If you're looking for a cool, refreshing cocktail but are worried about the nutritional value, mix up a Ppina Colada. Made with the right ingredients, the classic Pina Colada drink can actually benefit your health. The cocktail has a traditional rum base but can be made without alcohol, making it a versatile drink for any occasion. The Pina Colada's blend of pineapple juice, ice, and coconut cream is sure to give your summer evenings a tropical feel.
The Virgin Pina Colada
While the classic Pina Colada recipe calls for one ounce of rum, a healthier option is the virgin Pina Colada. Rum is composed of the by-products of sugar cane, so the best option is to go without the alcohol base. The sweet, refreshing taste of the remaining ingredients make up for the absence of the rum, making the drink a healthier choice. The virgin Pina Colada can also be served to a wider range of guests and is perfect for a family gathering or reunion with young children.
The coconut is high in nutritional value, no matter which of its forms you choose to use as an ingredient in your drink. Pina Coladas can be made with coconut cream or cream of coconut. Cream of coconut contains an added sugar syrup and may make your drink sweeter than expected. Using coconut cream and adding your own syrup allows you to control the amount of sugar. Sweeten to taste, but keep the sugar content low so you do not compromise the health benefits of the coconut cream. While the coconut is high in fat, it is made up of healthy fatty acids that your body needs. In addition, coconut meat is low in cholesterol and a good source of fiber and Manganese.
Pineapple juice is added to the blend of coconut cream and ice. The pineapple is known for its health benefits, particularly its high levels of vitamin C and Manganese. In addition, pineapples are low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat. The fruit also contains dietary fiber, thiamin and vitamin B6. The juice of a pineapple has a sweet, strong flavor and is a wonderful source for vitamin C.
Healthy Variations on the Pina Colada
Try a Pina Colada smoothie without the alcohol to gain the nutritional benefits of the cocktail in a simple, refreshing glass. Blend pineapple juice, coconut cream and ice with orange juice. Add bananas to the smoothie to gain more potassium. If you are craving a Pina Colada in the winter, try Green Pina Colada Tea, which adds the health benefits of green tea to your favorite cocktail flavor.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.