Virgin Piña Coladas – These frozen piña colada smoothies are so refreshing on a hot day! (Naturally sweetened, paleo, and vegan)
It officially feels like summer!
We’re out of school for the season, and both kids are itching for pool days and sunny afternoons full of free time, and honestly, I’m right there with them!
One of our favorite things in the summer is a refreshing little something to drink after hours splashing in the pool or out in the sun. We often gravitate toward smoothies (or cool off with one of our favorite popsicles), but every once in a while, the occasion calls for something even more fun. Enter: Virgin Piña Coladas!
Our frozen virgin piña coladas are somewhere between a piña colada smoothie and a frosty treat. They’re really quite healthy (no refined sugar), and can be dressed up with ease to make them feel special whether you’re celebrating something special or just want an afternoon that feels like a vacation.
Here’s all you need to make these virgin piña coladas…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR VIRGIN PIÑA COLADAS:
- Frozen Pineapple. Our virgin pina colada recipe is made without pineapple juice. Instead, a base of frozen pineapple gives our pina colada smoothie its signature pineapple flavor. I like frozen pineapple for a frosty finish (so nice on a hot day!) but check out the FAQ below if you’re using fresh pineapple instead.
- Light Coconut Milk. To add a little coconut flavor the the pineapple, I use light coconut milk. It adds a lovely subtle coconut flavor and keeps these virgin piña coladas feeling light and fresh with a lovely creaminess.
- Water (To Help It Blend). Then, to help things blend well, you’ll add a little water. Feel free to use more coconut milk instead, if you prefer!
- A Little Coconut Extract (If You Want). Most piña colada recipes use a sweetened coconut mixer (like Coco Lopez) that’s often augmented with artificial coconut flavor. I channel some of that coconut flavor (without the sugar) by adding just a few drops of coconut extract. You can totally skip it if you prefer.
- Honey Or Pure Maple Syrup (If Needed). Depending on how sweet your pineapple is (and your personal taste), you may want to add some honey (paleo) or pure maple syrup (paleo & vegan) to sweeten these. I recommend waiting to add the sweetener until after you’ve blended the drink when you can taste it. Then, quickly blend in your sweetener right before adding to your glasses.
- Garnishes To Make It Pretty. Once you’ve blended up your virgin piña coladas, you’re ready to make ’em pretty! here are some of our favorites…
FUN GARNISHES FOR PIÑA COLADAS:
- Whipped Coconut Cream (Or Whipped Cream). Over the winter, I started picking up this dairy-free whipped cream at the grocery store for topping hot chocolate. (It comes in almond and coconut!) I love that it keeps well in the fridge. It’s obviously not the most healthy thing on the planet, but it’s REALLY fun to add that signature whipped cream swirl. Otherwise, you can make your own whipped coconut cream or use traditional whipped cream if that works with your dietary needs.
- Fresh Pineapple Wedges. A wedge or slice of fresh pineapple really makes virgin pina coladas look beautiful and feel like a real treat. (Learn how to slice a fresh pineapple here.)
- Maraschino Cherries Or Fresh Cherries. The cherry on top (literally) is a maraschino or fresh cherry! We love adding a little cherry on top of our virgin pina colada smoothies to turn them into a treat. These maraschino cherries are dye-free and don’t use corn syrup. For paleo, try fresh cherries instead!
- Fresh Mint Leaves. For a little pop of color and freshness, feel free to add a fresh mint leaf or two on top!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST VIRGIN PIÑA COLADAS:
CAN I MAKE THESE ALCOHOLIC? I don’t drink, so I’ve never added rum to these, but I’m sure you could.
DO YOU MAKE PIÑA COLADAS WITH FRESH OR FROZEN PINEAPPLE? Frozen pineapple will give your virgin pina colada a frosty, creamy texture that’s really great on a cold day. If you want a thinner or more icy pina colada, you can use fresh pineapple and add about 1 cup of ice to the blender along with the other ingredients to chill it and give it an icy texture.
HOW TO MAKE COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM. For paleo & vegan friends, making your own coconut cream can be a great way to top these healthy pina coladas while meeting your dietary needs. My friend Lisa has a great tutorial here!
WHERE TO FIND DYE-FREE MARASCHINO CHERRIES. The best maraschino cherries without dye are these ones from Tillen Farms. I love that they don’t use corn syrup or artificial colors. I get them at Whole Foods (from Amazon delivery!), but I’ve also seen them at other health-minded grocery stores and even some chain grocery stores. They’re worth keeping an eye out for!
HAVE LEFTOVERS? MAKE POPSICLES! If you’ve got leftovers or simply want a different way to enjoy these virgin piña coladas, pour your piña colada smoothie into a popsicle mold and freeze for 3-4 hours or till completely solid. They’re DELICIOUS!
MORE REFRESHING WAYS TO COOL OFF:
- 8 Flavors of Healthy Homemade Lemonade
- Strawberry Mint Julep Mocktails
- Healthy Watermelon Slushies
- Healthy Snickers Shake
- The BEST Healthy Homemade Popsicles (All Our Best Flavors In One Place!)
SHOP OUR FAVORITE TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR PIÑA COLADAS HERE: