December 10th, 2010

Matrioshka Eggnog

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Serves 12

I love those cartoned vegan eggnogs but let’s face it, they’re not much more than sweet, flavored soy milk. Real eggnog should be thick, frothy and creamy. Not cloyingly sweet, but just sweet enough to heighten the seductive aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon. Of course a healthy shot of rum is in order, too.

When a super-glamorous actress contacted me for a vegan eggnog recipe that wouldn’t make her feel like she ate an entire cake, I immediately thought of two ingredients: coconut milk and avocado. Yes, they’re heavy ingredients but in a good way! When blended with almond milk and other ingredients they are just rich enough to give plenty of body and creaminess. And if you’re concerned about your nog tasting like avocado, trust me, it won’t! It will just take like blissful holiday dreaminess. Or maybe that’s the rum talking.

Just a few pointers to make sure your nog comes out as perfect as possible. Make sure that the avocado is perfectly ripe but not overly ripe. And keep all your ingredients COLD. Don’t skip that part of the directions, if the ingredients are warm the texture and flavor will be off, even if you chill it afterward. Also, avocado doesn’t keep that well, so definitely make this as close to serving time as possible. For the best, freshest flavor, serve immediately. But you can also keep it tightly sealed and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

And for those teatotalers, you can definitely enjoy this nog in straight-edge form! Just add extra milk in place of the rum. You can also use light coconut milk if you like, it will just be less rich (obviously.) But really, this isn’t intended to be a low-fat drink, it’s definitely an indulgence, so keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

1 ripe avocado

1 13 oz can coconut milk

3 cups almond milk

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Tiny pinch cloves (less than 1/8th teaspoon)

Rum to taste (start with 1/3 cup and see from there)

Cinnamon sticks for garnish if you have them (I didn’t for this pic)

Pour coconut milk into a container. Place coconut milk and avocado in the freezer for about 45 minutes. They shouldn’t be frozen but they should be really, really cold (a little iciness on the coconut milk is ok.)

Slice avocado in half, remove the pit, peel it and place in a blender. Add all of the other ingredients as well. Blend until smooth. That’s it! Sprinkle with a little extra nutmeg and garnish with a cinnamon stick if you like.

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