Lightened Up Holiday Eggnog: High In Protein!

holiday eggnog


Don’t you just love real eggnog? It’s rich, creamy, full of holiday spices, and nothing like the stuff that comes in a carton, which is  full of artificial flavors and thickeners. I personally think the carton stuff is way too sweet and has a weird smell. I guess you could call me an eggnog snob, but I do like my eggnog homemade. Unfortunately for anyone who is trying to maintain some semblance of heath through the holiday season, eggnog is a very heavy holiday drink. It’s high in calories, sugar and fat–and that’s before you mix in the alcohol. Lucky for you, I’ve managed to create a healthier holiday beverage with almost half the calories, and no artificial anything.


This recipe came to be one afternoon after an exceptionally strenuous leg workout, as I was trying to rationalize sangria as a recovery drink (I tried, but couldn’t). But ’tis the season, and the carton of eggnog my husband bought sparked an idea; milk and eggs are excellent recovery foods for muscles right? All I needed to do was get a little creative and make a homemade version with real food and I could have my holiday post-workout drink. By using skim milk, egg yolks, dates, spices, vanilla bean, and 1% cottage cheese my recovery eggnog came to life. Of course the alcohol typically added to eggnog isn’t actually going to help you with recovery after a hard-workout, so I’d recommend saving that add-in for later. The eggnog portion alone worked great to satisfy my holiday recovery drink craving–mission accomplished. But if you don’t care about a few extra hours of post-workout recovery, go ahead and add your favorite eggnog mix-in right away (Kahlua is my personal favorite).



{Lightened Up Holiday Eggnog}

A thick, creamy, and lightly sweetened homemade eggnog. The cottage cheese blended in makes this drink nice and thick without using heavy cream.  The high protein per serving makes it a great recovery drink, just leave out the alcohol. Or add in your favorite alcohol for an after dinner holiday treat. I recommend a sweeter alcohol like brandy, rum, or Kahlua!


Adapted from Simply Recipes Eggnog


Servings: 6 (1/2 cup each)



2 cups skim milk

3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese

1/4 cup packed dates

(or 2 tbsp honey if you lack confidence in your blenders ability to fully blend dates)

4 egg yolks

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla or 1 scraped vanilla bean


**optional add-in: 1.5 oz alcohol  like brandy, rum, or coffee liqueur per serving



Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until they become lighter in color, set aside.


In a high-powered blender like a Vitamix blend together milk, cottage cheese, and dates (or honey) until completely smooth and you can no longer see any date pieces. Heat in a medium-sized saucepan on low until you begin to see steam (you don’t want it to boil).


Temper the eggs by slowly adding half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly while you add the hot mixture. If you pour too fast your eggs can scramble. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium until mixture begins to thicken slightly or a thermometer reads 160 F (again, don’t let it boil) . Mix in spices and vanilla. Serve hot or chill in fridge and serve cold. Add in optional alcohol before drinking.





Nutrition info per serving (not including alcohol): 108 cal,  4 g fat (1 g sat fat), 13 g carb (11 g sugar), 8 g protein, 1 g fiber


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