Extend the life of your leftover eggnog

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Eggnog has a limited shelf life, but consumers can still indulge post-Christmas cravings, and do so safely, with a few kitchen hacks.

Mary Rapoport, consumer affairs and educational director for the Virginia Egg Council, shared some tips in a January 2021 episode of Virginia This Morning on CBS 6 News Richmond.

“It’s a wonderful time of year, because I love eggnog,” she said on the broadcast. “But if you make homemade eggnog, it doesn’t keep a long time. It will turn in about a week. And even with store-bought eggnog, you can’t keep it forever.”

Rapoport added that with inflation the way it is, consumers can’t afford to waste anything.

Her solution: an eggnog-infused quick bread. Rapoport demonstrated how she mixes flour with a box of vanilla instant pudding, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, she whipped butter, sugar and eggs.

“And if you have a situation where there’s a cup and a half of eggnog left, use it!” Rapoport said, finishing the whipped mixture with a splash of spiced rum and a few handfuls of leftover cranberries.

She combined the mixtures and baked it in a parchment paper-line pan, resulting in a decadent-looking quick bread studded with bright cranberries. “The pudding makes it almost cake-like!”

Rapoport also recommended making popsicles with the leftovers, for an off-season eggnog fix. Thoroughly wash an egg carton, and pour leftover eggnog into the cups. Freeze the carton for about an hour, and insert halved popsicle sticks into the partially frozen eggnog to make freezer-ready eggnog pops.

“I was eating those this summer,” she said. “They were still good!”

Because homemade eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, spices and raw eggs, food safety mindfulness is key, Rapaport shared with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

The CDC recommend refrigerating foods containing eggs promptly after cooking. Symptoms of bacterial salmonella exposure usually appear within six hours to six days, causing digestive distress or worse for those with compromised health. Eggnog made with cooked custard can eliminate those concerns.

“Years ago, when folks weren’t concerned about salmonella, they just used raw eggs in eggnog,” Rapoport said.

Today, most recipes call for a cooked custard. To make one, simply stir the eggnog mixture over medium heat until the eggs thicken, heated to 160º or higher, Rapaport explained. Cover, and refrigerate to chill eggnog thoroughly.

Eggnog and other recipes are listed at virginiaeggcouncil.org/recipes. See the quick bread recipe by clicking here.

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