Vegan Eggnog Ice Cream

Keep reading until (or skip to, if you must) the end — there’s a surprise!

Saturday was just sort of one of those days where I had an idea for a recipe and really nothing was going to stop me from making it. First came the idea — a rather sudden, crazy idea to make a vegan eggnog ice cream. To be clear, this is not a crazy idea if you’re one of the many people in the United States who grew up loving eggnog, and who maybe wants to find a healthier (or vegan) recipe for it. But when you’re me, and you grew up hating eggnog, an eggnog ice cream is not exactly the kind of recipe you would expect to be jumping through hoops for, so to speak. But this is the sort of phenomenon that happens when you go vegan or gluten-free (or both). You can have no interest in something for the entire time that it’s allowed in your diet. Then once you’re restricted, suddenly everything carries fond memories and nostalia. I find myself saying things like “but Christmas just won’t be the same without eggnog,” when in reality, the last time I had eggnog during the holidays was probably when I was about six. And I most likely spit it out.

Having my mind set, however, I then decided that I wanted to use yacon syrup — at least in part– as a sweetener. I imagined its sweet, rich taste and syrupy texture would yield a luscious texture for the ice cream. The problem with that idea was that I didn’t have any yacon, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s not available in most local stores in my area. Nevertheless, determined as I was, I started calling every health food store I could think of in a 20 block radius, thinking that at least  one store had to carry it. I was right. A store about five blocks from my apartment — the third one I called — had it in stock.

As I made the trek to my the health food store on a Saturday night, I was reminded that I had chosen “drunk Santa Saturday” as the day of my mission. I’m not sure the official name (or reason for it, actually), but it seems that every year around this time in December there’s a city-wide bar crawl where everyone’s dressed like Santa Claus. By the time it’s dark outside, the city is overrun by obnoxious drunks in bad Santa costumes. When I left my apartment for the store, drunk Santa day was in full force, and I was just wasn’t in the mood to share any narrow NYC sidewalks with them. Still, I told myself that the annoyance of the trip would come with a sweet and icy reward.

I kept telling myself this until, lo and behold, I get to the health food store and the yacon syrup is nowhere in sight. I checked the sweetener aisle, the baking aisle, the airea where the peanut butter and hazelnut butter are. I even look in the supplements section. Nothing. Fulling expecting disappointment, I finally ask the cashier where they “keep” their yacon syrup. She gave me a perplexed look, and I braced myself for the news that I’d been given some bad information when I called. Then, something seemed to register for her. “Wait a second,” she said slowly… “I think it’s over…” her voice drifted off as she headed over to the CHIP AISLE, where she proceeded to pull back a few bags of chips, reach into the back of the shelf, and grap a bottle of yacon syrup. I could think of no other explanation for this other than that the stock boy at my local health food store has been an enthusiastic participant in drunk Santa Saturday.

On my way home, using this unofficial holiday as an excuse to head into a liquor store by myself on a Saturday night (and with no plans to speak of), I picked up one of those one-shot bottles of Bourbon to use in the ice cream. Now, as far as I know, there is really no good explanation for buying just one of these bottles unless you’re using it in a recipe, which you can never really explain unless you’re asked (which I wasn’t), because otherwise you’ll sound like an idiot. And a liar. Plus, there’s really no use for a bag when you’re buying something that small, and there’s nothing you can really feel but entirely sheepish when you slip a tiny bottle of bourbon into your shoulder bag, which I did.

At any rate, the (small) annoyances and (slight) embarrassment I endured for this recipe (really just some general musings masquerading as some sort of rant) were well worth it. At first, Gennaro wasn’t so sure that it actually tasted like eggnog. I was so happy with how it tasted that I didn’t care, I decided it was still blog-worthy. As he continued eating it, however, he changed his tune and thought it “definitely” tasted like eggnog (I guess it’s been so long since he’s had the stuff, too, that he couldn’t remember what it tasted like, either). I say, who cares? It’s rich and creamy, with a boozy aftertaste and a general aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. Oh, and if you haven’t already assumed as much, I am not one of those people who considers ice cream a summer-only food. Someone’s got to keep the vegan ice cream shops in biz during the winter months! I’m happy to do my part.

