Two Healthy Vegan Nogs: Chia Nog and Banana Nog

by on December 9, 2012
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Banana Nog

Date-Sweetened Banana Nog: The dates make it tan.

I’m certain that if we didn’t have a kid in the house, my husband and I would never put up a Christmas tree or take the time to stake out the herd of electric reindeer that blazes across our front yard every December. But when you’re a small family, the youngest member sets the traditions, so decorating the tree has become a yearly ritual that we all look forward to. Part of that ritual, perhaps the part that we adults enjoy the most, is indulging in some vegan eggnog as we trim the tree. Silk makes a perfectly drinkable soy nog, which becomes even more drinkable with the addition of a thimbleful of rum or brandy in the grownups’ glasses. (Sometimes a very large thimble.)

But you know I like healthifying things–otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog. So I decided to try my hand at making a nog that isn’t soy based, doesn’t use starch to thicken it, and, perhaps toughest of all, doesn’t contain refined sugar. And you know what? It was easy!

Almond milk makes a delicious base for a nog, but it’s not very thick. Blending it with medjool dates to sweeten gives it a touch more thickness (and a not so wintery tan), but it needs a little more help to achieve the richness that we look for in an eggless nog. So on my first attempt, I added chia seeds, which swell up and thicken the nog while adding an interesting tapioca-ish texture. Chia drinks are becoming popular–there’s a chia-kombucha drink available in the very mainstream Fresh Market here in Jackson, Mississippi (and you know it’s becoming a thing if we get it here in Jackson!) If you like the idea of a nog with some texture to it, you’ll love my Chia Nog. (I used white chia seeds, so they’re not as noticeable as the regular brown ones.)

But what if you don’t like lumps of anything in your nog? My daughter is a chia resister, so I had to come up with another way to thicken her nog. So instead of chia, I added a frozen banana to the Vitamix, and the nog was instantly thicker without a lot of banana flavor.

You can use any kind of non-dairy milk you like, but I’m going to insist that you use rum extract and freshly grated nutmeg. Without at least some artificial rum flavor, nog just isn’t nog–it’s spiced milk. (Here’s an alcohol-free rum flavoring.) And if you have never tried freshly-grated nutmeg, prepare to be amazed. Not only is it more flavorful and fragrant than the already-ground packaged stuff, but it also has a softer texture. I find pre-ground nutmeg to be downright grainy in comparison. Get yourself an inexpensive microplane grater (your early Christmas gift?) and pick up some whole nutmeg in the grocery store spice section.

Chia Nog

Chia Nog: See the little seeds in it?


Happy drinking (and decorating, if that’s part of your traditions)!

Susan

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MK December 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

Susan, how do you think it would work with ground chia? There would still be a little texture, but not full-on seeds. I’ve been grinding them for baking now (they are, hands down, The Best egg replacer I’ve found for gluten-free baking), and they work great. I can’t wait to get home and try this.

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2 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

I was afraid it would be grainy, so I didn’t try ground chia. And I kind of like the plump seeds. :) Let me know how it comes out!

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3 Connie Fletcher December 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Have you ever used ground chia to help hold a veggie burger together? I have a fabulous recipe for a tempeh-loaf, but to serve it while it’s still hot is almost impossible to get nice slices cuz it falls apart. The flavor is really wonderful, and chia wouldn’t do anything to interfere with the flavor. And, can you give me an idea of how much ground chia is needed to make a “chia egg”?

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4 Susan Voisin December 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I’m not sure that chia is strong enough to hold a burger together. I tend to think of starches as being better for that kind of thing. But if you want to try, the general ratio for a chia egg is 1 tablespoon chia to 3 tablespoons water. Some people grind the chia, others don’t.

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5 Joan December 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

This comes in the nick of time. Can’t wait to try it. Commercial brands can taste nasty.

QUESTION: May I ask where you got that marvelous glass with the gold polka dots? LOVE IT.

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6 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

I’m afraid it’s one of those things I picked up at a thrift store or antique store. I wish I had more than one!

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7 Radhika Sarohia December 20, 2012 at 1:52 am

I was going to ask abt the glass too! It looks so cute:)
And this recipe sounds so good

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8 Barton Keyes December 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

Sounds tasty!

Am I the only one who went “Banana Nog……Do Do Do Do Do” to the Muppets Mana Mana tune?

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9 Louise Placek December 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

I am not a fan of the chia lumps so I grind the chia before adding to recipes. You get the same thickening with a smoother texture.

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10 margarita December 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

Wonderful! Thank you so much for these recipes! I’ve been looking for a do-it-yourself version, and now I have it! Also, I bet a little avocado would help thicken the nog up without adding any unwanted flavor. I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know!

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11 Janne Swearengen December 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

Susan, am also in Jackson, so I feel/share your pain. Eagerly waiting of Whole Foods. Use your site all the time. May give this a go but the high caloric count is a deterrent for me.

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12 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hi Janne–Looks like they’ve started work on the Whole Foods, so I’m hoping it will open on schedule.

