I’m not gonna lie, I love me a good blended cocktail. They are so fruity, so refreshing, and so deliciously decadent. What I don’t love about blended cocktails? THE SUGAR. So. Much. Added. Sugar. Not only is that much sugar just not good for you, but I find that when I mix that much sugar with booze, it’s a recipe for a hangover. Yuck.
You guys know that I’m not a hard-core sugar hater (life is too short to not have birthday cake, amirite?), but when you don’t *need* to add sugar to something—and can make it plenty sweet with fruit—I’m all about cutting out the white stuff. This Light Piña Colada is a perfect example of that. My recipe only has three ingredients, no added sugar, and is still super delicious!
Just to give you an idea, one three ounce serving of off-the-shelf piña colada mix registers a whopping 31 grams of added sugar. That’s 62% of your recommended daily allowance of sugar! Psh. Save your sugar from some awesome, fudgy brownies – I promise you don’t need to add it to your cocktails.
I tend to like a less sweet cocktail, but if you like a dessert-like piña colada, there is a simple (and still healthy!) fix for this—just toss in a frozen banana. The banana meshes well with the tropical flavor of the pineapple and coconut, and adds just a bit of sweetness. Don’t like bananas or are allergic to them? I gotcha covered. Toss in one or two pitted Medjool dates to up the sweetness.
One last tip: standard piña colada recipes call for coconut cream—the fat from coconut milk is scooped out and sweetened with sugar. Instead, I like to use canned light coconut milk.
To replicate the thick, creaminess of the coconut cream, I pour the light coconut milk into an ice cube tray, freeze it, and then use those coconut milk ice cubes as the base of my piña colada. Cold, creamy, and so much better for you. I may or may not keep a constant supply of coconut milk ice cubes in my freezer (they are also awesome for smoothies!).
I will definitely be partaking in these Light Piña Coladas multiple times over the next few weeks, because I’m on summer vacation, friends! I’ll be taking the next month off to rest, rejuvenate, and spend time with my amazing family and friends. We even have a few weeks of traveling planned to head up to my beloved Lake Superior, and hang out with the Canadian side of our family. I’ll be back to sharing recipes toward the end of August. Have a great month, people (and promise me you’ll drink some piña coladas!). Enjoy.