I don’t want to give up on finding a decent non-dairy nog, but seeing eggnog in the stores this year brought on a sudden and disappointing feeling. For someone like me who sees the annual arrival of egg nog as a nostalgia-inducing signal of the winter holiday season and all that comes with it, finding a non-dairy nog that tastes delicious would means reconnecting with a part of myself and my past.
I decided to try a few non-dairy nogs with a bit of skepticism that any would be a sufficient stand-in for the dairy version.
Traditional nog is made with milk/cream, sugar, egg, a bit of spice (cinnamon and/or nutmeg) and often a liquor of some type. The challenge with vegan nog is to replicate the mouthfeel of creamy cow’s milk/cream and the natural flavor of the cream and egg.
Soy milk is made from soybeans that have been soaked, ground, boiled, and filtered.
Is soy a superfood? Does it cause – or inhibit – cancer? Is it okay for men, but not women? What about older women, or women who’ve had breast cancer?
Based on my reading, soy alone has minimal impact on health outcomes. Mainly, it is a plant that has lots of great health properties and compounds which would be beneficial for anyone. Some studies have shown soy can have detrimental effects on health outcomes for certain people in certain cases, but unless your doctor directs you to avoid it, there’s no cause for concern. Just like with all plant based foods, Include soy in your diet, choose whole versions when possible, but don’t go overboard.
None of these nogs were fortified with calcium. The two soy-based nogs were much lower in fat than your typical dairy nog. All nogs, vegan or not, have a good bit of sugar, so you don’t want to be chugging these guys three times per day.
- Best Appearance/Texture: So Delicious (Coconut Nog)
- Best Flavor: Silk Nog
- Best Overall: Silk Nog
- Thanks for Trying: Earth Balance
So Delicious had so much promise. Coconut milk is naturally higher in fat than soy. So, I figured it would certainly have the body and texture to stand up to a thick, full-fat dairy nog. And it did. But it also carried more than a hint of coconut flavor. This is how they serve nog in Hawaii, perhaps. It’s nog on a tropical vacation. Not terrible, not totally wrong, but not the best.
Earth Balance looked like it had the right idea. It had just the right amount of yellow color, which in dairy nog comes from the egg yolks and in vegan nog comes from tumeric, a spice, or annatto, a natural food coloring compound. It didn’t seem too watery. The initial taste was mild, but decent. However, upon comparison to the other nogs, its flavor vanished into the background. This nog just didn’t have the holiday spirit. The taste sagged like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
Silk nog was the palest in color. But it was the best in flavor. It tastes very close to my favorite dairy nogs. It has enough body to complement the flavor and bring back all of my great egg nog memories. Silk’s version of nog is sweet, gently spiced with the holiday flavor of nutmeg, and has the consistency of a creamy full-fat whole milk nog. It’s all about flavor, so for my money, Silk’s nog is the best of the bunch.
Below: The big winner.
Below: You can see that the Silk has the lightest color of all the three nogs.
Below: Bonus photo of a cute kitty, who was very excited about the nog taste-off.