I recently came home chilled to the bone and desperate for something warm and sweet to revive me. Unfortunately, my cabinets were bare. The mad scientist in me came out, and I started mixing a little of this and a little of that. Amazingly, I was able to create something that satisfied my need for a warm treat that I could consume guilt-free. So many holiday drinks can ruin a healthy diet. For example, a grande Starbucks white chocolate mocha with whip is 500 calories and 59 g of sugar. Vanilla spice milk fulfills my winter treat cravings, but it’s fat free with no added sugar. Basically, it’s nutritionally equivalent to drinking a mug of skim milk, but it’s ohhhh so much more delicious. Seriously. Try a cup of vanilla spice milk immediately. It only takes a minute and a half.
1 mug of skim milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Splenda (or other non-nutritive sweetener)
Dash of ground cinnamon
Half dash of ground cloves and nutmeg
(Or, if you have pumpkin or apple pie spice still lying around from recipes gone by, this is a great way to use it up. Just sub that in for the individual spices listed above.)
Heat milk in microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds or until steaming hot. Stir in vanilla, Splenda and spices (the spices will float and give a nice aroma). Drink and enjoy!
-If you like your beverages on the less sweet side, start with half a packet of Splenda and taste before adding more.
-If you don’t like artificial sweeteners, and/or you don’t care about calories, feel free to substitute in regular sugar, brown sugar, honey, or agave. And, of course, 1%, 2% or whole milk would work just as well in this recipe if that’s what you prefer or have on hand.
-If you want to try this with lactose-free milk, soy, almond or rice milk, taste first before adding sugar and vanilla. In the case of lactose-free milk, it is naturally sweeter than conventional milk (find out why here) so you may need less sweetener. In the case of soy, almond and rice milk, these often already contain vanilla flavoring and/or a touch of sweetness. You may want to adjust accordingly.
-Everything in this recipe is to taste, so adjust however you like.
After loving this recipe, I attempted to add an egg white to see if it would bring the flavor any closer to traditional eggnog, even though eggnog gets its custardy flavor from egg yolks, not whites. I do not really recommend the egg white. It was fine, but it’s a lot more work, since you have to actually boil the milk in a saucepan first, then slowly temper the hot milk into the egg white to cook it gently (so the egg doesn’t scramble), then strain the mixture into a mug. After all that, I found it added basically no flavor whatsoever, and only a tiny bit of thickness and body to the drink. Certainly not worth it. Now, if I wanted to ruin the low-cal-ness of this drink, I might try an egg yolk, but there’s no guarantee how close it would be to real eggnog, and really, the whole beauty of this drink is that it’s absolutely delicious as-is without any fattening add-ins. Happy sipping!