The classic Pina Colada made sweeter with fresh coconut and fresh pineapple. ~ by Serena Ball, MS, RD
This drink recipe begins with a cake recipe.
The. Best. Cake. I’ve. Ever. Made…. This one: Fresh Coconut Cake from Cooking Light.
I made it a couple years ago with my sister in Montana – and the magazine illustrated step-by-step How to Crack a Coconut. (I couldn’t find the step-by-step online, but these are the instructions I followed.) We gathered all the kids around, brought out the hammer and screwdriver – and straws for drinking the coconut water right out of the shell. The kids thought it was a BIG freaking deal; because of course, what other occurrence involves a hammer with food? But I was more shocked by how EASY it was to crack open a coconut!
So, these days, we pick up a fresh coconut a couple times a year; they are usually less than $3 and the thrill of slurping fresh coconut water never dies! And since I had a pineapple on hand too, the classic (syrupy-sweet) pina colada was totally ReDux-ed with fresh coconut for this month’s Recipe ReDux theme of “A Spirited ReDux“.
Here’s what I did to make my healthier version of Homemade Pina Coladas:
Pureed the coconut and pineapple (and KEEP all the nutrient-rich solids.) All the recipes I found online strained the coconut and most strained the pineapple out of the final mix. Keeping the solids maintains fiber and antioxidants and vitamins found in the whole fruit.
Kept the fruit to add thick creaminess. By the time I made it to the end of my drink (I’m a slow sipper), the coconut had actually plumped up – so instead of a watery drink, it was almost thicker than upon first pour out of the blender.
Cut out most of the added sugar. Most versions had tablespoons of sugar per serving. Mine has 1 teaspoon. The sweet fresh pineapple adds plenty of sweetness. If you need to add more, add by 1/2 teaspoon.
Be sure to make an extra batch of these and leave out the rum for the kids, but don’t forget the cocktail umbrellas. They will be pleased as punch!
Have you ever cracked open a fresh coconut? What’s your favorite tropical drink?
Please check out all the other sippable Spirited ReDuxes below from our Recipe ReDux friends: