Before we used to eat healthy, my hubby had a tradition of buying a quart of eggnog from the grocery store at least once a week in the month of December. When we started eating "healthier," he would buy the organic eggnog. But as we progressed towards fresh, whole foods, we needed to switch from store-bought eggnog to something that was actually healthy and nourishing.
What's wrong with organic eggnog, you ask?! Well for one thing, it's pasteurized milk/cream. If you don't know why that's a problem, be sure to check out my post on MILK.
Secondly, and maybe this one should have been first, is THE SUGAR. Yes, organic sugar/organic evaporated cane juice is still just refined, processed sugar. The only main difference between that and regular ol' sugar is that this stuff isn't grown with chemical fertilizers/pesticides. It is still processed until no good nutrients remain and is now an anti-nutrient food, meaning it takes more nutrients for your body to metabolize this ingredient than it gives your body, drawing minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins, out of your body.
So years ago, I set out to make a delicious homemade eggnog for my hubby that was both delicious and actually very nourishing (meaning actually providing the body with nourishment!). Here are some of the benefits of my homemade eggnog:
Fresh, raw eggs
Now this is something that stops most people from making homemade eggnog, and admittedly it stopped me for a while. I believed all the stuff about salmonella and wouldn't go near a raw egg. That is until I learned all of the health benefits of consuming raw eggs from healthy, pastured and organically-raised chickens. To find out more about all of those benefits, you gotta check out this awesome article: http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=268 Once you know the benefits of consuming raw eggs, you can search for some good-quality eggs from local farmers and use them to make eggnog, homemade ice cream, mayo, etc. We are fortunate to have our own hens that are free to roam (pastured) and we feed them organic, corn-free, soy-free chicken feed.
As far as salmonella goes, studies have proven that chickens raised in factory-farms and on conventional (non-organic) feed have a much higher prevalence of salmonella, and that the rate of salmonella drops to almost nothing in hens that are raised on both organic feed and are pastured. Additionally, a healthy gut can tolerate pathogenic microbes such as salmonella, e-coli, etc. as these are things that live all around us anyway. The biggest problem comes from both unhealthy gastrointestinal systems that so many people have today, as well as the antibiotic-resistant salmonella and e-coli that comes from animals being given antibiotics (or fed antibiotic-laced feed).
I mean, look at these beautiful eggs that my girls lay for our family! Even in the frigid below zero temps we've had lately, my hens are busy providing our family with fresh healthy organic eggs!
(Interesting side note: the lighter egg in this picture is laid by our chicken named Oreo--she's a black and white Barred Rock and can't lay a normal-shaped egg to save her life! All of her eggs come out lopsided and funky-shaped, despite the fact that she eats the same exact food as our other hens. Gotta love how all our chickens are unique and have individual personalities!)
Whole, Raw Milk/Cream
Again, the health benefits of this superfood are too many to list! You just really have to check out my post on Milk for that info! To get cream for my homemade eggnog, I simply skim the cream off the top of my raw milk.
Another benefit of making homemade eggnog is that you can use a natural, unrefined sweetener that actually provides your body with nutrients, as opposed to sugar that takes them out of your body! You will see in my recipe that I use pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup but 100% pure maple syrup--grade B is yummiest but grade A works too!), but you could also use raw honey or organic liquid stevia extract.
Okay, so now that I've dragged you through all the boring health stuff, here's the recipe!
Easy Deliciously Healthy Homemade Eggnog
This makes six 1-cup servings, so reduce if needed.
4 cups raw cream
8 egg yolks from organic, pastured hens
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (see note above about sweeteners)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender (I have and love a Blendtec, a $300 high-powered blender that God provided for me at a thrift store for $15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and blend until foamy. This may not work with a mediocre blender because it has to blend it up well so the eggs aren't stringy and so it gets nice and foamy. But most blenders on high-speed will do the job. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for a day, maybe two. Tastes good the next day!
This recipe is so easy (and delicious!) that my 17-year old son who never liked eggnog before loves it so much that he makes it for a bedtime snack throughout the year!