I have no idea if this raw pina colada smoothie tastes anything like the original version, because I’ve never tasted one.
In fact, I’ve never been drunk.
I got tipsy a few times sharing wine spritzers with my mum, and there was that one party at uni where I decided to go hog wild and drank half a glass of Kahlua in milk.
Yuck. I felt so horrid being even mildly intoxicated that I never did it again.
So I’m no expert on cocktails.
But this raw pina colada smoothie does have pineapple and coconut milk, and it’s super delicious, which is good enough for me.
Apparently Piña Colada means ‘strained pinecones’. Who knew?
There’s definitely no pinecones in this version, and no straining either.
But there is the rich and creamy taste of coconut milk perfectly balanced with the tang of fresh pineapple, and melded together with banana, dates and vanilla.
And of course there’s umbrellas.
It has to be a perfectly constructed mocktail – it has an umbrella.
And we all know that’s what makes something a cocktail, right?
I do love these paper umbrellas, though.
I always loved those rare occasions when I’d get one as a kid, and I love it that I now have
excuses opportunities to use them.
I even have my very own bag of them. And they’re so precious.
Tiny paper umbrellas. It’s the little things.
Anyway, back to this raw pina colada smoothie.
Creamy, delicious, so perfect for a warm summer’s day. Or frankly a cold winter’s day if you’re in the mood for it.
I’m a bit bummed right now because I can’t get a hold of fresh pineapples from my local organic greengrocer.
They’re out of season, so now I have to wait before I can have more of this dreamy drink.
Buying organic and local is great. I love it.
But I realised just how accustomed I’d become to the all-year-round imported produce approach of the big supermarket chains, because I expected everything to be available all of the time, whenever I wanted it. It’s just always been that way.
So this only buying “in season” produce takes some getting used to. But it is a great incentive to get creative.
If you’re lucky enough to have fresh pineapple in your local greengrocers, then it must be time to whip up a batch of this raw pina colada smoothie.
And sit yourself in a comfy chair somewhere, slowly sipping away, and dreaming about tropical islands and sandy beaches.
Did I mention the tiny paper umbrellas?
- 1 cup (135g) pineapple chunks
- 1 cup (200g) coconut milk (fresh or tinned)
- ½ med (65g) banana
- ¼ cup (65g) ice cubes
- 2 med (50g) medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder
- pinch salt
- Peel pineapple and chop into small chunks.
- Put everything into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve in a fancy glass with a paper umbrella.
- Make sure you chop your pineapple into smallish pieces, trust me. I tried throwing a whole big chunk into the blender and discovered it neatly sitting around the blades, almost entirely intact. Doh!
- I made mine with tinned coconut milk, because I’m an “instant gratification” kind of girl, but if you want to make and use your own fresh coconut milk, that would make this mocktail completely raw.
- You can make your own coconut milk from dried shredded coconut, from fresh mature coconuts or even from young thai coconuts, so your options are pretty broad.
- If you can’t be bothered having half a banana left over, you could put the whole thing in and I’m sure it would still taste awesome, Or you double the entire recipe (like I do) and just drink more of it. “Well, I couldn’t just leave half a banana sitting around, could I?”
- If you don’t want to use ice cubes, you could use frozen banana (or frozen pineapple) instead. But for the whole “cocktail” experience, you really do need to serve this drink cold, so something needs to be frozen first. Or you could put it in the fridge and wait for hours for it to cool down, if you have that kind of patience. Not me.
- I sweetened this with dates, because they’re a whole food (and they’re delicious), and they get blended completely smooth anyway. But you could use agave nectar, coconut nectar, maple syrup or even honey if you prefer.
- Vanilla bean powder is just fresh vanilla beans air-dried and ground into a powder using a spice blender or coffee grinder. You can make your own or you can buy it from your local health food shop. If you can’t get your hands on any of this, you can just scrape out a fresh vanilla bean, or add a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
- I use pink Himalayan crystal salt because it contains lots of trace minerals that are good for you. So if you’re going to use salt at all, the pink stuff is the one to get. You could probably also get away with leaving the salt out if you prefer.
- I hope you realise that the paper umbrella is absolutely essential
I bought a pineapple so we could have fresh pineapple pieces on our vegan homemade pizza one weekend, and I had most of a pineapple left over. So I decided to find something to make with it.
I don’t remember how I settled on the idea of a pina colada, but I do remember trawling through LOTS of pina colada recipes and realising just how many different variations there are on this recipe out there.
Some use orange juice, some use lime juice, some have lots more banana – I almost blew a circuit trying to figure out what I should do. But at least they all did have pineapple and coconut.
Fortunately it all turned out rather well in the end, I’d say. And now I have the perfect use for leftover pineapple.
Have an awesome paper-umbrella filled day!
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly