Even though it’s the middle of winter, I’ve been on a smoothie and ice cream kick lately. My husband and I have been drinking this coffee protein shake just about every morning, and for the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with my new Vitamix blender. That thing was so darn expensive, I figured I better get some use out of it!
In the summer, we often make chocolate peanut butter soft serve out of frozen bananas (seriously, 3 simple and healthy ingredients!), and I got to wondering what other kind of frozen fruit could make a “soft serve” like texture…. PINEAPPLE!! It’s sweet enough, right?
Now let’s see if it has the right texture. Turns out, it does! I have to say, it doesn’t turn out quite as smooth as the frozen bananas, but it’s the perfect little treat! And, it only requires 2 healthy ingredients. Who could say no to that!? Not me. It really is quite yummy!
This recipe makes about 4 servings.
- 1 chopped and frozen RIPE pineapple (do not buy the pre-packaged frozen pineapple. It’s not sweet enough.)
- Up to 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (or other milk or juice of your choice).
- SUBSTITUE MALIBU RUM OR VODKA in place of the coconut milk for my spiked version of this recipe. Read more about it at the end of this post.
- Chop your pineapple into bite sized pieces and toss out the core (I use a pineapple corer— it’s like magic!), and freeze for at least 12 hours before making this recipe. Keep in mind, the riper your pineapple, the better. If you purchase a pineapple that’s not sweet enough you may have to add a sweetener (honey, agave nectar, stevia, etc.).
- Once your pineapple is frozen, for the best results, let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes to thaw just a tad. You don’t have to, but it makes the blending process easier and requires less coconut milk to get the right texture.
- Place the frozen pineapple chunks in a high quality blender (such as a Vitamix) or food processor along with about 1/4 cup of coconut milk to start with (you can also use almond milk or pineapple/orange juice). Start with less milk, and add more as you need it. Keep blending and adding milk until you get the consistency you like. Slowly turn your blender on higher as you go.
- Once your pineapple mixture is nice and soft, eat and enjoy immediately. It’s so refreshing!
- Because I don’t always have coconut milk on hand, I sometimes make this with orange or pineapple juice (or a mix of both). It turns out a little sweeter that way. I’ve also made this with almond milk, but didn’t care for the flavor as much. Trust me, if you use too much almond milk, it will taste like almond milk! Again, if you let the pineapple thaw a little, you won’t need as much milk.
- If it doesn’t turn out sweet enough for your liking, feel free to add a little sugar or juice concentrate. Honey is also an option, but I also find the honey flavor to be a little overwhelming, so don’t add too much.
- I’ve read that the core of a pineapple softens when it freezes, so you CAN freeze and use the core, but the core is not as sweet, so I prefer to leave it out.
- If you’re looking for something more indulgent and don’t mind a bit of dairy, try adding unsweetened plain greek yogurt to the blender. It will give it a protein boost and a yummy tart flavor (you will not need nearly as much milk if you add yogurt, if any at all).
- Keep in mind, frozen pineapple is NOT easy to blend, so you will need a good quality blender or food processor to get a consistency that mimics soft serve ice cream.
MALIBU PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE (SPIKED VERSION)
Ok, now, for those of you who want to enjoy your pineapple with a little alcohol (ME!), replace the milk with Malibu Rum or Vodka in the recipe above. Just slowly add it to the blender until you get the right consistency. It’s a good idea to measure out the rum first based on how many people you’re serving, and then if you need more liquid add a little juice or milk as well. You don’t want to over serve or make drinks that taste too strong (well, sometimes you do).
I’ve only tried this with Malibu Rum, but I’m certain that regular rum or vodka would be tasty as well– maybe even better, especially if you’re not a coconut fan!
This will probably turn out to be more of a thick smoothie vs. a “soft serve” like consistency with the addition of rum. You may have to experiment a bit to make it to your liking, but that’s part of the fun!