Drink Your Way to a Better You
Now that I’ve got your attention…
The next couple of weeks is a great opportunity to celebrate light. This may sound counterintuitive considering the lack of sunlight, but traditionally, this time of year represents the return of light after the longest night. So as the days get shorter leading up to the solstice, light a candle and cozy up with this amazing nutrient-dense traditional eggnog recipe. (Spoiler alert: it’s got a lot of eggs.)
Before we dip into it, however, let’s undo some of the negative associations we have about egg yolks, and take a guided tour through their many benefits.
First and foremost, egg yolks are one of nature's most dense sources of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps support many cellular functions, such as cell maintenance, DNA synthesis, metabolism, and nervous system function. It’s especially important during pregnancy, as it helps the baby’s spinal cord and brain develop properly.
Egg yolks also contain vitamins A, D, E and K along with omega-3 fats. They are excellent for eye health as well, as they are full of lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc which are essential for healthy eyes across the lifespan.
And there’s other good stuff in here too, by the way. Cinnamon is a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb used to tonify the kidneys and it has many science backed benefits.
Need any more reasons to feel good about this recipe? How about the health benefits of pure liquid joy? So without further ado, here it is in all it’s yuletide glory.
The Real Deal
6 large egg, separated
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 whole cloves
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (lightly packed)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with a whisk or an electric mixer until they become a slightly lighter shade of yellow. As you do this, slowly add the sugar and beat after each addition. Beat or whisk until they are fluffy.
Meanwhile, combine the milk, cloves, and cinnamon in a thick-bottomed pot. Heat gently over medium heat until the milk mixture is steamy, but not boiling.
Add half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking it constantly while you add the hot mixture. When it’s thoroughly combined, pour this back into the pot with the remaining hot milk and simmer low until it starts to thicken. This shouldn’t take long. It’s very important not to let it boil, or it will curdle.
Now you can remove it from the heat and add the cream and vanilla extract. Chill this mixture until you're ready to enjoy it. One option is to beat the egg whites until they are stiff, adding a few Tablespoons of white sugar as you go. If you are comfortable with eating raw egg whites, then fold this mixture into the warm eggnog before you cool it to make an even thicker, frothy treat. Or, as I prefer, pile it on top of your serving like whipped cream and enjoy!