12 Days of Healthy Holiday Gifts: Herb’s Eggnog by Herb Mesa in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, Healthy Holidays, December 3, 2010
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We all know that eggnog is creamy goodness in a cup. And if you add bourbon, it’s creamy bliss in a cup! But that’s also a creamy 9 grams of fat … in just one glass.
Puerto Ricans have our own version of eggnog: coquito. My mother would always make this icy coconut-based drink for the holidays — a mouthwatering tradition. But it can still be high in fat, so these days, I make it lighter with a few easy tweaks. Here’s how to make this classic holiday drink, plus how to package it up for a unique, delicious homemade gift.
Coquito: Puerto Rican Eggnog
I use fat-free evaporated milk and replace some of the egg yolks with egg whites to reduce fat in this drink without sacrificing flavor. Coquito makes a great holiday gift! Just pour it into a vintage bottle, tie a ribbon around the top and present in a festive bag. No matter how you give it away… just remember to make an extra bottle for yourself. I promise, you will thank me later.
Yield: Enough for about 2 (750 milliliter) bottles or 10 (6-fluid ounce) servings
1 can (14-ounce) fat-free condensed milk
1 can (12-ounce) fat-free evaporated milk
1 can (13.5 ounce) light coconut milk
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup cinnamon water (recipe follows)
1 cup high-quality white rum
Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer. Fit with a heat-safe bowl to create a bain-marie*. In the bain-marie, heat condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut milk.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites until pale yellow and thick. Slowly pour 1 cup of the coconut milk mixture into the eggs, whisking to combine. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the bain-marie, whisking as you go. Add nutmeg and stir to combine. Cook the mixture until it reaches 160 degrees F, between 5 and 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add cinnamon water and rum. Pour into bottles with a funnel. Chill until ready to give or serve. The mixture will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.
*French for “water bath,” a bain-marie is used to cook delicate foods like custards. To create one, fill a large pan with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the water and cook the custard there.
3 whole sticks cinnamon
2 cups water
In small pot, combine water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer until it reduces by half. Set aside to cool or place pan in freezer to speed the cooling process.
Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 30 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Sodium: 105 milligrams
Cholesterol: 49 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams
Next Food Network Star season 6 finalist Herb Mesa is a restaurant-trained chef, a self-taught healthy cuisine chef and a certified personal trainer. Herb teaches “balance through food and fitness,” and works as a personal chef and trainer in Atlanta.
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