I think I love the time leading up to Christmas even more than Christmas itself. The feelings of barely being sleeping the night before and the surge of excitement the next morning have faded as I’ve grown further away from childhood. But I have only grown more fond of all the traditions that precede Christmas: baking cookies, picking out + decorating a tree, looking at neighbours’ outdoor lights and shouting “GRISWOLDS!” when an elaborate set up is spotted, or planning a theme for the Christmas Eve party at my grandma’s house.
The idea for this post started out as the holiday nog featured below, and a dairy free eggnog made with actual eggs. When I went to make the recipes on Tuesday morning, I realized that we only had 3 eggs left in the carton and was confronted with the dilemma: breakfast or eggnog? Since the weather outside was frightful(ly cold) and the notion of eggs for breakfast was so delightful, I decided to forgo the eggs in my nog for now. But there are still two ways to enjoy your nog this holiday! First, a more classic version with lots of nutmeg and vanilla, and a second super easy gingerbread variation (not pictured). Bonus: these are naturally sweetened only with dates, but you can replace them with a couple tablespoons of sugar or maple syrup if you don’t have any dates in your pantry.
ps if you’re feeling stressed about Christmas because presents are overwhelming, consider gifting a donation to a local charity like Loving Spoonful! They do incredible food justice work in the Kingston community, and will send you an e-card that you can pass along as your gift 🙂
holiday nog (vegan, gluten free)
makes about 4 cups / 8 servings
scant 1 cup cashews
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup coconut cream
6-8 medjool dates, pitted (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
optional: a generous splash of rum
gingerbread nog (vegan, gluten free)
2 cups holiday nog
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
Soak the cashews in water for 1 hour (or more if you don’t have a high speed blender). Drain and rinse the cashews, then add everything to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a clean glass bottle or jar, then chill for a few hours until it has thickened. For the gingerbread version, keep 2 cups of the holiday nog in the blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend. After chilling the nog becomes quite rich and creamy, so thin it with water if desired.