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Coconog: Dairy Free Eggnog

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I love the Christmas season. Lights, family, gifts, ugly sweaters, snow. But let's not forget the real reason for the season: EGGNOG! Thick, sweet, spicy deliciousness. Anyone who claims to dislike eggnog is probably lying. For many though, it's the all dairy that keeps them from being able to fully enjoy all the magic of eggnog. In that case, I wanted to attempt a homemade eggnog that is dairy free as well as lighter and healthier than most store bought versions. And I must say...wow. I am 100% confident that you will enjoy this version just as much, if not more than traditional eggnog. 

Coconog: Dairy Free Eggnog

Time: about 15 minutes

Yields: about 1 quart

You'll Need:

  • 2 cans full fat organic coconut milk
  • 4 egg yolks*
  • 1/3-1/2 cup coconut sugar (honey, maple, or agave can be subbed here)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Instructions: 

  • Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl either by hand or with an electric beater. Gradually add in sugar or sweetener as you whisk, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan mix coconut milk and spices over medium heat while stirring continuously until it comes to a low simmer. Turn off heat for the moment. 
  • Important! Temper the egg mixture before mixing it in with the coconut milk. You do not want scrambled eggnog. To do this, measure out about a cup of your warmed coconut milk. While whisking or beating the eggs, slowly  add in the milk, about a tablespoon at a time. By the time you add in the entire cup you should have a creamy, frothy, even mixture. 
  • Now you can dump the egg/coconut mix back into your saucepan. Heat everything again, and remove from heat just before it comes to a boil, or at about 160 degrees F. 
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  • Remove from heat and either serve warm (with a shot of rum of course), or let cool in the fridge.

Notes: I love the full fat coconut milk, but for a lighter option use lite coconut milk. You can also add in some almond milk after the nog cools to thin it out. Also feel free to adjust amounts of sugar and spices to your own liking. The best time to do this is when it's still warm so everything mixes more evenly. 

*Separating yolks from eggs can be kind of a shit show. I use this contraption to do the job, and it works every time without breaking a yolk. 

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Enjoy!

Green Chai Smoothie

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I realize that "green" smoothies are very much a thing in the health/fitness world, but I have to confess I'm not really into them. I have nothing nutritionally against smoothies, and in fact they're a great way to get in some extra nutrients for breakfast or after a workout, but I guess I would just rather eat my food. So in my last nutrition workshop when a student asked me what I do for my smoothies, I had to blush and admit that...well...I don't. 

Challenge accepted. I made a green smoothie this week!

I chose to go with a chai flavored smoothie for two reason; the first being that I just love chai. The second is that I don't care for sweet beverages (probably another reason why I don't drink smoothies), and this particular recipe has much more spice than sweet.

Green Chai Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes (when chai is brewed ahead of time)

Yields: about 16 oz

You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chai (keep in mind chai does contain caffeine, so be sure to buy decaf if you are trying to avoid the jitters)
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 cups spinach/greens (but honestly, who actually measures their greens? A couple solid handfuls should do it)
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Protein powder (optional)

Brew chai ahead of time by steeping a chai tea bag in 1/4 cup of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Let the tea cool in the fridge. The rest is cake. Everything goes in blender til smooth.  

Variations: Like I mentioned before, I like this recipe because it's spicy rather than sweet. For extra sweetness, make that half banana a full one, and/or add a couple tablespoons of honey/agave.  Also, if I'm going to drink a smoothie, it's gonna have to have some protein in it. Vega brand actually makes a chai flavored nutritional shake that has some protein in it, so there ya go.

I have to admit I really enjoyed the taste of this one. Will it convert me to a full-blown smoothie drinker? Probably not, but I hope you find it useful and tasty!