Saturday, December 15, 2007
HOMEMADE VEGAN "PUMPKIN NOG"-- WITH SOY-FREE VARIATION (AND IT'S A "NOG", NOT A MILKSHAKE!)
UPDATED DEC. 15, 2010: (See soy-free variation below)
I've been hearing about Silk's Pumpkin Spice Soymilk, but I can't find it where I live, so I decided to make my own. I looked around for some recipes on the 'Net, but most seemed to involve inordinate amounts of cream and ice cream, or the vegan equivilants. Well, that's a milkshake! I wanted to make something lighter, and still festive. So, I started with my Vegan "Eggnog" recipe from my book "The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook", and worked from there until we were satisfied-- very satisfied!
And just what is a "nog", anyway? Well, Nanna Rognvaldardottir of Iceland, in her article on the history of eggnog, states that the drink adopted the nog part of its name from the word noggin, a Middle English phrase used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug in which to serve alcohol.
She writes: "It all began in England, where eggnog was the trademark drink of the upper class. "You have to remember, the average Londoner rarely saw a glass of milk," says author/historian James Humes (July 1997, "To Humes It May Concern"), former speech writer and adviser to four presidents. "There was no refrigeration, and the farms belonged to the big estates. Those who could get milk and eggs to make eggnog mixed it with brandy or Madeira or even sherry." But it became most popular in America, where farms and dairy products were plentiful, as was rum. Rum came to these shores via the Triangular Trade from the Caribbean; thus it was far more affordable than the heavily taxed brandy or other European spirits that it replaced at our forefather's holiday revels.
An English creation, it descended from a hot British drink called posset, which consists of eggs, milk, and ale or wine. The recipe for eggnog (eggs beaten with sugar, milk or cream, and some kind of spirit) has traveled well, adapting to local tastes wherever it has landed. In the American South, bourbon replaced ale (though nog, the British slang for strong ale, stuck). Rich, strong eggnog — the richer and stronger, the better — is no stranger to holiday celebrations in New Orleans, and at this time of year the drink takes its place alongside syllabubs on the traditional southern table. (Syllabub is a less potent mixture than eggnog but just as rich. Made with milk, sugar and wine, it straddles the line between drink and liquid dessert.)
Eggnog goes by the name coquito in Puerto Rico, where, not surprisingly, rum is the liquor of choice (as it is these days for many eggnog lovers in the U.S.). There the drink has the added appeal of being made with fresh coconut juice or coconut milk. Mexican eggnog, known as rompope, was created in the convent of Santa Clara in the state of Puebla. The basic recipe is augmented with a heavy dose of Mexican cinnamon and rum or grain alcohol, and the resulting drink is sipped as a liqueur. In Peru [where my father was born--BCG] holidays are celebrated with a biblia con pisco, an eggnog made with the Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco."
So, no ice cream involved! I think my drink qualifies as a nog-- at least, it does when you add the rum! But it can be called a "soynog" instead of an "eggnog". (SEE THE NEW SOY-FREE VARIATION BELOW)
I find that the silken tofu gives the drink a richness and smoothness that the eggs would give you, and the pumpkin gives it a depth of taste, in a subtle way, and a warmth of color.
BRYANNA'S PUMPKIN-SPICE NOG (can be soy-free) (Revised Dec. 14th 2011)
This is festive and rich-tasting, yet light enough to have for a snack or even a breakfast drink. I like the spices to be subtle-- but season to your own taste. For convenience, the Base Nog Mix can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated. You can then add the optional liquor and ice cubes and blend just before serving.
BASE NOG MIX:
12.3 oz. (1 box) extra-firm SILKEN tofu
(OR, for SF, omit silken tofu and use 3/4 cup raw cashews [soak in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain] + 3/4 cup nondairy milk of choice. Blend this until ABSOLUTELY smooth before adding to recipe.)
1 1/2 cups nondairy milk of choice
3/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!) or, if you use home-cooked pureed pumpkin, strain it in a cheesecloth bag for several hours to make it the same consistency as the canned variety
9 Tbs brown sugar
3/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp (generous) ground cloves
1/8 tsp (generous) salt
3/4 cup organic soy creamer, OR, for SF, So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (original), or a homemade nut cream instead of the soy creamer.
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
18 ice cubes
1/2 cup rum, or you can use bourbon or brandy (can be spiced rum) (Optional-- if you do not want to use liquor, you could use a little natural rum extract.)
GARNISH: freshly-ground nutmeg; cinnamon sticks
Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the nondairy milk, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Blend until smooth. Add the vanilla and creamer and blend again.
At this point, you can refrigerated the picture in a covered container for a couple of days, if necessary.
Just before serving, blend the Base Nog Mix in a large blender with the optional liquor and the ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy and thickened.
(TIP: If you don't need it all at once, blend HALF of the Base Nog Mix with half of the optional liquor, and 9 ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy and thickened. Repeat again later for the second half of the recipe.)
Serve immediately in small glasses or cups, garnishing with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.
Nutrition Facts were calculated using the basic recipe, not the soy-free variation.Nutrition Facts without rum:
Nutrition (per serving): 167.6 calories; 21% calories from fat; 3.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 96.2mg sodium; 299.0mg potassium; 27.7g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 22.9g sugar; 26.5g net carbs; 6.1g protein; 3.4 points.
Nutrition facts with rum added:
Nutrition (per serving): 210.5 calories; 16% calories from fat; 3.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 96.4mg sodium; 299.3mg potassium; 27.7g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 22.9g sugar; 26.5g net carbs; 6.1g protein; 4.3 points.