Low-Fat Eggnog, 4 Ways

I vote we skip the store-bought cartons this holiday season and enjoy eggnog the old-fashioned way: with real eggs, milk and freshly ground spices. The perfect blend of sweet and spicy silkiness, this eggnog contains just six ingredients (seven if you’re adding booze). Comparatively, most commercial brands contain a long list of additives designed to thicken the eggnog and extend its shelf life, which are unnecessary when producing a homemade version.

Not only does this lighter eggnog contain half the calorie count of its traditional counterpart, but it can be livened up — think pumpkin, chai and gingerbread varieties. Containing less cholesterol and saturated fat, this eggnog is made with honey and a single egg. Enjoy a thick, silky texture, all while keeping fat levels down.

Original Eggnog

Yield: 4 servings


2 cups low-fat milk (can use soy milk for dairy-free version)

2 egg whites

1 egg

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons brandy (optional)


Place the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites, egg, honey, vanilla and nutmeg in a separate bowl.

Temper the egg mixture. Carefully pour 1/4 cup of the simmered milk into the egg-honey bowl and whisk to combine. Continue to do this until half of the milk mixture is in the egg-honey bowl. Gently pour the milk-and-egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking to combine.

Increase the heat to medium and, stirring often, cook the eggnog until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.

While the eggnog is cooking, prepare an ice bath. Place a medium bowl on top of a larger bowl filled with cubed ice. Once the eggnog thickens, pour into the medium bowl and set over ice until chilled. The eggnog will thicken as it cools.

To serve, stir in brandy, if using, and divide among 4 glasses. Top with extra brandy and grated nutmeg, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 166; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 30 g; Sugars 30 g; Protein 7 g

Pumpkin Option:

Omit the grated nutmeg and add in 1/8 cup pumpkin puree and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to the egg-honey mixture. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Per serving: Calories 169; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 31 g; Sugars 30 g; Protein 7 g

Gingerbread Option:

Add in 1 tablespoon molasses, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the egg-honey mixture.

Per serving: Calories 171; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 30 g; Sugars 31 g; Protein 7 g

Chai Option:

Omit the grated nutmeg and add in a scant pinch black pepper (1/2 turn of the peppermill on fine setting), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

Per serving: Calories 166; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 30 g; Sugars 30 g; Protein 7 g

Spread the holiday cheer with more delicious dishes and drinks:

Spirited Desserts Across the Country

6 Things You Can Make with Hot Cocoa Mix

Bobby Flay's Holiday Drinks

Slow-Cooker Holiday Party Recipes

Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.”

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