Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Piñacoolada Pops

Mini Nutrition Lesson 

Hot summer days mean its time to eat cool treats. One of my favorite fruit combinations is pineapple and coconut, the famous pina colada. Coconut has gotten a lot of hype lately, with the sales of coconut water and oils skyrocketing in recent years. There is now some conflicting evidence being revealed about some of those amazing cure claims and health benefits. I won't go into that, you can do your own research. If you are looking for a low-fat, low-calorie treats, these aren't them, but don't let that stop you from indulging in these satisfying pops!

Coconuts have an extremely high saturated fat and caloric content. Generally speaking, you want to stay away from foods high in saturated fats and stick with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as research has shown that these fats actually lower bad cholesterol and risk of heart disease. According to the USDA website listing nutritional value data, 1 cup of raw shredded coconut has 24 grams of saturated fat! Nevertheless, some studies have shown that the type of fatty acids, and composition of the fats in coconuts actually help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level! And the serving of coconut contained in these popsicles contain, 285 milligrams of potassium and 7.2 grams of fiber.

So indulge in these creamy, tropical,  naturally sweetened Piñacoolada Pops. After all, summer only comes but once a year!

Ingredients

Makes 2 cups unfrozen
  • 1 cup light coconut milk, (this is canned, shake well before opening)
  • 8 oz can of sliced pineapple (I was using what I had in the cupboard, I am sure crushed or fresh would work wonderfully)
  • Meat from half a coconut, with brown skink removed. 
  • 5 dates, pitted (because these are popsicles, I made them a little sweeter than I would a drink, so that sweetness comes through when frozen)
  • pinch of salt

Step 1: 

Drain the coconut water from the coconut, by piercing a hole in the eye. Crack open the coconut with a hammer, remove meat. 

Step 2: 

In a blender combine the canned coconut milk, pineapple including the juice, and the dates. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. 

Add coconut meat to blender, blend about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt. 

Step 3: 

Pour blended mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. 

When frozen, enjoy with a smile.