When you’re craving a poolside cocktail but you want to keep it on the healthy side, this pina colada smoothie is the perfect choice for the whole family!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
This post was originally published on July 23, 2017.
I love me a good cocktail, especially one that reminds me of summer! But first thing in the morning, when my craving hits, I figure it’s probably a better choice to turn to a healthier version of my favorite beachy treat.
Pina Colada Basics
Pina coladas are one of our favorite vacation drinks. While I can usually only have one, since they are so rich and sweet, I savor every sip. So I decided I needed to make a less sweet, more healthy version!
Is a pina colada healthy?
Traditionally, a pina colada is made with cream and sugar filled ingredients mixed with alcohol. While I wouldn’t consider them super nutritious, I do think having one is healthy for the mind and soul!
What alcohol goes in a pina colada?
Usually, a combination of light and dark rum is the center of a pina colada. I have seen versions adding things like a shot of grand marnier on the side.
Traditional pina colada ingredients
Here are the most commonly used ingredient choice for a traditional pina colada:
- Pineapple juice
- Frozen pineapple
- Cream of coconut (usually sweetened)
- Coconut milk
- Lime juice
Cream of coconut versus coconut cream versus coconut milk
While they all sound similar, they are actually very different. Here are the main explanations of each:
- Cream of coconut: This is a condensed version of coconut cream that has added sugar to it. It’s kind of like condensed milk but with coconut milk. This is used when you want a rich flavor added to things like cocktails, ice cream, desserts, etc
- Coconut cream: This is the top fatty layer in a can of full fat coconut milk. If you put the can in the fridge or freezer, the fatty layer rises to the top and thickens. You can scoop it out to get coconut cream. I use it in many recipes like my vegan whipped cream, vegan chocolate frosting, vegan cream cheese frosting, strawberry cheesecake smoothie, hot chocolate oat smoothie, chocolate cannoli, and many more.
- Coconut milk: This is simply the liquid form of the milk you get by mixing coconut and water in a blender and straining it much like you do to make almond or cashew milk.
Many brands make all of these types of coconut ingredients. Silk brand is one example of a store bought coconut milk you can use in place of your regular dairy milk.
If you are looking for a nut free milk option, Silk Unsweetened Coconut milk, is a good creamy, sugar free choice.
How to Make a Pina Colada Smoothie
What ingredients you choose to use will determine the texture, thickness and flavor of your smoothie. With all of the options above, I found that using a combination of frozen pineapple and coconut milk versus ice gave me the best flavor.
The hint of lime gave it an awesome tropical twist and I also added an optional touch of almond extract for the maraschino cherry finish!
When it comes to the coconut milk, the more fat the milk, the creamier your end result will be. So if you want an uber creamy smoothie, use full fat coconut milk from a can. If you want something lighter and refreshing use regular coconut milk.
Here is all you have to do:
- Add all ingredients into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve to your favorite people!
You want to make sure to serve this right away to keep it from melting. Once it starts to melt it won’t be as thick and frothy!
Another option if you don’t have frozen pineapple is to make ice cubes out of your coconut milk, and then use those and pineapple juice to get a similar consistency. You can then even add some coconut milk ice cubes to the smoothie to keep it cold!
Making a grown up version:
Simply sub 2-3 ounces of of coconut milk with your favorite rum. Light and dark are typical but use the combination that you prefer!
Switching up the flavors
If you want to keep this exciting, you can definitely switch up the flavors a bit. Subbing some of the frozen pineapple for other frozen fruit or frozen veggies is easy and can be delicious.
Just make sure to keep the total amount the same so you get the same texture.
Healthy Pina Colada Smoothie
- 3 cups frozen pineapple chunks
- 2 cups coconut milk , the more fat it has the creamier it will be
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract , optional for added flavor
- 2-3 ounces rum , optional for boozy twist (use any kind you prefer or a mix)
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve in glasses, frosted will keep it frozen longer.
- You can sub any frozen fruit you love to switch it up.
- Using a higher fat coconut milk will lead to a creamer result.
- Nutrition facts use an average amount of fat coconut milk option.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate. Please read more about that here.