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This refreshing and extremely healthful nonalcoholic cocktail combines the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut with the nutritional benefits of the essential vitamins and minerals that skim milk provides. To avoid the highly saturated fat found in real coconut, and to make this pina colada completely fat-free, I have used coconut extract and skim milk.

I developed this surprisingly delicious drink for the "Trim With Skim" program which is offering a free brochure packed with other delightful milk beverages and tantalizing treats. You can receive the brochure by calling 1-800-WHY-MILK (1-800-949-6455), the consumer education hotline for the "Milk, What a Surprise!" program. The purpose of the program is to inform people, women in particular, how important it is to drink at least three glasses of milk every day and how to incorporate milk into our daily diets.Many women don't drink milk because they think it is fattening, when the truth is that skim milk doesn't contain any fat at all. In fact, skim milk is the ultimate diet drink because, along with being fat-free, it is our best natural source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth and for the prevention of osteoporosis. In fact, we need the calcium and other nutrients in milk as much at age 70 as we do at age 7.

Start thinking of ways you can incorporate more milk into your daily diet. This tasty tropical drink is a good way to begin and it's perfect for spring and summer entertaining of all types. You can even freeze it in ice-cube trays for pina colada pops - or put the frozen cubes in a food processor to make a sensational slush!

- Pasta is a perennial favorite, and there are so many ways to incorporate it into a light diet. My booklet, Pasta - Everyone's Favorite Food, contains some of my best healthful and low-calorie pasta recipes. Order it for $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope from Pasta, PO Box 5541, Riverton, NJ 08077-5541.




2 cups skim milk

2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut extract

2 tablespoons sugar

Ice cubes

Mint sprigs for garnish, optional

Combine all ingredients, except ice cubes and mint, in a blender container and blend on high speed until frothy.

Pour into 6 tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.

VARIATION: For a thicker drink, do not use ice cubes. Freeze the pineapple juice in ice-cube trays, blend these cubes with the other ingredients and garnish with mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

- Each serving contains approximately 97 calories; negligible cholesterol; negligible fat; 44 mg sodium.