Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Healthier Piña Colada

I've always been fond of rum, and fruity, rum cocktails are delightful whether they come with an umbrella or not. The only, little problem, as I see it, with these kinds of cocktails is that they tend to have very high calorie counts. I used to make pina coladas at home from time to time, and they usually ended up being dessert. I would combine frozen pinapple chunks, some Coco Lopez cream of coconut, rum, and ice and blend until smooth. Served with a wedge of fresh pineapple and maybe a spoon if it was extra thick, it was always deliciously sweet. These days, I pay more attention to how many calories I'm consuming in beverages, so when I saw an idea for a lighter, healthier pina colada in the August issue of Living, I had to try it. The recipe isn't available online, but it's very easy as I'll describe below. For this version, rather than using cream of coconut with added sugar and stabilizers for maintaining a consistent texture, all-natural coconut water is used instead. The result is much less sweet, and the flavor is purely of pineapple and coconut.

I chopped a whole pineapple into chunks and placed the chunks in the freezer for a few hours. You don't actually need to freeze the pineapple, but it adds to the icy appeal. To make the cocktails, just add two cups of pineapple chunks, three quarters of a cup of pure coconut water, one half cup of ice cubes, one tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and one half cup of rum to a blender. Puree until smooth, and garnish with toasted coconut.

They were frothy and smooth and just sweet enough. Full of tropical flavors, this was just as fun as a traditional pina colada. And, with about a quarter of the calories, I can once again make these cocktails as often as I like.



20 comments:

  1. I don't even like rum, but I'm dying for a nice big gulp of this. Is that genetic, have you checked how it is, that you make everything sweet seem so good, one's life depends on getting some? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a drink I adore and your lighter version sounds and look amazing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh! I used to ADORE the old fashioned kind in college. Now they would be too sweet for me (except they'd make a GREAT dessert - never thought of that) so I am dying to try this lighter more grown up version. BTW do you have a good Caipihrina recipe (sp?)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You can never go wrong with pina colada... especially on a hot day... very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i love this drink but never really made at home. And this recipe is going in my wish list for next weekend .. plus it's lighter version .. what better right :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, what a pretty pina colada. I like the idea of lightening it up - not even so much for the calories as for the taste. I find traditional pina colada too dense and sweet. Very nice photos Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very pretty drink indeed, I like your "skinnier" version. I drink very little these days, and haven't had a mixed drink in almost a year, but I bet I would love a sip of your Pina Colada

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alisa: I've never made Caipirinhas at home, but here's a traditional recipe from a trusted source: http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2010/06/14/caipirinhas-101/

    ReplyDelete
  9. It looks like I will now be able to enjoy one of my favorite "exotic" drinks. How can I ever thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

    Thank you so much Lisa...I'm thrilled!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this fruity pinacolada, looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great pina colada, Lisa! I would love to have a glass of it :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm with you- why drink your calories? This reminds me of the Skinny Rita, which I've yet to try. I'm all for delicious drinks with less calories- this one looks like a winner!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't like drinking calories either! This looks delicious and a lot less calories than the original ingredients. Beautiful photos with that toasted coconut on top.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Healthier, I think I am in love. THis is my favorite drink Lisa. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A quarter of the calories? Very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fantastic especially for the Florida hot weather, looks very tempting!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's one of the reasons why I stay away from these kinda cocktails too! Love the healthy twist.

    ReplyDelete
  18. sans rum, i can see myself drinking this with my breakfast! nice twist, lisa. :)

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips