I avoid alcohol as much as possible as my body has a very heightened sensitivity to anything fermented or too sugary. Hmm, but you know, I feel like celebrating, and I pick pina coladas as my festive celebratory drink of choice.
Yes, ok, fine. Pina coladas are more tropical than festively red, white and blue. But they keep with the summer theme quite well, as they’re basically a glorified fruit smoothie with a twist. (Just go with it.)
If you’re like me, indulging in an alcoholic beverage is a rare and carefully decided upon event. I usually make the choice to enjoy a “drinky drink” with the understanding I might be dealing with uncomfortable side effects later.
However, I’ve discovered that mixed drinks don’t have to be unhealthy (aside from the alcohol content)! Just like it’s possible to make a cake or pie taking into account certain food allergies, it’s also possible to whip up a fun drink and make it gluten-free, dairy-free, or refined sugar-free. And this pina colada takes all three.
The pina colada is actually a simple to modify drink recipe. Here, natural coconut milk takes the place of coconut cream, the canned pineapple is in juice and not a sugary syrup, and we add a packet of stevia to bring out the naturally sweet flavor of the two. Rum is a gluten-free alcohol, so mixed together we’ve got the gluten, dairy, and sugar- free’ers covered.
Alcohol is still alcohol and even though we’re making this drink healthier, keep in mind it’s still a treat. If you are abstaining from alcohol, simply leave out the rum and enjoy a creamy, coconut pineapple smoothie!
Patriotic Pina Coladas
- 1 packet of SweetLeaf stevia
- 1/2 of a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (I like using “A Taste of Thai” brand. I feel like it’s of better quality – the milk is thicker and it contains only coconut, water, and guar gum, a natural stabilizer. No preservatives or sugars!)
- 1 cup canned, crushed pineapple (make sure to purchase crushed pineapple with no sugar added, in juice and not in syrup)
- 3 1/2 cups of ice
- 2 shots of rum, optional
- pineapple rings for garnish, in juice not syrup, optional
Combine stevia, coconut milk and crushed pineapple in a blender. Process until mixed together. Add the ice cubes and process on high until smooth (if your blender has the capability, use the smoothie or ice-crush setting). Next add the shots of rum. The two shots make a mild pina colada – you can adjust according to your taste buds and tolerance. I’m a world class light weight myself. Pour into a chilled hurricane glass or tumbler, garnish with a pineapple ring, and sit back and enjoy a fun drink without worrying about how your body may react later. Just know your limits.