Light and Fresh Piña Coladas



Light and Fresh Piña Coladas – a fresh new take on summer’s favorite cocktail – lightened up, while tart and sweet and fruity! Light enough, you can have seconds – CHEERS!

Light and Fresh Piña Coladas

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

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.

Light and Fresh Piña Coladas

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



    • spabettie says

      me too – the first food mag subscription I ever had! thank you, I am excited to be working with them!

  1. says

    WOW that looks good and I normally don’t even LIKE pina coladas, but I have started to really like coconut, so I think I would like these!!

    • spabettie says

      ew, and taste so much better than a mix too! I’ll take naturally sweet and fresh any day…

    • spabettie says

      Cheers to summer! this weekend is the start of the Rose Festival in Portland – which is usually when it really starts to feel like summer, you know? Hope you have a great weekend!

    • spabettie says

      these would be perfect with YOUR dishes today, right? 😀 still waiting for my ice cream delivery…

  2. says

    OMG I am so excited to try this one, pinning it RIGHT now so I don’t forget! I love a good pina colada in the summer but hate all the added sugar, this version is so much healthier and REAL. I love that!! YUM.

    • spabettie says

      you will LOVE this one then, Jess! naturally sweet and fresh. wish I could enjoy one with you – Cheers!

  3. says

    Dark rum + pineapple juice is a summertime fave–when I want something sweet, cold and am too lazy to make a full pina colada :) Tasty and refreshing–because yup, healthy(ish) options can still taste good!

    • spabettie says

      this sounds like a grand idea. by then there will be a way to quickly transport myself up there to join you!

  4. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever made a pina colada with actual fresh pineapple instead of canned! I can just imagine how much better the fresh pineapple will be…

  5. says

    This is a wonderful drink! Coconut, pineapple and rum – how much more perfect and tropical does it get ?!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe on RecipeNewZ. It was very popular on our site today and as such was featured on our brand new Facebook page:
    p.s. We can’t wait to see your next post :-)

    • spabettie says

      thank you for featuring me! it is always fun to see so many people get excited about a recipe – as I did when I first saw this one!

  6. says

    Oh cocktails, how I love thee. These look epic – Memorial Day weekend seems like the perfect excuse to try these out! Lovely as always my dear!

    • spabettie says

      absolutely a perfect time to make these – someone said last night that cocktail season is officially beginning. I didn’t know there was a beginning…

  7. says

    I love all of your cocktails, you alcohol goddess, you! I am SO making these into popsicles now. Eeeeeeeeeee. And I will eat them while watching Family Feud and Vowel Movement :)

    • spabettie says

      I totally support the making of Pina – Pops. Colada Pops? I don’t care what you call it, I want it.

      and I REALLY want there to be such a thing as Vowel Movement.

  8. says

    mmmmmmm I could go for one of these right meow…and it’s not even 10 am yet!

    I wasn’t a big fan of pina coladas until I went to Mexico. Did you know they add a shot of Kahlua to their pina coladas?? Sooo good! Not enough to take over the taste and make the whole thing chocolate, but just enough to add something. SO GOOD! I want one really badly now…lol.

    • spabettie says

      WHAAAT?? I spent a whole month in Mexico last December, and not once did I have a pina colada. I need to go back now…

  9. Natasha says

    Hey Guuuuurl…
    Got your messages..:) Missin’ the personal touch…and it came just in time…I started a new job, we rescued an 8 yr old 92 pound lap dog LOL…my heart is still aching…especially at night…there is much to tell and I promise to before the weekend is out…in the interim – I’m in my pj’s nursing a glass of vino tinto, and wish I was double fisting my cocktails as I drool over this AMAZING concoction of yours! :0 xo

    • spabettie says

      I am missing you! glad to know things are okay for the most part. I know you are mourning – I hope you are also celebrating the wonderful life she did have!

      can’t wait to catch up and hear all about everything! much love to you all XXO

    • spabettie says

      so weird – we are alternating between overcast and blue sunny skies here… it’s warm, though, so no complaints. hope your rain stops soon, and have a great weekend!

  10. Robin says

    I made these this weekend, and WoW what a knockout! My mother-in-law couldn’t stop bragging about them…I made two batches…so easy and so refreshing…LOVE…this recipe is going to Lake Erie with us this August!

    • spabettie says

      so happy you made them, Robin! how can they NOT be a hit, right? a perfect cocktail all summer long!

    • spabettie says

      I used unsweetened – but either would be fine. I didn’t add extra sweetener to my version, so if you like sweet, use the sweetened? Cheers!

  11. Alisha says

    we have made these several times already this summer! I make double batches and reblend for ready to drink! 😀

  12. Chris Ortiz says

    so what’s the calorie count for this “lighter” version? looks like a lot of work! I like my traditional frozen concoction, but am looking to lose weight, so am interested in a drink w/fewer calories — or will have to do an extra hour of Zumba!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *