Apparently on this holiday that is known for pink and chocolate, I feel it is my duty to bring you things that are definitely pink, but maybe not so chocolate. Last year, we turned strawberries into roses. This year, we’re making delicious piña colada smoothies, and tinting them pink with frozen raspberries. The result is a tropical, creamy, drink that will make you forget it’s below zero outside.
I think a piña colada was the first “tropical” drink I ever had. I was instantly in love – I mean, super sweet, creamy coconut mixed with pineapple, what could be better? Today’s creation strays slightly from the original both in an attempt to amp up the nutrition and, well let’s be real, to make it pink. I was recently telling someone about my family tradition of adding food coloring to our glasses of milk at dinner on holidays. St. Patrick’s day was green milk, and on Valentine’s Day, we always got to dye our milk pink. For some reason, it was always such a fun treat, and I felt like a little kid again when I decided this afternoon that I not only wanted a piña colada, but a pink one.
To make this festive piña colada, you’ll need to pre-peel and freeze a banana. Blending a frozen banana into the smoothie is what gives it its creamy texture, and makes up for the fact that there’s no full-fat coconut milk included. I usually let a bunch of bananas ripen, and then when they’re speckled with brown spots (and nice and sweet!), I freeze them in individual plastic bags so I can pull them out easily whenever a smoothie craving hits.
The other crucial ingredient in this smoothie is Bai Molokai Coconut drink. If you’ve never tried it before, it tastes a lot like coconut water, but it’s sweetened, so if you’re not a big fan of plain coconut water, don’t turn away just yet. The drink is naturally sweetened, and has only 5 calories per cup, so it’s a sneaky way to pack in coconut flavor without using coconut milk. I’ve started seeing these drinks all over now (I buy them at Walgreens/ CVS, Target, and regular grocery stores), but you can also order it off Amazon. They come in a variety of flavors, and I usually find them in the aisle with other fruit flavored water or the refrigerated case at drugstores. In case you were curious, this is not sponsored – I’m certainly not cool enough to be paid to suggest Bai to you – I just love it as an ingredient in this smoothie!
As the polar freeze hits the East and Midwest this weekend, whipping up a sweet treat like this will transport you to the tropics. And if your imagination doesn’t work, I bet this wouldn’t be bad with a dash of rum in it :).
Happy Valentine’s – whether you’re celebrating with pink milk, raspberry smoothies, or something a little sweeter, I hope it’s a good one!
*Also, since when did conversation hearts get so sassy? Didn’t realize the one front and center said “no way,” but I’ve always liked a candy that could stand up for itself.
Raspberry Piña Colada Smoothie
Time: 5 minutes
1 banana, pre-sliced and frozen
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used non-fat plain, but vanilla or honey flavored would also work)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup Bai Molokai Coconut
Place all ingredients in a blender and run until creamy and smooth, stopping to stir as necessary. Feel free to taste and add more of any ingredient to your liking. Garnish with extra raspberries or pineapple slices and enjoy!