light and fresh Piña Coladas

by Kristina Sloggett

in cocktails,Cooking Light,Gluten Free,recipes,Smoothie,Vegan

We had a few days of rain and cold recently – I actually had to turn on the heat one night, and I saw the neighbor had built a fire. Oregon is using her prerogative to change her mind…

now we are back to sunny! As the temperatures return to warm glimpses of summer, we move back outside. We grill, we lounge in the sun, we have Happy Hour at Home. We get creative with cocktails, and this time of year, the cooler and lighter the cocktail, the better.

This version is lower in saturated fat and calories than it’s traditional counterpart. Which means you can have two, right?

Creating a lighter version of a Piña Colada came from the June issue of Cooking Light magazine. I am more than beside myself thrilled to be working with them as a member of Cooking Light’s Bloggers Connection. One of my favorite magazines and first subscriptions years ago, I admire their promotion of great tasting food that is also healthy. Aside from the essential indulgence, that is my philosophy as well.

This recipe has a couple steps that are make ahead. I prepared those components the day before, and it was well worth it – fifteen minutes worth of work the night before, another few minutes to blend these together. Perfect for a patio party, or a Thursday.

light and fresh Piña Coladas

adapted from Cooking Light

dairy, soy and gluten free, vegan, no added sugar

serves 4

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
11.2 ounces coconut water (small container)
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
2 cups ice
3/4 cup rum

In saucepan over medium heat, combine flaked coconut, water and milk. Simmer until it just bubbles (do not boil), about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to covered container and refrigerate (I cooled overnight).

Quarter pineapple lengthwise, reserving 1/4 for garnish (slice garnish into wedges). Remove skin and core from remaining 3/4 pineapple, chop into cubes. Arrange on baking sheet and freeze until firm, at least one hour (I froze overnight).

Strain coconut mixture, pressing/squeezing to save as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. 

Combine frozen pineapple, ice, and rum in blender, process until smooth. Add coconut mixture and continue to blend. Pour into glasses and garnish with pineapple wedge.

Tart and sweet, fruity and cool. Cheers, here’s to summer!

 

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