Oh, and I have some BIG NEWS (at least for me):

In the spirit of the holidays (maybe some of the drunk Santa love got into me), I am doing my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY. I know, big stuff. And I thought I’d start by giving away my absolute favorite, often-used, tried-and-trusted kitchen tool: a food processor. I can’t tell you the number of recipes I’ve posted on this site that require some sort of food processor prep (see: gingersnap cookies, avocado vinaigrette, cashew cream cheese). And I know there are some of you out there who are in need of one (or a new one) yourselves. So, please, don’t make me feel bad — enter my giveaway for a Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor (a perfect choice for small kitchens or small recipes). To enter, just leave a comment on this post. I’d love to hear which holiday recipes you’ve veganized, some of your holiday stories, or your thoughts on this eggnog ice cream idea. Giveaway will close on Friday, December 17th at noon. Happy Holidays!

Note: this giveaway is now closed

Veggnog Ice Cream:

I used Native Forest brand coconut milk in this recipe because their cans are BPA-free.

1 13.5 oz. can light coconut milk

1 13.5 oz. can full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup yacon syrup

5 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Briskly whisk together all ingredients in a chilled bowl until combined.

2. Slowly pour into ice cream machine and let machine run until ice cream is set. For best results, freeze ice cream for another 1-2 hours or until ice cream is set completely. This ice cream will keep a good, creamy texture in your freezer for a few days. To serve, sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon.

Comments

  1. Shirley says

    Longtime reader, first time comment…I think (my memory is shot with the busy-ness of the holidays :-) More than anything I simply wanted you to know that I enjoy your blog and find your recipes and journey inspirational. My kids and I are big fans of Silk Nog and this veggnog ice cream recipe stirs some holiday hope in me that they might try some egg nog ice cream this season. Thank you and happy holidays!

  2. Emma says

    Hi! I am not a vegetarian/vegan anymore, but my husband is so we eat like vegans at home. I love to check your blog for ideas. You have really good ideas and provide an interesting perspective on this type of lifestyle. I would definitly make this ice cream if I had an ice cream maker. Happy Holidays!

  3. Beth says

    Shirley — I’ve never had the silk eggnog, but I’m wondering how that would be as an ice cream? Hm…I like that idea! Thanks for your comment.

    Emma — Glad to hear from you! I was thinking of an ice cream machine giveaway, but thought that was more one for the summer/warm weather, right? Thanks for your comment!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I’m also a long time reader and first time commenter. I’m vegetarian, but after reading your blog for such a long time, I feel confident in making the switch to veganism. I prepare a yearly gift basket for my boyfriend’s family full of desserts, and this year you’ve inspired me to go totally gluten free – sugar free – vegan!
    Keep up the great work :)

  5. says

    Hey Beth,
    I’m not writing to enter the giveaway–just wanted to let you know too how much I learn from your blog. Had never heard of yacon syrup before! And that recipe sounds wonderful. I never liked eggnog as a kid either but now like the novelty of a vegan one.
    By the way, the night of drunken Santas is officially called “Santacon.” My friend Zach does it, so that’s how I know. Silly Santas…
    Anyway, happy holidays and thanks for you wonderful (and mouth-watering) work.

  6. says

    Looking at this ice cream makes my mouth absolutely water! I’ve been thinking about getting an ice cream maker for a while now, hopefully I’ve been good enough to find one under the Christmas tree! I absolutely adore your blog…for the most part, I’m a vegetarian (I like to call it “freegetarian”) and your blog has inspired me to go that extra step and try a lots of vegan recipes! Thank you :)

    p.s. aside from an ice cream maker, I’ve been pining over a good food processor. Maybe I’ll get lucky!!! Thank you!

  7. Rachel says

    This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time!! I’ve been researching recipes for vegan ice cream to make when I go to my parents’ house for Christmas and have full access to my mom’s ice cream machine!! This will definitely be one of the recipes I will try! YUM!!

  8. says

    Ooooo, I LOVE eggnog and I LOVE ice cream, so really this is a perfect pairing!

    I would love to give that Cuisinart to my boyfriend! This year I’m going to try to make vegan peppermint bark: hopefully it will turn out beautifully…

  9. Ashley says

    I have always HATED egg nog and never craved for it, until like you I couldn’t have it anymore. Someone above posted about the silk egg nog and I have to say the rice dream egg nog is delicious as well. Now, I’m going to go steal my friends ice cream machine so I can make this ice cream!! Holy cow, I can’t wait!

