Oat milk has surpassed all other plant-based milks as my favorite to drink in the mornings. Unlike almond milk, which runs too watery for me, oat milk is creamy and genuinely tastes great on its own. Could it be a good base for a holiday eggnog?
I scoured food blogs to find out, discovering that not all “oatnog” recipes are created equal. The one that simply told me to blend oats, spices and water tasted too much like a breakfast smoothie, not a holiday treat. Another that used no sweetener tasted too plain. I came to the conclusion that there is no oatnog recipe that can perfectly mimic eggnog’s custardlike taste, but the better recipe developers knew you need to do more than sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on oat milk and call it a day.
Of course, if you don’t want to make your own oatnog, there are a few you can buy. Stumptown sells a cold brew coffee that incorporates “oatmilk nog,” and Natural by Nature released an “organic oat nog.” But for those of us who want to create oatnog from our own pantries, here are the two best recipes I tried:
In Rhian Williams’ recipe for vegan oatnog, you boil cashews in your oat milk, along with holiday spices, and then blend that all together after your mixture simmers in a pan. Unlike other oatnog recipes, this one requires an additional dish to clean, but I enjoyed the nutty addition. With ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, this recipe has the warm spices I associate with eggnog. Get the details at rhiansrecipes.com.
One note: Maybe my blender is weak, but I needed to take the additional step of straining the cashew pulp through a fine-mesh sieve before the oatnog reached a consistency that I liked drinking.
+1 for only using 2 cups of my precious oat milk
+1 for using nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves in moderation for people who do not love a strong spice flavor
-1 for making me buy raw cashews
What I enjoyed about Audrey Dunham’s vegan eggnog recipe is that it uses turmeric to replicate eggnog’s golden color, and that the whole thing can be done in a blender. Keep in mind that it makes approximately four servings, so you need to be in the mood for drinking lots of oatnog. As the only oatnog lover in my home, I’m still working my way through my batch.
Dunham suggests using almond butter as an optional thickening agent. When I tried this, it achieved a consistency that is closer to eggnog’s heavier texture. (I’ve been using the batch without almond butter as a festive coffee creamer.) But if you’re like me, and you enjoy cold sweet drinks, let the oatnog chill awhile in the fridge before drinking, as Dunham also suggests.
My one note is that I found the 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup to be way too sweet. I would suggest using 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and then sweetening your oatnog to taste. Get the full recipe at audreydunham.com.
+1 for the ingenuity of using turmeric for coloring
+1 for the convenience of being all done in a blender
-1 for using 4 cups of my precious oat milk (you may want to halve it)