Yes, calling this drink eggnog is a bit of a stretch, but it does have most of eggnog’s better properties – creamy, spiced, slightly sweet, beautiful in color. Most vegan ‘eggnog’ recipes I see out there involve cashews and/or frozen banana and rightly so – those things are excellent for creamy texture. That’s why any time I come up with a creamy drink recipe that doesn’t involve either and still tastes good, I feel especially accomplished. This nog gets its creaminess from frozen persimmon and tahini. It’s rich, but much much lighter than the original and definitely not as lethally filling. There are plenty of wintery spices involved and dates yield the subtle sweetness. Most importantly, this eggnog comes together very quickly, so it can easily be made in between festivities or relaxation sessions this weekend, if you are celebrating or have time off, or at any point during the winter.
I’ve always been drawn to ‘strange’ fruit like figs, quince, and persimmons. Persimmon season is one of the main events I look forward to in the winter, and I proceed to eat little else for dessert or breakfast when the fruit becomes widely available. If you’ve never tried persimmons before but would like to, navigating the different types out there can be a bit confusing, so I wanted to clear that up here. Hachiya persimmons are the persimmons you see pictured in this post, they are acorn-shaped and have to be completely ripened before consumption (unripe hachiya can cause an unpleasant, astringent feeling in your mouth). My favorite way to enjoy ripe hachiya persimmons is frozen whole and thawed to a scoopable consistency, then eaten with a spoon like sorbet. The freezing also helps get rid of any remaining astringency. When choosing a ripe hachiya, pick out the softest one that’s still orange (avoid any with large brown spots) – it should feel uncomfortably soft, like there is jello inside the skin, that means that the persimmon is truly ripe.
Fuyu is other widely available type of persimmon. Fuyus are flatter in shape and lower maintenance than hachiya, but, in my opinion, also less fun. Fuyus can be eaten at pretty much any time once they are orange – you can eat them when they are hard as an apple or a bit softer and richer in color, but they will never get as soft and jammy as a hachiya.
Happy Holidays! Wishing you peace and rest :)
- 1 small or ½ large frozen hachiya persimmon - defrosted for about 5-10 min, chopped
- 4 large dates
- 2 heaping tablespoons tahini
- few slices of whole nutmeg or ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
- 5 cardamom pods - shelled
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 2-2½ cups water (2 for thicker consistency)
- honey or maple syrup - to taste, if needed
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Distribute between cups, garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg and enjoy.