  10. Victoria says

    I missed my first drunken Santa Saturday??! (I’m a new new yorker.) Darn! But love your stories Beth, which include lots of helpful nyc insights, as well as great recipes….can’t wait to add this eggnog ice cream to my delectably free file.

  11. Beth says

    Elizabeth — yay! That’s awesome! I’d love to hear what you’re putting in your gift baskets!

    Marisa — Oh, I knew it had to have a name! Though I was starting to come around to my own name, Drunk Santa Saturday — has a nice ring to it. Yacon is great — very $$$ — but worth the occassional splurge (in my opinion) for its health benefits and great taste.

    Becca — aww, thanks for the sweet comment! I went years without an ice cream machine, and now it’s one of my favorite gadgets! I hope you get one, too! Whoo!

    Rachel — Yipee!! Hope you like it!

    Jade — Vegan peppermint bark. Um, yum!!! Also, looks like the cuisinart chances are good, based on the # of entries so far!! Beautiful blog and photos, by the way!

    Ashley — I know, isn’t it funny how our tastes change once we can no longer have something?? Weird!

    Victoria — Awww! Next year you and I can maybe join in the DSS festivities. Tee hee.

  12. Cheryl W. says

    LOL I can tell you that my first attempt at vegan eggnog ice cream (years ago) was a huge disappointment. Looking at your recipe, I think I know where I went wrong and I am ready to try again. Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter.

  13. Cat says

    I’m hard at work studying for exams -taking a mini break- and I really have to tell you how good it makes me feel to think someone out there is dealing with the same challenge(s) that I’m dealing with. I’ve been able to keep my candida under control for the last few years by living a sugar and wheat free (and many other things) diet.
    I sometimes feel like I’m living proof that candida exist, but seeing how other people are trying to turn the situation into creativity and fun with such perseverance is heartwarming and uplifting.
    Thank you for existing! You’re not alone!!!
    Happy holidays.

  14. says

    What a great post, Beth! Drunk Santas everywhere … too funny (hope none were driving!). So glad you found the yacon. I have some I’ve never used, but your recipe sounds like a wonderful way to do so! I love egg nog and though I’m not a vegan, I no longer drink it. It’s just too hard on my tummy. FYI–I make my full-fat coconut milk “lite” by adding water. The lite coconut milk is just that, so one can save some money there and I like having the option of always having full fat or lite “on hand.”

    Hugs,
    Shirley
    Shirley @ gfe recently posted..Another Giveaway for 25 Days of Christmas

  15. Beth says

    Cheryl — ha. I think you’ll have better luck this time!

    Cat — What a nice comment! You’re definitely not alone. I’m so grateful that I struggle through all this stuff at a time when there’s an online community to commiserate with! Good luck with exams! This is the first year in a LONG time that I don’t have exams to study for…but I definitely have been there, so I feel your pain : )

    Shirley — That’s a great idea about the coconut milk. How much water would you add to a full fat one to make it = to the light? This is a great recipe to use up your yacon in, or in the gingersnaps — or both!

  16. Beth says

    Suzanna — I don’t think you’re alone with the ice-cream maker. I think that may be the next giveaway, so stay tuned!

  17. says

    I’ve always wanted to do the Drunk Santa thing! Just once. Your ice cream sounds perfectly divine! I’m with you – ice cream is NOT just a summer thing. I veganized gingerbread cookies this year and they’re AWESOME – so I am pretty proud of that! Thanks for the giveaway Beth! You’ve been busy this week.
    Maggie recently posted..Our Gingerbread House

  18. Carolyn says

    Thanks for the giveaway, Beth! I’ve been thinking about trying some holiday ice cream recipes this year, and your post is so timely. I look forward to trying it soon.

  19. Kristy says

    Thanks for the great recipe idea! Just found out about your blog from your mom and I love it. Can’t wait to try this recipe and the green bean casserole.

  20. Jess says

    This sounds FANTASTIC! I love egg nog, and have missed egg nog ice cream for years! Thank you so much!

  21. says

    This sounds really, really good! I want an ice cream maker!

    I would love a food processor; it would make so many things so much easier.

    I’m currently working on a vegan recipe for Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars. Hopefully my next trial will be successful!

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