Out with the pumpkin and in with the eggnog! Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we move on to the next food phenom of the holiday season … nog-flavored everything!
Traditional eggnog is made from milk, cream, sugar and frothy whipped eggs. It’s often flavored with spices like cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, and may be spiked with rum or bourbon. This popular drink is a staple at many holiday gatherings, but all those decadent ingredients add up to anywhere from 220 to more than 400 calories per cup!
To avoid a food safety snafu, homemade batches of this bevvie should be cooked or made with pasteurized eggs, especially for party guests who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems.
To pay homage to this beloved beverage, every year more and more eggnog-flavored foods can be found.
It may seem like a harmless addition to a cup of joe, but just one tablespoon of coffee creamer contains 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. It may also come as a big surprise to some folks that this stuff contains no cream (or eggnog) — just water, oil, flavorings and thickeners.
An annual holiday offering at many chain coffee joints, a 12-ounce cup of this seasonal creation made with whole milk contains 380 calories, 17 grams of fat and 42 grams of sugar!
Here’s an eggnog goodie that actually won’t get you in to trouble, as long as you watch the added cream and sugar. Lots of brands of bagged teas offer an eggnog flavor for the holidays, and each cup of brewed tea contains less than 5 calories.
Look around and you may be able to find limited-edition mixes for eggnog-flavored baked goods, including scones, muffins, cookies and cakes. And while they probably aren’t any worse than the garden-variety vanilla and chocolate flavors, they are high in calories, fat and sugar.
Spiru-Tein is a brand of plant-based protein powder that likes to get into the spirit of the season, making an eggnog-flavored powder that contains 120 calories and 14 grams of protein per scoop.
You can find eggnog versions of everything, including candy canes, saltwater taffy, candy corn, truffles, marshmallows and candy melts. It should go without saying that these are pure sugar and should be consumed in moderation, just like all those other holiday treats.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.