If You Like Piña Coladas…

This post and the next will feature creative uses for leftovers. Truthfully, we don’t often have leftovers of anything in our house—plant eaters consume a lot—but there are occasionally quantities remaining of something we used for a specific, measured application. Today, I’m using leftover coconut whipped cream from my pistachio nice cream sundaes.

If you know me—or at least if you read about my curry formula—you know that I don’t like coconut. Not the flavor, not the texture, not the scent. Well, pregnancy does weird things to a girl and right now, I can say that I have a small affinity for this tropical fruit. I’m not running out to the store to gobble up all things coconut, but I have enjoyed a few coconut macaroons and couldn’t believe that I voluntarily topped my pistachio nice cream with coconut whipped cream the other day and enjoyed it! (I made it for my husband and son and just thought I would give it a try. Unexpected yumminess!)

Because I don’t typically like coconut, I would never order a piña colada. Pineapple, coconut, and rum are the primary flavors in this classic cocktail; two out of three are okay by me, but I find that when you don’t like something, it’s all you can taste. Given my newfound—albeit, possibly temporary—appreciation for coconut, I all of a sudden knew what I wanted to make with my leftover coconut whipped cream: piña colada dessert smoothies (virgin, of course)!

Despite being high in saturated fat (consume sparingly), coconut cream has many health benefits that might help you to justify the occasional splurge. This decadent plant-based treat is high in fiber, vitamins B, C, and E, and many essential minerals. You can add it to your favorite recipe right from the can or beat it and store in the fridge for several weeks. Days after whipping up a batch, I was amazed to see my coconut cream even fluffier than it was on the first day!

Fluffiness, of course, isn’t really important when it will be blended up in a smoothie, but I still found it pleasantly surprising. Another pleasant flavor component in the traditional piña colada is a garnish of ground nutmeg, which I am also using to top today’s smoothie. Nutmeg is high in fiber, copper, and manganese and has a truly unique flavor. I once heard Rachael Ray describe this wonder seed as that ingredient that makes your taste buds go “Hmmmmm.” It is even tastier freshly ground.

DSC_2317While I’m definitely missing the rum (and the wine and the beer and…), I’m happy to cool off with a piña colada that my whole family can enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: DESSERT SMOOTHIE

Serves 2-3

  • 2 frozen bananas (or fresh bananas and ice)
  • ½-1 cup specialty ingredients –> I’m using ½ cup diced pineapple and ½ cup coconut whipped* cream.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • ¼-½ tsp extract of choice (optional, and amount depends on flavor intensity) –> I’m using ¼ tsp almond.
  • Pitted medjool dates as needed for sweetness –> I’m not using any as my whipped cream is already sweetened. I probably would if it weren’t.
  • Juice or plant milk until desired consistency (start with 2 oz) –> I’m using almond.
  • SPECIAL ADDITIONAL: Nutmeg for topping

*You could just use coconut cream that has not yet been prepared as whipped cream. Remember, I’m trying to use leftovers.  🙂

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Top with more whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.

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