Enjoy summer vibes any time of the year with this simple coconut pineapple smoothie (aka piña colada smoothie). Our smoothie recipe is easy to make, vegan and paleo, and can also double as a healthier cocktail, just add rum or rum alternative!
No matter what time of year it is, you can recreate a summer mood with our fresh pineapple smoothie (what we used to call our piña colada smoothie).
This is a lighter version of one of my family’s favorite treats: the piña colada. Our kids of course love the virgin piña coladas (they drank boatloads of them when we were in Mexico a few years ago). But as much as well all loved piña coladas, they are loaded with sugar thanks to the sugary cream of coconut.
Our coconut pineapple smoothie has no added sugars (it still has natural sugar from the pineapple) and it works great as either a smoothie or as a healthier cocktail if you add rum or rum alternative.
- Dairy free
- Peanut free
- Tree nut free (except coconut)
- Naturally sweetened with fruit, no added sugars
How to make our pineapple smoothie
This drink is super easy to make as either a smoothie or a lower sugar piña colada cocktail. Just combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend! Since this is not super thick, this works well as a cocktail base, too.
If you want a light piña colada with alcohol, just stir in 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of rum or rum alternative (such as Ritual Zero Proof) into this smoothie.
Traditionally piña coladas are made with cream of coconut which is loaded with sugar (not to be confused with coconut cream). To keep this lower in sugar and to add more coconut flavor, I used Better Stevia coconut flavored Stevia drops from NOW Foods. It’s perfect in this recipe: lots of flavor and no added sugar.
If you want to keep this as a smoothie and add a protein boost, blend in a 1 to 3 Tablespoons of your favorite vanilla protein powder for a more filling breakfast, snack, or post-workout protein shake.
Why does fresh pineapple make my tongue feel weird?
Fresh pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain that actually helps to break down protein (you’ll often find bromelain in digestive enzyme supplements).
The bromelain in fresh pineapple can remove the mucus on your tongue and start to break down the proteins on your tongue, causing tingling for some people and irritation for others. Some people don’t mind it, but others find that they really can’t stand it and it’s too irritating to eat fresh pineapple.
Interestingly enough, this is also why you can’t use fresh pineapple in jello, it won’t set up properly due to the bromelain (canned pineapple works fine though).
Excluding pineapple allergies or oral allergy syndrome (OAS), tongue tingling from eating fresh pineapple is from the bromelain and isn’t dangerous, but if it’s super uncomfortable, you can use canned pineapple instead.
If you want to try using canned pineapple in this smoothie recipe, just make sure to choose pineapple that is canned in water or natural juices instead of heavy syrup since that will add a ton of sugar to the recipe.
Making this smoothie thicker
If you want this pineapple smoothie to be thicker or more like a slushy, you can reduce the almond milk and also blend in some ice with this (like you’d do with a real piña colada cocktail).
Or you can freeze your pineapple before you add it to the smoothie so you can have the frozen pineapple pieces replace the ice cubes. You can freeze your own pineapple easily or buy bags of it pre-cut and frozen already to save time.
Check out our other smoothie recipes!
- Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- Decadent Smoothie Recipes
- Paleo Strawberry Guava Smoothie
- Purple Power Smoothie Bowls (Paleo and Vegan)
Paleo Pineapple Smoothie (Vegan)
- ¾ cup unsweetened almondmilk
- ½ cup light canned coconut milk
- 2 cups fresh chopped pineapple (or canned pineapple that's been drained)
- Coconut flavored Better Stevia, to taste I used 10 drops
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or NutriBullet
- Blend until smooth
- Stir in the coconut Stevia drops to taste
- Enjoy immediately
We recently re-wrote this recipe, here is one of our older post images:
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist