How to make egg nog, safely

You can also make this traditional holiday drink healthier by using substitutions


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Homemade eggnog may be a holiday tradition, but it can also be a source of holiday illness if prepared with raw eggs. Even if the eggs are clean and the shells are unbroken, salmonella bacteria may still be present.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), anyone can get salmonella food poisoning. But older adults, infants, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. A person infected with salmonella usually has a fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea within 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without antibiotic treatment. In rare cases, people can become seriously ill.

If your homemade eggnog recipe calls for uncooked eggs, Michigan State University Extension recommends making some simple changes to make it safe to drink. To modify your recipe, use pasteurized eggs, pasteurized egg product or cook the egg mixture on the stovetop to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and then continue to follow the recipe’s directions.

The Partnership for Food Safety Education provides a safe and easy to follow eggnog recipe.

Holiday eggnogIngredients:

1 quart of 2 percent milk

6 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipped cream, whipped

Ground nutmeg

Directions:

Heat milk in a large saucepan until hot (do not boil or scald). While milk is heating, beat together eggs and salt in a large bowl, gradually adding the sugar. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while continually stirring. Transfer the mixture back to the large saucepan and cook on medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture thickens and just coats a spoon. The food thermometer should register 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in vanilla. Cool quickly by setting the pan in a bowl of ice or cold water and stir for about 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Pour into a bowl or pitcher. Fold in whipping cream. Dust with ground nutmeg and enjoy!

Calories: 135 per one-half cup. Yield: 2 quarts

A heart-healthier nogSince egg nog is high in calories, drink it in moderation. To make it a healthier treat lower in calories, try these substitutions:

Replace whole milk with one-percent or skim for beverages and food preparation.

Instead of regular sour cream, use a reduced fat version, mock sour cream or plain non-fat Greek yogurt.

You can sometimes substitute egg whites for the yolks.

Replace the saturated fats with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and use unsalted butter. Butter has been found to be heart neutral, meaning it’s neither good nor bad for your heart.

Sources:

Michigan State University Extension: msue.msu.edu

Boyle County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences: boyle.ca.uky.edu



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