Piña Coladas, Lightened Up

Like a tropical vacation in a glass, piña coladas can be decadent and high-calorie. But don't cut yourself off -- skip the sugary mixes, break out the blender and try our slimmed-down version.

We can't celebrate frozen treats week without tackling this summer essential: the frozen piña colada. Like a tropical vacation in a glass, piña coladas can be decadent and high-calorie. But don't cut yourself off -- skip the sugary mixes, break out the blender and try our slimmed-down version.

Nutrition Facts

With large glasses and high-calorie ingredients, a 12-ounce cocktail (petite compared to some I’ve seen) stacks up more than 650 calories and 7 grams of fat (6 grams of saturated fat). Unlike most other cocktails, these frosty libations also contain fat thanks to an ingredient called cream of coconut (a blend of coconut and cane sugar). Cream of coconut is tasty for sure, but with 4 teaspoons of sugar per ounce, the calories pile up. Bottled mixers were even worse -- all the ones we checked out had high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient, and many didn't contain a drop of real coconut. There's got to be a better way!

Light and Refreshing

Ice and pineapple aren’t the problem, rum and coconut are. Since you can’t have a colada without them, we have some suggestions. First, shrink down the portions to 8 ounces per person -- that's still plenty of cocktail. Next, cap the booze at 1 shot (1.5 fluid ounces) per person and trim the cream of coconut to 1 tablespoon per serving. For some extra coconut flavor, you can substitute coconut rum for light rum, but we tried our recipe (below) with and without it and didn't think it was necessary. Frozen pineapple chunks also help make the drink creamy and frothy, and you don’t have to worry about too much ice watering down the flavor.

Slimmed Piña Coladas

Yield: 4 8-ounce servings

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
3 ounces light rum
3 ounces dark rum
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 cup crushed ice

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with a pineapple wedge.

Nutrition info per serving (8 fluid ounces):
Calories: 210
Total Fat: 2.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 24 grams
Protein: 0.5 gram
Sodium: 9.5 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Potato Soup, Lightened Up

Creamy potato soup can have anywhere from 300 to 500 calories and up to 35 grams of fat per serving! Our lightened-up versions taste even better than the cream-laden recipes, and since the main ingredients are potatoes, it won’t bust your budget.

Bread Pudding, Lightened Up

Soaked in sugar, eggs and half-and-half, bread pudding is decadent to say the least. Good news – it’s possible to cozy up with a tasty version of this comfort food for less calories.

Burgers, Lightened Up

Spring and summer are prime time for burgers. Whether you like beef, poultry or veggies, there’s a burger out there for you. Here are some fresh ways to build a lighter (but still delicious) burger.

Tiramisu, Lightened Up

In honor of Italian week, we’re lightening up this all-time favorite dessert. Find out how you can enjoy this delectable classic without all the guilt.

Pancakes, Lightened Up

Butter, syrup and processed flour don't do much to make pancakes healthy, but you can make your own -- with a few simple swaps -- and enjoy a lighter breakfast.

Cheesecake, Lightened Up

Velvety smooth, sweet and creamy, but with more than 600 calories and 45 grams of fat per slice, can it be part of a healthy diet? Here’s how you can have your (cheese)cake and eat it too!

Brownies, Lightened Up

I’m a brownie kind of girl—my friends and family can vouch for me. There are in fact ways to lighten up this delectable dessert. What’s the secret? Read on to find out.

Hearty Chili, Lightened Up

Yes, it's easy to load up your chili with calories and fat, but here are easy steps to make a pot for under 400 calories per serving.

Grilled Cheese, Lightened Up

Who doesn’t love the ooey-gooey goodness of a grilled cheese sandwich? You can enjoy the scrumptious combo of toasted bread and melted cheese without throwing your healthy eating plan out the window.