“Light” Pina Coladas

Poll: What is your favorite vacation drink? Mine? Pina Colada, for sure. The pineapple coconut combo is the epitome of tropical vacation. Until now, I’ve reserved all pina colada drinking for vacation time only. Let’s be real, those drinks are packed with calories, and do a bikini body no favors. However, when I opened up last month’s Cooking Light magazine, this recipe jumped out at me like a beacon from heaven. Lower calorie pina coladas?!?! I must be dreaming. Nope, Cooking Light has made all my fruity drink dreams come true.

I was forced to bust out our older-than-dirt blender for this, which required a lot of cleaning before I could make anything, but it was so worth the effort! I drank a whole pitcher of these last weekend while enjoying the first of many sunny pool days, and a good book. Ok, I realize drinking the whole pitcher is still a lot of calories, but not as many as it could have been! Trust me, I’m making up for it with my workouts this week.

Lower Calorie Pina Coladas recipe from Cooking Light

  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup gold rum (such as Bacardi Gold) **I used a white rum that was leftover from something
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 8 fresh pineapple slices
  1. Combine 2 cups coconut and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Arrange pineapple in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze at least 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Strain coconut mixture through a sieve over a medium bowl, pressing coconut with the back of a spoon to remove as much milk as possible. Discard solids.
  4. Combine pineapple, ice cubes, rum, juice, and agave nectar in a blender; process mixture until smooth. Add milk mixture, and process until smooth. Serve with pineapple slices.

Serving size 2/3 cup (makes 8) Calories 158 

In case anyone’s interested in my summer reading, I’m currently reading Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller. Its the last unread book on my Kindle so I’m  taking suggestions on what to read next. Please do not say 50 Shades of Gray. Thanks.


  1. says

    It is always a toss up for me between strawberry margarita’s or pina coloda’s. Quite a few years ago on a trip to Mexico I discovered lava lamps, which is a combination of the two, and the angels literally sang their praises! But you are right – the calories are really not beach worthy. I am looking forward to trying this recipe out this summer. Thanks!

  2. says

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with
    my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you


  1. […] do a feature where they make a lighter version of a popular dish. Perhaps you caught my post on light pina coladas? I think it was fate that these light lemon squares showed up right in time for Jen’s […]

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