The strangest thing happened the other day. My day was going along uneventfully until I suddenly found myself ravenous; it was between meal times so a little snack was in order. I went for one of my favorites, carrots + hummus. Normal enough, right? That little snack managed to somehow disgust – no, repulse – me. And I am shocked, shocked. (And a little horrified…I don’t want to give up hummus!)
I am now turned off by the mere thought of both carrots and hummus, and the worst part is I have no idea why (there was absolutely nothing wrong with either of them! And no, I don’t think I’m pregnant, lol). A sad day, my friends.
I’m not sure what’s going on, maybe it’s just my (adult!) taste buds being fickle. (Has this happened to anyone else?) In any event, I decided it’s high time I added a few new snacks to my repertoire. Eggnog is one of my favorite seasonal flavors and pudding is always a hit…so why not, right?
A Note on the Protein Powder: You can absolutely omit this if you want. When I made this pudding, I wanted a recipe that’s more of a snack than a dessert, so I made a few tweaks to make it a bit less dessert-like than your average pudding; I used Stevia instead of sugar (see the note on this below), milk instead of cream (so I could use a bit of cream for topping, of course ;) ), and added protein powder.
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%), divided
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup vanilla-flavored protein powder
2 packets Stevia powder*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to sprinkle on top
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup softly whipped cream (optional; for topping)
Whisk together 1/2 cup milk, eggs, cornstarch, protein powder, Stevia, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Pour the remaining 2 cups of milk into a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until bubbles form around the outside and the milk starts to steam. Turn off the heat and very slowly whisk 1 cup of hot milk into the egg mixture, starting with just a couple drops at a time and gradually adding more until the whole cup is incorporated. Pour this into the pot and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, turn off heat and stir in the vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, then pour into small, individual-sized serving bowls or cups. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill. Before serving, top with whipped topping and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
*Or other sweetener of your choice; if you’re using sugar, I’d start with about 4 teaspoons, but of course this can be adjusted to taste.