It must be Piña Colada season….I mean pineapple season; the pineapples I’ve bought lately have been the sweetest and juiciest I can remember! And according to Produce Pete, April and May ARE traditionally pineapple season.
So when I saw the Recipe Makeover of Piña Coladas in the latest (June) issue of Cooking Light Magazine I read it immediately knowing this would probably provide yet another opportunity to consume more of the super sweet, juicy, sunny-yellow fruit. Upon a first-read, I was so excited to discover a new technique for making homemade coconut milk: The coconut milk is actually evaporated milk and flaked sweetened coconut that are heated together and then cooled so the coconut flavor is infused into the thick dairy milk (and then the coconut strained out.) This trick saves 176 calories and 8 grams of fat – but I immediately thought about how evaporated milk is also a great source of protein and calcium. And that leads me to think about how….(have your ever read “If You Give a Mouse a Muffin” to your kids? This line is used many times in the book!) …good sources of protein and calcium are great snacks for me and my kids. So, I decided to make the Piña Coladas into a frosty (alcohol-free) pop by simply leaving the ice and rum out of the Cooking Light recipe. We make homemade pops all summer long, but the kids were very pleased with this newest fruit-filled pop flavor!
One final note, the Merry Maraschino Cherries I added to the tip of the pop molds (before adding the blended Piña Colada) are from Tillen Farms. I discovered these delicious fruit at a recent trade show and was so excited to see the list of ingredients included only: Cherries, water, sugar, fruit concentrate, natural flavor…that the nice Tillen Farms representative gave me a free jar! (But you can also purchase them at some supermarkets, Whole Foods Markets, and online.)