About the calories, my servings are 2 to 3 times the size of the 1/2 cup serving that Silk uses, so it’s really not too bad for an occasional treat. (Silk has 90 calories in 1/2 cup.) You can also reduce it by about 65 calories by skipping the dates and sweetening with stevia or another low-calorie sweetener.

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13 Mary December 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

Chia blends well and you get the thickness without the “boba” effect. Yum, yum, I plan to make these! Thanks, God bless.

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14 Lea December 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

Do you use sweetend almond milk?

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15 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

I meant to use unsweetened, but when I went to put in the nutritional info from my box of “original” almond milk, I realized it did contain sugar. But I recommend using unsweetened and then adding a little low-calorie sweetener if necessary. That reduces the calories by 20.

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16 kimichan December 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I apologize for my questions but I am relatively new to the site.

How do I find my recipe box after I have added things to it?

All I want to do is print out the recipes so that my sister and I can share them on ‘cooking Sunday’. How do I reasonable print them out and do I need to add them to my recipe box to do so?

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17 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

You should see a link to the recipe box in the top menu bar, third from left. As for printing, the only way I can think to so that is to select the list and then choose print selection from your browser’s print options.

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18 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Also, if you want to print the actual recipe, you will need to do that one at a time from the recipe page. Good luck!

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19 Jewel at Eat.Drink.Shop.Love December 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Where did you get the glass in your first photo?
Jewel@eatdrinkshoplove.com

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20 Susan Voisin December 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I picked it up at a thrift store. :)

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21 Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa December 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Just whipped up a batch of the Chia Nog and it’s waiting in the fridge to get all nice and thick. Will definitely be adding a splash of rum. A great way to end the weekend! I’m so happy I found this recipe. Thank you!

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22 max December 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Hi Susan,
I just made a fanstatic Butternut Nog, ingredients per person are roughly:
- a hand full frozen Butternut cubes (microwaved for 5min. and then frozen)
- a hand full ice cubes
- 1 cup rice milk
- 0.25 cup Rum
- 0.25 ts Xthantan gum
- 0.25 ts Stevia
- vanilla extract
- nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, allspice

Throw everything into your blender and blend until smooth. This Butternutnog was a big hit with everyone!

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23 moonwatcher December 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Max,

That sounds really interesting. I might try that too!

Thanks,

moonwatcher

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24 Susan Voisin December 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thanks for sharing! I never would have thought of butternut nog!

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25 moonwatcher December 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Wow, Susan, I can’t believe I missed this until now! It looks FABULOUS. I don’t have ready access to white chia seeds but I sure have bananas frozen in the freezer. This is definitely on my “to make” list for this holiday season. And the pictures make me want to have some right now. It’s so cold here the thimble full of rum sounds just about right too.

Thanks!

moonwatcher

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26 Vicky December 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I love your posts and your recipes and am looking forward to trying the banana nog, but I just checked the ingredients of the rum flavoring you recommended:

•Contains: Water, Propylene Glycol, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Caramel Color.

I just can’t use anything with Propylene Glycol as an ingredient.

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27 Anni December 10, 2012 at 2:24 am

Lol I thought that was Chai nog – which I just might try, by adding chai spices to the banana nog :) Easy to grind them with my Thermomix !

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28 G December 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

I’m definitely going to try this recipe! Am I the only vegan who absolutely CANNOT STAND the soy nog from Silk? After so much hype from the veg world, I tried it for the first time this holiday season but threw it out after one sip. I’ve had plenty of good eggnog years ago when I wasn’t vegan, so I know what it’s supposed to taste like. But the Silk soy nog was just really gross. Everything tasted so…artificial. Even the alcohol taste they added tasted strangely man-made and absolutely foreign. I’m hoping your homemade version would lift my nog-deprived spirits! :)

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29 Robin Johnson December 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Hi Susan! Just in time to keep me from drinking that morning coffee! I used ground chia (in the vitamix) and I go NO gritty issues. It is actually LOVELY! I am drinking it hot right now – and have the other half in fridge to try cold. Thank you so much!

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30 Stephen@HappyHeart December 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

Fantastic twist on a classic! Not many people drink eggnog in Ireland but I love the banana vegan version! Sounds yum!

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31 NotBuyingIt! December 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What a brilliant holiday post! I was so craving the Vitasoy brand egg nog I used to get back in the states (the European nondairy manufacturers think that offering chocolate flavour is variety enough). I should have known you could fix my hankering in a pinch with one of your simple and healthy recipes! Though I will be using actual rum for this one… Thanks:)

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32 Amelia January 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

This recipe looks delicious. If I don’t have rum extract will the substitute of real rum work or is rum extract a stronger flavor? Thank you!

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33 Susan Voisin January 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Sure, feel free to add as much rum as you like. :)

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34 Amelia January 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I like that answer, Susan! My husband and I are on our annual January fast but I will let you know how we like, which I am sure will be very much, when we make it in February.

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35 Walt December 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm

The second time I made this, I just tossed the chias into the blender as well. Makes it much smooother.

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