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Healthier Piña Colada (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

The Summer season just officially started and what better way to celebrate than with a sweet, cool, healthier Piña Colada recipe?! One of the most loved summer cocktails, this sweet pineapple and coconut flavored blended drink is getting a plant-based upgrade!  You'll feel like you're on a tropical vacation.S wap out the traditional cream of coconut or coconut cream base, and cut back on refined sugars to make a better-for-you, still dreamy drink! 

Piña Cashew Colada Made with JOI - Meet Your New Favorite Summer Drink!

Ingredients, Part One:  The Cashew and Coconut Swap

To lighten up this drink, we are swapping out the traditional coconut base with some cashew base.  A typical piña colada leans heavily on a cream of coconut or coconut cream base, but with that comes the risk of consuming too much saturated fat.

The solution?  Replace most of the coconut with cashew base.  JOI cashew base is made of 100% cashews, which are rich in unsaturated fats.  Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats are linked to a lower risk of premature death and heart disease

And even though we’re using JOI cashew plant base to give the colada its signature creamy texture, you can’t have a piña colada without a splash of coconut flavor. So for that tropical coconut flavor we’ll use coconut rum!   Such a great idea, we think.

Do you prefer a virgin piña colada a/k/a a refreshing mocktail?  Leave out the rum and enjoy.  How about a colada smoothie to mix up your breakfast routine or add some tropical flavor to your afternoon?  Use frozen pineapple chunks and frozen banana instead of rum for a nutritional boost.

Ingredients, Part Two:  Sweetness Factor

We've all had a piña colada that makes our teeth ache because it's so sweet!  Not to mention the sugar crash afterward.
To avoid both of those, and for a lighter version of this summer favorite, we're making a few changes to the classic recipe when it comes to the sweetness factor.  Instead of added sugar we’re using agave nectar, or substitute maple syrup or honey if you prefer.
For more fresh tropical flavor, of course we're using fresh pineapple juice (or trying substituting frozen pineapple), plus a splash of orange juice (or lime juice) to balance out all the sweetness and give that perfect piña colada finish!

Ingredients, Part Three:  The Toppings

While we think you can enjoy this piña colada just how it is, perhaps you're feeling festive and want to dress it up!  Whipped cream is always a fun topper, and there are plenty of vegan options available these days at the grocery store, or for a splurge make your own coconut whip.  Add some wedges of lime or lemon or fresh orange slices to the side of your glass, and top it all with a paper umbrella.  You'll feel transported to a beach or pool in an instant!

How to Make it?

This recipe is so easy, you'll be making them all summer long.  Just keep that blender on your kitchen counter!  Simply add all the ingredients (other than your toppings) to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.   You will be pleasantly surprised by how luscious this pina colada is with just a few simple, whole ingredients.  Enjoy as-is, or make it fancy with toppings.  Can't wait until happy hour?  Skip the coconut rum (or white rum) and add some frozen banana for a delicious breakfast smoothie. 

[[ recipeID=recipe-9kl1a0n7d, title=The Cashew Colada (a.k.a. Your New Favorite Summer Drink) ]]


    Other Drink Ideas

    Don't stop at piña coladas.  We at JOI have dreamed up a variety of drinks, both with and without booze.  For another cocktail idea, try the Dirty Chai Martini.  For a coffee fix, check out our Frappuccino recipes or the Dalgona Whipped Coffee.  And for more smoothie ideas, here's a terrific list


    Piña Cashew Colada Made with JOI - Meet Your New Favorite Summer Drink!


    Piña Cashew Colada Made with JOI - Your New Favorite Summer Drink


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    Healthier Piña Colada (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

    Servings: 1

    Keywords: Drinks

    • Prep Time: 5 mins
    • Cook Time: 5 mins
    • Total Time: 10 mins




    • 3 ounces coconut rum (or white rum), if using
    • 2 tablespoons JOI Cashew Base (or substitute almond)
    • 1 cup fresh pineapple juice (or substitute frozen pineapple chunks)
    • 1 cup orange juice
    • 2 cups ice (more or less depending on how thick you want it!)
    • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (adjust this to your liking, if you like it really sweet add more!)
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • coconut whipped cream (optional), to top
    • Fresh (or jarred) cherries, lime wedges or orange slices for garnish 


    1. Add everything except the toppings to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
    2. Top with coconut whipped cream, if using. Garnish. Enjoy!