Keep it clean and simple this holiday season with this healthy and easy homemade eggnog recipe! An upgrade to the classic, you can freely enjoy this nutrient-rich, low carb festive drink as there is ZERO added sugar! Try it virgin or spiked, plus there's also a dairy-free modification that's just as decadent.
UPDATE: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated to reflect new information, tips, and guidelines.
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Did you know that ‘eggnog' and ‘healthy' can actually be in the same sentence?!
Yes, it's true, and today we're showing you how to swap ingredients in this classic easy eggnog recipe to make it more feel-good (read: no sugar crash after!), but no less delicious. After all, that's our philosophy here at R+R!
I think it's important, especially over the holidays, to feel like we can still indulge in our favorite foods, but without sacrificing our health. The holidays–and life in general–is not about restriction, but rather celebration and finding ways to truly enjoy our foods and traditions.
I promise you: you CAN make healthy upgrades to your old favorites and they'll taste even better and more nourishing than before, leaving your body feeling great and satisfied. If you make a big batch of this low carb eggnog recipe for a holiday party, for example, I swear nobody would ever guess that this is actually good for them!
It's also a crowd-pleaser because it's gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto, low carb and can be made dairy-free, so you're hitting the spot for just about any diet preferences.
If you're looking for another healthy holiday drink recipe, check out this Keto Hot Chocolate recipe that is super thick and creamy, but full of healthy fats and is refined sugar-free.
Ready to see how it's done?
Health Benefits of this Easy Eggnog Recipe: What Is In Eggnog?
HEALTHY FATS IN EGGNOG
First, let's get one thing straight: fat is NOT the enemy!!
I know this is hard to accept since our country has been fearing fat for decades, thinking it leads to disease, high cholesterol, body fat and more. But as it turns out, science just doesn't back this claim.
In fact, numerous studies have since debunked the myth, and it’s been proven there is no evidence that dietary saturated fat increases a person’s risk for coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
One famous study took place over seven years involving more than 48,000 women, and–even with a study that large and vast (which is hard to find!)–showed that low-fat diets don’t lead to more weight loss or less disease. (source)
Furthermore, our bodies need healthy fats to be properly fueled and absorb certain nutrients. New research is showing that healthy fats actually help promote weight loss, improve brain function and prevent a variety of diseases, so let's drop the fat phobia and enjoy the rich deliciousness fats have to offer! (source)
What's cool about this eggnog recipe is that you can enjoy it either with dairy, or make a dairy-free version. Both are super tasty and both have healthy fats!
For the dairy version, we used organic, grass-fed whole milk and heavy cream. Be sure to get high-quality dairy products, as conventional dairy is typically filled with things like antibiotics and hormones (gross!), so organic is definitely best. I recommend Organic Valley.
Grass-fed dairy is also key, as it's been shown how milk from 100% grass-fed cows has dramatically more omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of CLAs, and a better ratio of fatty acids (a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6) than milk from cows that eat mostly grain. (source)
If you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity, you're gonna totally love the non-dairy version made with cashew milk and creamy coconut milk. We opted for unsweetened cashew milk to cut any unnecessary extra sugars. Naturally sweet, decadent coconut milk adds richness and depth, plus it's known to help improve your heart, muscles and immunity–score! (source)
Another fun ingredient we used here is Power Creamer. It's an all-in-one blendable, sugar-free creamer made from grass-fed organic ghee, organic fair-trade virgin coconut oil and MCT coconut oil–talk about adding an extra dose of healthy fats! If you want to try it today, you can get 10% off your order with the code ROOT10.
PROTEIN + COLLAGEN IN EGGNOG
If you follow R+R, you may have deduced by now that I add collagen to almost everything to up the health ante.
What is collagen, for the uninitiated?
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. When supplemented, certain cells are stimulated to build new collagen, which in turn does incredible things like: improves your skin’s appearance, reduces joint pain, helps break down proteins and soothes your gut’s lining (AMAZING for anyone with digestion issues), increases your metabolism, strengthens teeth, nails and hair, helps your body detox AND reduces the appearance of cellulite. (source)
But: not all collagen is created equal! Vital Proteins is by far my favorite brand of collagen, as it’s made from pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine hides. It’s also gluten-free, Non-GMO, sugar-free, paleo-friendly and Whole30 approved.
