My (almost) Sugar-Free Egg Nog Substitute – Keeping Christmas Sweet Minus the Sugar

sugar-free egg nog recipe, Christmas tradition

With the Christmas season here, I’ve been wracking my brain for ways to reduce the amount of sugar my children are consuming.  Christmas has many delights: egg nog, music, lights, visits to Santa, parades and SUGARY TREATS.  What’s a mom to do?

My (almost) Sugar-Free Egg Nog to the rescue. Click To Tweet

Don’t get me wrong, I find egg nog to be a delicious treat.  But it’s so chocked full of sugar that I can’t with good conscience serve it to my kids.

My local grocery store sells 5 varieties.  The sugar content ranges from 36-42 g (7.2-8.4 tsp) for 250 ml (1 cup).

To put the sugar content into perspective, in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that DAILY sugar intake should be below 10% of a person’s total energy intake; with the added recommendation that keeping daily sugar intake to below 5% (roughly 25 g or 6 tsp for adults) held additional benefits for health.  You can read the press release here.

sugar-free egg nog recipe, Christmas tradition

If that isn’t enough to shock you into banishing egg nog from your house, then let me try this one: 250 ml (1 cup) of Coke has ‘only’ 30 g (6 tsp) of sugar.

 

That’s right, egg nog has more sugar than pop! Click To Tweet

I was just as devastated as you.

SO WHAT’S AN EGG NOG LOVING PARENT TO DO?

In my mind (and unfortunately my kids’ minds too) egg nog is a part of the holiday season.  I especially enjoy drinking it when I’m eating the shortbread that my mom makes for us every year.  She makes it from my Granny’s recipe.  It’s traditional Scottish shortbread, and it’s scrumptious.

So how do I remove egg nog as a part of my holiday experience, never mind my kids’? Click To Tweet

The easiest approach would’ve been to just never let them taste it in the first place.  If it was never introduced to them, they wouldn’t know what they were missing.  But it’s a little too late for that.  By the time I’d really tuned into the sugar crisis going on in my own diet, my kids had already been exposed and were ‘in love’ with egg nog.

Plus, even after I became aware of the dangers of sugar, I hadn’t really clued into the fact that egg nog tasted so amazing because it was basically a glass of sugar wrapped up in some dairy.  Yes, I had my head in the sand.

The next approach would be to just not bring it up.  If I don’t mention it, they won’t think about it.

Good plan, except egg nog shows up in the grocery stores in October!  They spot it every time we go.

EGG NOG YEAR ROUND?

There’s even a rumour that soon egg nog will be available year round.  Ridiculous! It’s a Christmas treat.  Other than tasting delicious, it has no other redeeming qualities.  At the very least it should only be available for a short time during the Christmas holiday season.

Getting back to distracting my kids from asking for egg nog, it would never really work.  Even if I never took them to the grocery store during the Christmas season, thus avoiding the possibility of them seeing the egg nog on display, they’re too smart for that.  They remember on their own.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO?

Since they’ve already been exposed, the stores have the egg nog on display, and my kids have solid memories, it’s necessary to resort to one of my sugar limiting strategies.

There are several sugar limiting strategies that apply to the egg nog fight, but the first strategy is key.

Make sugar-free or sugar reduced versions of things.

SUGAR-FREE EGG NOG?

I will admit that the very thought of sugar-free egg nog made me cringe.  But then, I started thinking outside the box.  I didn’t need to make egg nog with all the sugar removed, I just needed a substitute that was just as delicious and had enough of a similar taste to satisfy the craving.

Enter my (almost) sugar-free substitute (latte).

My inspiration came from a visit to David’s Tea.  One of their holiday teas just happens to be called Let It Snow, and when made with milk it tastes a bit like egg nog.

The David’s Tea Blog actually has an Egg Nog Latte, which sounds delicious, but it has a significant amount of egg nog in the recipe.  It’s definitely better than straight-up egg nog, but I knew I could do better.

