That said, having more recently tasted both vegan nog products – they have each had a packaging face lift, but our tasting notes and comparison below still ring true!
A couple of weeks ago I put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone wanted a vegan nog review, and the ‘yes’ votes poured in. Fortunately, tis the season for sales, so with Rice Dream Rice Nog on discount and a Silk Nog coupon in hand, I was prepared to set up a fairly complete taste-test for under $5. But rather than rely simply on my own dairy-free palate, I enlisted an eggnog loving, dairy-consuming friend, Raechelle, for a truly unbiased second opinion.
As I modestly filled two glasses for Raechelle, I was surprised by how thin both liquids were. I double-checked to make sure I had thoroughly shaken both, but they were in fact ready to drink. Unlike the fat-filled, indulgent eggnog of traditions past, the Rice Nog and Silk Nog poured much like skim and 2% milk, respectively.
Before I had a chance grab two glasses for myself, Raechelle had already sipped both and was ready to provide some feedback …
Silk [Soy] Nog – “This tastes the most like eggnog that I would buy at the store. It is too sweet for me, but I usually cut cream into store-bought eggnog to cut down the sweetness on it too.”
Rice Dream Rice Nog – “I like this one the best. It doesn’t really taste like eggnog, but it is really good and not as sweet.”
Once I had a taste, I agreed whole-heartedly with her comments, and added some of my own to the conversation …
Silk [Soy] Nog – “I like that it is thicker and richer, kind of like the low fat eggnog at the store. I agree that it is more authentically eggnog, but it’s too sweet for me too. I think I would cut it with some canned full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream to add richness and to bring the sweetness down. It would probably taste good spiked too for a grown-up holiday nog!”
Rice Dream Rice Nog – “I’m really surprised, this one is very thin, almost a touch watery like skim milk. But, it does taste really good! I definitely wouldn’t call this “nog,” but rather spiced milk. It has a warm and slightly robust flavor … you can even see the spices in it! It is the perfect sweetness, too. Even though it doesn’t taste like eggnog, I wouldn’t change the flavor a bit. It would be great if they made it a bit thicker though. Rather than coconut milk, I think some cashew cream would go wonderfully with the spices in this, and it would probably taste delicious heated, like warm spiced milk.”
For a rich, homemade, vegan nog right out of the shoot, I will probably stick with the Coco-Nog recipe in Go Dairy Free. But for a delicious and convenient, store bought treat that is low in fat (watch those sugars though!), both brands are pretty good … just different.
Here are the ingredients for each (note that I don’t usually put ingredients – I’m only doing so here because they are seasonal – the ingredients may change at any time, so always read the label!) …
Silk [Soy] Nog – All Natural Soymilk (Filtered Water, Whole Soybeans), All Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Turmeric and Annatto (vegetable color). This brand contains a “may contain” label for almond and coconut, and it is certified kosher OU-D, which likely means it is made on shared equipment with milk-containing products (you can find out more about Silk’s cleaning processes between batches by contacting them directly).
Rice Dream Rice Nog – Partially milled rice, filtered water, evaporated cane juice, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil, microcrystalline cellulose and sodium alginate, natural vegan flavors, gellan gum, sea salt, spices, carrageenan, annatto (color). This brand is labeled as gluten-free (see their website for further details), soy-free, and vegan. It is also certified OU-parve.
I found them both at my local mega-grocer in the natural food department, but had to ask for the Rice Nog, which was in stock but not on the shelves. Whole Foods and other natural food stores should also carry them, but if you can’t find either locally, the Rice Dream Nog is shelf-stable and can be ordered online. Unfortunately, the Silk Soy Nog is refrigerated, so in-store is likely your only option.