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Cashew-Coconut Vegan Eggnot

Cashew-Coconut Vegan Eggnot


What would a pagan-leaning, agnostic Jewess like me know about a seasonal drink that is so quintessentially goy, I imagine people standing around the piano sipping it in their Christmas sweaters while Bobby plays a rousing interpretation of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing?” Not much, truth be told. I have a vague recollection of helping my roommate make a conventional eggnog when I was a vegetarian and thinking that both the process and the taste was so beyond disgusting that for a long time, I had no desire to try it again. This is a drink that often calls for six or more eggs and the classic preparation is for them to be served raw, though there are now cooked versions because who wants salmonella for Chrismas?

When I was at the Natural Products Expo about ten years ago, a non-dairy eggnog version had just come out and I thought I would try it again. It was thick and a little sickly sweet and, yes, my taste memories of the lone eggnog I’d tried before were activated: you could taste the WASP in it as if it were steeped in the essence of George and Mary Bailey. Today there are quite a few varieties of dairy- and egg-free nogs and some I like more than others. I have a pretty low threshold for sweet, though, so I wanted to try my hand at it. This is just the right amount of sweet for me and complemented with warming spices, rich cashew cream, creamer and plain almond milk. If you like it sweeter, just add more dates. The result is a creamy, custardy and rich drink that is perfect for sipping around the piano while belting out your favorite vegan feminist numbers. It also lends itself beautifully to boozy add-ins but is quite complete in its virgin form. Enjoy over ice or just as is.

 

Cashew-Coconut Vegan Eggnot

1 cup raw cashews or raw cashew pieces, soaked for four hours or overnight
cup water
2 cups plain vegan creamer
(I used Trader Joe’s coconut milk version)
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
(I used almond milk)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 large medjool dates, pitted
* optional boozy addition: rum, whiskey, bourbon, etc.


Drain the soaked cashews and place in a blender (ideally high-speed but it will work with other blenders, it might just take a little longer) with a half cup of water. Blend until smooth. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat up the creamer, non-dairy milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer with a top on the saucepan for 15 minutes. Pour into the blender with the cashew cream, removing the cloves and cinnamon sticks. (I placed a small mesh colander on top of the blender to do this.) Add the vanilla and dates; blend until completely smooth. If it’s too thick for your taste, add a little more milk. Transfer to a container and allow to cool for four hours or overnight. Before serving, give it a good shake. Serve with or without ice and an optional grating of whole nutmeg or cinnamon over the top.




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