MY DELICIOUS (ALMOST) SUGAR-FREE EGG NOG RECIPE:

YIELD:

1 approximately 500 ml (16 oz or 2 cups) serving

INGREDIENTS:

Let It Snow Green Tea from David’s Tea

125 ml (½ cup) 2% Milk

2.5 ml (½ tsp) Honey

Ice cubes (for the cold version)

NOTE: I have provided 2 methods because I like the My Sugar-Free Egg Nog Substitute hot, and my twins like it cold.

METHOD 1: HOT
  1. Brew the tea according to instructions
  2. Dispense tea into mug
  3. Add honey to tea (to taste – I used ½ tsp)
  4. Heat milk 1 min in microwave (or on stove)
  5. Froth milk
  6. Add milk to tea
  7. Enjoy with care it’s piping hot!
METHOD 2: COLD
  1. Brew the tea according to instructions except use about ½ the amount of water
  2. Dispense tea into mug
  3. Add honey to tea (to taste – I used ½ tsp)
  4. Add ice cubes until the amount of tea about doubles in volume
  5. Heat milk 1 min in microwave (or on stove) – must heat milk or it won’t froth properly
  6. Froth milk
  7. Add milk to tea
  8. Enjoy!
A NOTE ON THE MILK FOR MILK DRINKERS:

I used 2% milk, but I would guess that skim, 1% or homogenized milk would work just as well.  The result would just be more or less creamy depending which one you used.

A NOTE ON THE MILK FOR THE NON-MILK DRINKERS:

I tried making the egg nog with almond milk, but the nutty flavour of the milk overpowered the tea.  It was still a delicious latte; however, it didn’t taste like egg nog.  My suggestion would be to try a non-dairy substitute that has a milder flavour, such as soy or maybe rice.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SUGAR

While this egg nog alternative isn’t completely sugar-free, it’s pretty close.  You’ll have to play with the amount of sweetener you use.  Of course, you can always try different types to see what suits your palette the best.  You can even completely eliminate the sugar.  I sometimes have a Let It Snow Latte with no sugar, but it doesn’t quite have that egg nog feel without a little bit of sugar.

I feel like the little bit of sugar in this recipe is a fine compromise for a delicious holiday tradition.  And it’s a VAST improvement over the real stuff.

WHAT ABOUT THE CAFFEINE?

The tea used in this recipe a green tea, so there is some caffeine.  Caffeine levels in tea vary depending on the particular brand, how long it’s brewed for.  David’s Tea rates the Let It Snow Green Tea as low caffeine.

My kids aren’t really exposed to caffeine in anything but tea (and occasionally chocolate, of course).  The majority of the tea that we drink is herbal (no caffeine), so I’m not worried about the caffeine in this holiday treat.  But you’ll have to make the call yourself.

THE EGG NOG DILEMMA SOLVED? MY KIDS WEIGH IN.

My kids have given My (almost) Sugar-Free Egg Nog Substitute two thumbs up.  They drink it up with giggles and smiles.

Will we ever drink the real stuff again?

I would like to say that I’ve firmly banished egg nog from my diet forever, but I just like it too much.

My plan is to have a treat (which is exactly what any sugar laden item should be) on Christmas Eve.  While the kids are opening their Christmas Eve Pajamas, we are going to have a small amount of egg nog.  But instead of full strength, I’m going to try the David’s Tea Egg Nog Latte.

The truth is that even with my deep seated sugar cravings (addiction anyone?), I find full strength egg nog to be sugary and thick.  I have always diluted mine half and half with milk.

So this holiday season, try My (almost) Sugar-Free Egg Nog Substitute and make Christmas a little less sugary but still sweet.

Do you have fun ways to reduce the impact of sugar during the holidays? I’d love to hear them below in the comments.

Happy Holidays, however you celebrate,

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2 thoughts on “My (almost) Sugar-Free Egg Nog Substitute – Keeping Christmas Sweet Minus the Sugar”

    1. It’s scary really! I haven’t looked closely at the homemade ones – but, of course, you can control the sugar then. And no preservatives :-)Take care!

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