Post-unwrapping Christmas presents, make sure you open one that’s probably stashed away at the back of your pantry - nutmeg.

That little dusting of spice you put on your cappuccino was so beloved by across Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Brits were willing to pay a significant markup - 68,000 times what it cost in Indonesia, where it grew.

Sticky, sweet and thick as melted ice cream, eggnog is a child’s fantasy, but an adult’s nightmare. It’s calories galore, salmonella risk and cholesterol in a cup. Many commercial versions also contain strange chemical stabilizers and additives.

This homemade nutmeggy nog keeps the sweet, sticky and spice but skips the nasty chemical and animal products. With no eggs or dairy, it rates a new name - egg-not. Egg-not gets its kick from nutmeg, not alcohol (although grownups can add some for extra spirit). That said, it’s not a kale smoothie. But it’s Christmas, after all. And Christmas comes but once a year.

We’ll drink to that.


Raw cashews need to be soaked at least half an hour in advance. Makes 4 servings.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes or more

2 cups almond milk, unsweetened

1 seriously grated nutmeg (or 1 teaspoon ground), plus a grating for garnish

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch of cloves

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Drain cashews well. Pour into a blender or food processor and mix for a minute or until nuts form a soft paste. Scrape down the sides, add almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, maples syrup and vanilla. Whiz together for another minute. Pour into glasses and finish with a dash of nutmeg on top. Cheers!