanuts, cholesterol, casein, eggs, saturated fat, and MSG. As for the calories and sugar, Blue Diamond comes in at 11g of sugar and 70 calories per ½ cup and Califia at 9g of sugar and 50 calories. Want more good news? Both brands have only 1.5 g of fat. Traditional dairy egg nogs routinely have about 5 to 9g of fat, 17 to 21g of sugar, and 150 to 180 calories per ½ cup. You do the math!

But what about the most important factor, the taste? While both are fragrant and delicious, the Blue Diamond nog is slightly creamier with a richer “mouth-feel”. We like both straight out of the fridge and cold, as an alternative to traditional or non-dairy creamers added to our tea or coffee, and even warmed up as an easy swap for hot cocoa. Feeling adventurous? Try adding some almond milk egg nog to the blender with a banana and a dash of cocoa powder for a very merry Christmas shake. Since it’s the holiday season, we also suggest that almond nog would benefit from a splash or two of rum. You’re welcome!