My friend Nikki’s family has a top-secret recipe, “The Mills’ Infamous Strawberry Birthday Cake,” that is so special that a birthday just isn’t a birthday without it. She so graciously shared the recipe with me one year during college, a few weeks before her own birthday—so of course, I just had to bake one to surprise her.
While I can’t share the recipe with you here, I will tell you that the batter cake is incredible—and by no coincidence, when you consider that it includes five eggs, nearly a cup of oil, and an entire bag of frozen strawberries in syrup. Needless to say, I’ve resisted making the treat again, though I can’t say I haven’t thought about it.
Imagine my surprise when I accidentally created a smoothie recipe last week that tasted almost exactly like the strawberry cake batter. Try this (much) healthier version of the real thing for breakfast, as a snack or post-workout fuel. Packed with satiating protein and volume, this dessert-like concoction will fend off hunger for hours.
- 1 scoop natural whey protein, vanilla cream shake flavor (I used Jillian Michaels brand)
- 1/2 banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 T. oats, for thickening
- ~1 cup frozen whole strawberries, unsweetened
- ~1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, vanilla flavor (or skim milk might work)
Add all ingredients to blender and blend about two minutes. Keep going even after it seems smooth—blending for a bit longer will make the smoothie creamier. You can add a few ices cubes to thicken it even more.
Pour into a tall glass with a straw or serve my favorite way, in a pretty bowl and eat with a spoon. Sprinkle a handful of Quaker Oatmeal Squares on top for crunch, if desired.
Nutrition: about 390 calories, 9 grams fat, 6 grams fiber, 25 grams protein (calculated using Spark People’s Recipe Calculator)
[Smoothie image by Ody5iu5. Used under Creative Commons.]
About Kelsey Bjelland
Kelsey is a professional journalist, web producer, aspiring event stylist and baker extraordinaire. After taking the plunge and moving from rural Montana to downtown Chicago in 2009, she took an internship at a local bridal magazine. Shortly after, she discovered her two loves—the wedding scene and a boy from Alabama. Those experiences inspired her to launch Pearls & Frosting, a dual-function website dedicated to connecting wedding vendors to share business advice and to providing intimate profiles of those vendors to future brides. By day, Kelsey is an assistant editor for several management consulting publications, a freelance magazine writer and a self-professed Pinterest addict. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.