Not ready for summer’s inevitable end? We have a great way to keep it going with a delicious, slimmed-down version of the classic piña colada.
The standard version is delicious but sugar-packed. With a few simple swaps, this traditional good-time libation can still deliver high marks on the flavor scale without going straight to your waistline or sending you into sugar shock.
Coconut cream is very high in fat and rich in calories. Arrgh! Due to its short shelf life, most coconut cream (also known as coconut milk) is not fresh. It’s often canned, and those cans are lined with a plastic that can leak BPA into the final product. Simple swap? Use coconut water instead! At only five calories an ounce, it has 50 fewer calories than coconut cream. Many bars today—especially pool bars—stock it. Coconut water has zero fat and is rich in electrolytes, potassium and magnesium. Studies also show coconut water is a great source of compounds that fight aging and cancer. Now you’re talkin’!
For your second swap, let’s take a look at the pineapple. This tropical fruit, whether canned or fresh, is high in sugar. When processed for canning or preservation, much of the fructose breaks down into glucose. This doesn’t affect the taste, though it does change the way the body processes it. The gall bladder, liver and kidneys must work harder, and the sugars sit in the digestive system for longer. Opting for fresh pineapple is better. Most of the sugars are fructose and are easily absorbed and broken down by the body.
Swapping out one or both of these ingredients will help put this drink back on the map in a healthier way.
To try your hand at making the drink, all you need is a blender, ice, coconut rum, coconut water, fresh pineapple and a splash of sweetener. You can use a liquid sweetener like Monin’s or make your own Demerara simple syrup (1:1 ratio)—it’s up to you. The recommended sweetener serving is half an ounce, but you may find that your pineapple is sweet enough that you can sail into the fair winds without it!
What You Need
- 1 ½ ounces coconut flavored rum
- 3 ounces coconut water
- 3 pieces of fresh pineapple, 1-inch cubed
- ½ ounce liquid sweetener, optional (Monin sugar-free sweetener recommended)
How to Make
- Fill a 12-14 oz glass with ice.
- Pour the ice into a blender top.
- Add rum, pineapple chunks and coconut water to blender.
- Cover and blend on high speed for 10 seconds or until smooth.
- Garnish with fresh pineapple.