Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Do You Like Pina Coladas?

I don’t like getting caught in the rain—although that is not much of a problem here in the desert where we have already had 33 days above 100 degrees—and the only dunes around here are scorchingly hot and unsuitable for spontaneous romance, except by Gila Monsters perhaps.  But I do love Pina Coladas, maybe as much as Rupert Holmes.

With the official start of summer only days away, it is time to pull out the blender and hurricane cocktail glasses and make up a batch of this tasty elixir.  A Pina Colada always reminds me of the Islands, even if I am just floating around the pool or hunkered down under an umbrella at a sidewalk café.

Twins!  We had baby hummingbirds this month......

In my experience, the Pina Colada is to be consumed like Lay’s potato chips:  more than one is likely, if not essential.  But like so many things in life, and particularly in respect of libations, what is tasty is often packed with calories, and the regular Pina Colada is no different.  To help keep one’s bikini figure, I’ve found a low calorie Pina Colada that is packed with flavor!  Yes, you heard me correctly:  L-O-W C-A-L-O-R-I-E and F-L-A-V-O-R-F-U-L.  Trust me on this one.  The low calorie Pina Colada has become a house favorite and sous chef didn’t even recognize that there were something like 300 calories missing from the drink.

Grab a book, sunglasses, sunscreen and a Pina Colada for the perfect weekend getaway at home.

The perfect way to spend a summer afternoon

Pina Colada
(Adapted from Cooking Light, June 2012, page 48)
 Serves 8

12 ounces Unsweetened Coconut Milk (found in the refrigerated Dairy Section – it’s       something like 50 calories for 8 ounces)
2 cups Cubed Fresh Pineapple (I’ve experimented a bit with this – if you cannot find fresh pineapple, Dole has a nice canned Chunk Pineapple in Pineapple Juice that will work and you can use the liquid as well)
2 ½ cups Ice Cubes
¾ cups Gold Rum (we like the Mt. Gay)
¼ cup Pineapple Juice (or the liquid from the canned Dole Chunk Pineapple)
2 tablespoons light Agave Nectar (optional – can be left out if you prefer less sweetness)
Pineapple Slices to Garnish

Place the pineapple chunks in a blender.  Cover with coconut milk, rum, pineapple juice, and agave nectar.  Top with ice and process until smooth.  Pour into a hurricane cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple.

If you like a more icy texture, freeze the pineapple chunks for an hour before making the Pina Coladas (or you can cheat and just buy the frozen pineapple and save yourself a little clean up).

Total calories:  158 calories per 2/3 cup (approximately)