Food + Wine

A Healthier Pina Colada

I love a frozen drink on a hot summer day as much as the next person.  I also used to be a bartender and have made plenty of frozen cocktails in my day (which by the way, no bartender likes to do) and they’re loaded with sugar and usually pretty light on the alcohol…and cost you an arm and
a leg.  But people love them.  They love them because they’re festive, cool and refreshing.  They also go down so quick and easy that it can sometimes be a bit dangerous… Did you know that, on average, one of those thick, frozen cocktails can amount to half of your daily caloric intake.  HALF!!  That’s insane.  And knowing things like that makes it hard for me to enjoy them.  So if my husband and I are at home on a hot weekend day in the summer and decide to pretend we’re on vacation while the kids are napping, I’ll whip up one of my healthier versions of a classic frozen cocktail and we feel much better about the process!!

This recipe for a healthier pina colada is very easy and if you’re like me, you often have most of the ingredients on hand anyway.  I don’t like things very sweet, just the amount of natural sugar that comes from an in-season fruit is generally enough for me, but if you think you need your drink to be sweeter, then add some agave nectar or even some honey to the blender until you like what you taste.



A Healthier Pina Colada: 1 (14 oz) can of full fat coconut milk, about 2 1/2 cups of frozen pineapple chunks, 1/2 cup of dark rum, the juice from 1 large lime, and 1 frozen banana. Combine in Blender.

makes about 6 cups

In a blender combine…

  • 1 (14 oz) can of full fat coconut MILK* (cold from the fridge and NOT sweetened coconut cream or cream of coconut.  Truth be told, my favorite brand is my Harris Teeter HT Traders Coconut Milk, it’s the richest one I’ve found… the others tend to taste watered down to me, and don’t produce a good enough cocktail.)
  • about 2 1/2 cups of fresh, ripe pineapple chunks, frozen (OR 1 (20 oz) can if you can’t find fresh, in-season pineapple)
  • 1/2 cup of good, dark rum
  • the juice from 1 large lime
  • and 1 frozen, ripe banana

Blend this until everything is fully combined and thick and creamy.  If, for some reason, it’s not as thick as you’d like it, place it in the freezer for a few hours to thicken it up before serving.

Serve with a pineapple chunk and/or lime slice as a garnish.

Or just take it right out of the blender… you’re choice.

pina colada



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