Holiday Vanilla Nut Nog

Similar to eggnog, this beverage is rich a creamy, and the flavor of the Brazil nuts complements the spices beautifully.  Whether you have a high-performance blender or a regular home blender, you will have the best success if you prepare the nog in batches.  For convenience and the best taste, make the nog one day in advance of your event.

Yield: 8-10 servings, about 7 ½ cups

5 cups raw Brazil nuts
30-40 pitted Medjool dates
5 vanilla beans, or 2 Tbs vanilla extract
9-11 cups water
2/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg

Soak the Brazil nuts in water to cover for 8-12 hours.  In a separate bowl, soak the dates and vanilla beans (or extract) together in water to cover for 8 to 12 hours.

Drain the Brazil nuts, rinse well, and drain again.  Remove the dates and vanilla beans from the soaking water and add enough additional water to measure 10 cups.  Pour into a blender, add the Brazil nuts, and process until smooth.  Add the dates, vanilla beans (or extract), and cinnamon to the blender. Process again until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the container.  The mixture will be quite thick; if you prefer .a thinner nog, add up to 1 more cup of water and process again.

Taste and add more dates, vanilla, and/or cinnamon as desired and process until smooth.

Place the nut milk bag in a large bowl, pour the blended mixture into it in batches, and gently squeeze out the liquid.  Pour the strained nog into clear cups, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on the top, and enjoy.

Note: If you are using a regular home blender, you can make enough Vanilla Nut Nog for your crowd by blending small batches that make 1-2 servings until you have the quantity that you need.  To make 1-2 servings at a time use ½ cup Brazil nuts (soaked 8-12 hours), 4  pitted Medjool dates, ½ vanilla been or 1 tsp vanilla extract (soak the dates and vanilla bean or extract together for 8-12 hours), a pinch of cinnamon and enough water added to the date soaking water to measure 1 cup.

from Raw Food Celebrations: Party Menus for Every Occasion!, by Nomi Shannon and Sheryl Duruz

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