Three cheers for a healthy plant-based and delicious cup of cheer! I’m talking about nog, not the eggy, cow-milk filled version, but a rich and creamy plant-based version made from Irish moss, a blend of plant based mylks, and lightly sweetened with maple syrup or dates and a touch of whole vanilla, sweet cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. It’s a very merry cup to keep you yuletiding in good health. We drink versions of this Irish moss-based healthy shake all year round, but it surprisingly tastes like egg-nog and I’m so happy to share our recipe with you to enjoy this holiday.
Irish moss is a nourishing sea vegetable. There’s been some controversy over it as of late, surrounding the hazards of carageenan, a common food thickener chemically derived from Irish moss. I do not see them as one in the same. While I would not advocate consuming carageenan, I think the fact that Irish moss in its natural state has been consumed by generations is enough proof to show it is safe and healthy to consume. Meghan sums up my feelings on this topic very well here.
dried vs soaked irish moss
Yield ~8 cups
There's a few steps and a bit of waiting for this nog to be ready, but its well worth the wait, and I think you'll agree. And with that I just want to wish you all a very merry holiday and a happy new year! Now...have a cup of cheer...
- 8g or 1/3 oz. (1/4 cup lightly packed) whole Irish moss
- 5 cups water
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks (I used a handful of foraged Jamaican cinnamon leaf)
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- the mace from one whole nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 4 cups of a combo of plant-based mylks (see notes below)
- medjool dates or maple syrup to taste (I use 3 dates or 4 spoonfuls of maple syrup, which is not too sweet)
- fresh whole nutmeg for grating
- Cover Irish moss with water in a jar and let it soak for 30-60 minutes until it plumps up. Rinse it thoroughly to remove salt.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the tip of your knife.
- Bring 5 cups of water, cinnamon, vanilla bean pod and seeds, and mace to a boil then add Irish moss and let it bubble for 1 minute. Turn off stove top, cover pot and let the Irish moss and spices steep for 30 minutes. Strain mixture into a bowl and discard what is left in the strainer.
- Pour 4 cups of the prepared Irish moss into a 1/2 gallon mason jar. Then add mylks and maple syrup. (If using dates to sweeten, remove pits and blend them with the milks first zin a blender until smooth). Grate some fresh nutmeg into the jar. Cap the jar and shake vigorously until everything is evenly mixed and incorporated. It should be thick and creamy.
- Pour into glasses and top with a spoonful of coconut cream, fresh grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground cinnamon to serve. Enjoy!
Making nut/seed mylks from scratch:
For this nog I like to use a 50/50 combination of raw jungle peanuts and raw almonds. You can experiment with combos that you like, such as cashew, hemp seed, coconut, pumpkin seed, etc. Basically any nuts or seeds you see fit. Other mylks work fine too, such as oat, soy, rice, etc.
- Soak 2 cups of raw nuts/seeds in water overnight. If using flax seeds do not soak or rinse them, but rather add them in when you go to blend. Rinse and drain.
- Blend nuts/seeds on high with 4 cups of water. If mixture seems too thick add a bit more water until you reach your desired consistency. Strain mylk through a nut mylk bag or a extra-fine cheesecloth. Squeeze the cloth to release as much mylk as you can.
- Refrigerate mylk in a mason jar until ready to use. I find that homemade nut/seed mylk is best used the day it is made.
Keep leftover nog refrigerated and enjoy within a couple of days. Shake before serving. You can halve or double the recipe if you need more or less.
Raw wildcrafted Irish moss can be found here
Technique for making homemade coconut milk can be found here.
Homemade soymilk is very sharp tasting, so I would suggest using a packaged unsweetened variety for this recipe.
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Beautiful handcrafted walnut board by Sweet Gum Co. See more of Joseph’s work here.