Tis’ the season to whip up a batch of eggnog just like grandma used to make – with loads of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, stabilizers and carrageenan.
What, NO? You say that is not how your grandma made it, and that she didn’t make hot chocolate from a pouch, either? Well then, I suppose we will just have to put our noggins together and figure out how to get along without those things.
So what delivers a rich, creamy texture without the aid of a chemistry set? Oh yes, CREAM! Simple, wholesome, and rich in healthy fats, vitamin K, and other nutrients, this is the real deal. Add in some egg yolks and optional gelatin hydrolysate, and eggnog becomes quite the nutritional powerhouse. I love to use it as creamer in my tea or coffee.
Now, About Those Raw Egg Yolks
They’re rich in enzymes, protein, essential fatty acids, niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zin, amino acids that help build cartilage, and keratin for beautiful skin, hair and nails, but are they safe to consume? What about salmonella?
Personally, I’m not concerned with salmonella as long as the eggs are from healthy, pasture-raised chickens. This post from Food Renegade covers many of the reasons why, but here’s the short version. According to Joel Salatin:
So far, not one case of food-borne pathogens has been reported among the thousands of pastured poultry producers, many of whom have voluntarily had their birds analyzed. Routinely, these home-dressed birds, which have not been treated with chlorine to disinfect them, show numbers far below industry comparisons. At Polyface, we even tested our manure and found that it contained no salmonella.
Pastured poultry farms exhibit trademark lush pastures and healthy chickens with deep-colored egg yolks and fat. As with any movement, some practitioners are excellent and others are charlatans. Knowing your product by putting as much attention on food sourcing as you do on planning your next vacation is the way to insure accountability.”
Oh, there’s this, too: For the last fifty years, a group of microbiologists from Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology have been making a batch of egg nog (with raw egg yolks) just before Thanksgiving, then drinking it at their annual Christmas party. (source)
Apparently the alcohol in the nog keeps things safe – they actually added salmonella to one batch and watched the bacteria die over time. That batch was used for experimental purposes rather than the holiday party, but the story brings me to my next point . . .
Planning To Make a Grown Up Version? Read This!
For those of you who like to to add rum or bourbon to your nog, here’s what you need to know:
Rum is traditionally made from sugarcane, but unfortunately some companies have started cutting corners and using GMO-derived high fructose corn syrup instead. After emailing back and forth with Appleton Estate, a Jamaican-made rum I picked up to make bay rum aftershave with, I was able to verify that they do not use any corn syrup or GMO bacteria during the fermentation process. They have a sugarcane plantation next to their distillery that you can tour if you get the chance, and their rum is actually pretty delicious. We love it in this hot buttered rum recipe, too, only we use half the rum and twice the butter.
When it comes to bourbon, Wild Turkey and Four Roses were GMO-free the last time I checked. (source) I’ve emailed them both for an update but haven’t heard back yet – stay tuned!
- 2 cups cream
- 2 cups milk
- 6-8 pastured egg yolks
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (how to make vanilla extract)
- 1-2 tbsp gelatin hydrolysate (optional - make sure to use the kind that dissolves in cold liquids rather than hot)
- nutmeg (to taste)
- 1 Pinch sea salt
- bourbon or rum (to taste - optional - see section above for sourcing non-GMO spirits)
- Add milk, cream, egg yolks, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract, salt and gelatin hydrolysate (if you're using it) to a blender. Give it a whir for a minute or so, then pour into a container and chill in the fridge or serve immediately. Make sure to sprinkle with nutmeg before drinking. Bottoms up!