How to Make Festive, Low Carb Keto Eggnog
How many of you sip a glass of homemade eggnog when you return home for the holidays? This festive treat can be quite nostalgic, serving as a holiday tradition for many families. A batch of homemade eggnog can be enjoyed all on its own, with a splash of bourbon, topped with whipped cream, or with your morning mug of coffee as a faux “eggnog latte.”
Homemade eggnog actually requires very few ingredients — just raw eggs, sugar, milk, and cream. Plus, it’s rather simple to make, requiring zero cook time. If you’re following a low carb or keto diet, three out of these four ingredients will suit you just fine. If you could just replace the sugar, this holiday hit would be ready to serve.
Luckily, this creamy keto eggnog recipe fits perfectly within any low carb meal plan. With less than two grams of net carbs per serving, you can add it to your list of holiday recipes to whip up this year.
The Best a Zero-Sugar Replacement for Keto Eggnog
To make a low carb eggnog, your first (and most critical) step is to find a replacement for sugar. In fact, if you swap out the sugar, you could use the same eggnog recipe that’s been in your family for generations. Luckily, there are several options which can transform classic eggnog into a low carb recipe:
- Stevia: Stevia is one of the most well-known sugar substitutes available, and commonly found in keto recipes. It doesn’t contain carbs or calories, nor does it affect your blood glucose or insulin levels (1). You can purchase a powdered version (found in packets) or liquid stevia.
- Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol (not usually permitted on the keto diet), but as long as you purchase a non-GMO brand, like Truvia, it’s a perfectly safe alternative. Like stevia, erythritol contains zero calories and carbs.
- Xylitol: Another sugar alcohol, xylitol is found naturally in some fruits and vegetables. Unlike the other alternatives on this list, xylitol is not completely free of carbs, containing 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
- Monk fruit: Monk fruit is a fruit native to Asia, estimated to be 250 times sweeter than sugar. It contains zero calories and carbohydrates, and has even been shown to prevent inflammation (2).
The best low-carb desserts are made with one of these four sugar substitutes. For this sugar-free eggnog, you’ll use Swerve, a sugar alternative which contains erythritol as its main ingredient. It contains less than 0.2 calories per gram, and has been shown to not affect blood sugar or insulin levels (3, 4). Best of all, it can be used as a one-for-one replacement for sugar.
Can You Make Keto Eggnog Dairy Free?
Dairy always seems to be a gray area on the keto diet.
Here’s the scoop: You can enjoy dairy on keto if your digestive system tolerates it (i.e. you don’t experience any bloat or other discomfort) and if you choose high-quality dairy products (organic and grass-fed whenever possible). Don’t choose dairy with high levels of carbohydrates (like skim milk or half and half).
If you don’t hit all three of these criteria, you have several options. Most eggnog recipes (including the one listed below) typically include a combination of heavy cream, milk, or heavy whipping cream, all of which are keto-friendly dairy products.
You can easily make a dairy-free eggnog with a milk alternative, such as coconut milk or almond milk. However, there are a few things you should know.
First and foremost, the taste will be a little different. Coconut milk, for example, has a distinct coconut flavor that won’t be entirely masked by the various seasonings (vanilla extract, rum extract, cinnamon, or allspice) used. Secondly, the texture might be a bit lighter, instead of the rich, thick, luxurious eggnog holiday dreams are made of.
If you are a dairy-free household, here are two recipe notes to combat the above issues:
- Use full-fat products whenever possible: This mainly pertains to coconut milk. If you want the thick texture associated with eggnog, never purchase low fat coconut milk. If you want a really thick eggnog, you could purchase coconut cream instead.
- Use two products: Coconut milk has the best texture, but most distinct (and slightly off putting) taste. So instead, use a combination of coconut milk and either macadamia nut milk or almond milk.
The best combination we tried seems to be two cups almond milk and one cup coconut milk.
The Secret to Homemade Eggnog: It’s All in the Eggs
Any who’s made eggnog in the past knows the secret is separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. If you’re a newbie in the eggnog-making scene, this step might seem a bit silly. After all, what is the point of separating the yolks from the whites, only to add them back in later?
The secret, or so it seems, is thickening the ‘nog first with yolks, then adding a depth of texture by layering in the egg whites. Here’s how to do it:
Grab two large mixing bowls. Crack each egg, dividing all the yolks into one bowl and all the whites into the other. Next, you will whisk your chosen milk and sugar substitutes in with the yolks until smooth.
On its own, the yolk mixture would be an overly rich drink. To make it airy and frothy, you will whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer, right before serving your eggnog. You will know the egg whites are ready to be mixed in with the rest of your concoction when white, soft peaks start to form.
Shall We Enjoy It Spiked?
If you’re partial to a virgin eggnog, your holiday beverage is ready to enjoy the moment you combine your whisked egg whites with the other ingredients. If, however, you would like to make the beverage a bit more festive (and 21+ friendly) you can spike it.
Eggnog is almost always enjoyed with one of three alcoholic drinks: rum, whiskey, or bourbon. Luckily for you, you can take your pick — because all three are keto-friendly. These forms of liquor all contain zero net carbs, which make them suitable for a low carb diet.
On that note, we suggest you raise your glass and welcome this holiday season with a glass of homemade keto eggnog.
Homemade Keto Eggnog
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream or other non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup Swerve
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 ounces bourbon or to taste (optional)
Using two large mixing bowls, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Set the bowl with the egg whites aside.
With a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they become a light, yellow color. Gradually add in the Swerve until dissolved. Add the heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, and nutmeg until well combined.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft, white peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Chill.
Right before serving, add the bourbon and lightly stir.
Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.
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