Tip: To save some money and time, you can take advantage of Vital Proteins convenient subscription deal where you get 20% off your first order and 10% off every reoccurring order thereafter.
Not only does this healthy eggnog recipe get protein from the collagen (and dairy, should you go for the dairy version), but it's also got egg yolks that add even more protein into the mix. Again, be sure to get organic, pasture-raised eggs for the highest health benefits. Confused about the difference between pasture-raised, free-range, organic, grass-fed, etc.? Check out our Animal Welfare Guide where we break it all down in detail!
At a time of year where most recipes are laden with sugar, this rich and decadent easy eggnog doesn't have ANY!
How? With stevia!
Stevia is a plant that's 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a LONG way. Don't overdo it–just 5-10 drops are all you need. I'd start with 5 then add more to taste.
What's so great about stevia? It has zero fructose, zero calories and lands at a zero on the Glycemic Index. This means that it's a natural way to add sweetness without affecting your blood sugar, and in fact can even reduce fasting blood sugar levels, balance insulin resistance and aid in glucose regulation.
There are also medicinal properties in the plant shown to have truly incredible health benefits (as seen in about 600 different studies!) including its use as a natural cancer treatment, improving cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, supporting weight loss and warding off health problems linked with obesity, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. (source)
Be wary though–not all stevia products are created equal. It's important to look for 100% pure liquid stevia, ideally organic and alcohol-free, to know you're getting the most pure form. I recommend the Sprouts store brand.
One final note about sugar here: there is a minimal amount of naturally occurring sugars in this recipe from the dairy. Milk and other unsweetened dairy products contain sugar lactose (similar in concept to how fruit contains fructose), but this shouldn't be confused with added sugars and isn't something most of us need to worry about limiting in our diets.
Healthy + Easy Homemade Eggnog Recipe – How To Make Eggnog?
So: let's sum it up by comparing this homemade dairy free eggnog recipe to traditional eggnog. Classic eggnog recipes also have eggs, cream and milk, but usually not from high-quality sources. They're also LOADED with refined sugar, and this version is sweetened with sugar-free, natural stevia.
This easy eggnog recipe also has nutrients from the eggs and dairy like vitamin A (a fat-soluble vitamin important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction) calcium (necessary for building bones and keeping them healthy), and B2 (which helps break down proteins, fats and carbs, and plays a vital role in maintaining the body's energy supply).
Plus, by adding collagen, we really improved the nutritional profile. If you're going to drink something, may as well make it pack as big a health punch as possible, right?
Now, if you're wondering, “Where's the booze?!”, don't stress. You are obviously free to add in bourbon or dark rum to make this into a festive cocktail. I like to make virgin eggnog so I can drink it whenever (or even put it in my coffee instead of creamer!), and then have the option to add a shot of liquor later on for holiday celebrations.
Need more holiday recipe inspiration?
Check out our healthy holiday menu plan here with a FREE e-cookbook! It’s a collection of 31 real food recipes for the holidays, complete with festive breakfasts, smoothies, lattes, appetizers, sides, mains and desserts. Get your holiday menu totally taken care of so you can enjoy the season without sacrifice!
If you try this Homemade Eggnog recipe, be sure to share a photo and tag me @rootandrevel on social media–I’d LOVE to see how it turned out for you!
Healthy + Easy Homemade Eggnog Recipe (Refined Sugar Free!)
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 cups organic whole milk OR So Delicious Vanilla Unsweetened Cashew Milk
- 1 cup heavy cream OR full fat canned coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons Power Creamer
- 4 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5-10 drops Organic Liquid Stevia
- Add egg yolks to a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Add milk, heavy cream, power creamer, collagen, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil, whisking every so often.
- Remove from heat and gradually add the hot milk mixture into the eggs, just a little at a time to ensure your eggs don't cook.
- Return combined mixture to the saucepan, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until your mixture reaches 160°F/70°C. Remove from the heat, remove cinnamon sticks and cloves, and pour into a large pitcher. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. The eggnog will continue to thicken, so be sure to give it a good stir before serving.
- When ready to serve, taste for sweetness and add desired amount of organic liquid Stevia drops (I recommend somewhere between 5-10 drops). You can garnish each glass with fresh nutmeg, if desired.
- OPTIONAL: Add a shot of bourbon or dark rum to each glass to make this adult eggnog 😉
*Nutrition panel calculated using whole milk and whipping cream. Non-dairy version will vary.