It is still officially Spring, but who would know amidst the ever rising temperatures – we already surpassed the 90°F mark here in New Mexico. These temperatures are more reminiscent of our typical summer days.
On the upside, the local stores are also carrying more and more strawberries. Now, personally I just enjoy eating strawberries plain and would encourage you to select only the organically grown varieties. Strawberries unfortunately have become a very heavily sprayed crop, in fact, commercially grown, non-organic strawberries rank near the bottom of the safe foods list. If you wish to learn more about this, read about it at this great living foods site, or check out a complete safety listing of fruit and vegetables at this link.
In general, I prefer to eat raw and living foods, and during the warmer months it is so much easier to do just that; but not everyone here feels the same way. Since no one in our family as any allergy responses to dairy, this afforded an opportunity to try out Chobani yoghurt, which came highly recommended by several people. Now, this yoghurt has already become a favorite. It is certified gluten free and safe for people with corn, soy and nut allergies, as well as free of synthetic growth hormones, artificial flavors and preservatives. Chobani has the added benefit of live probiotic cultures and tastes just ever so good. For those of you that are allergic to dairy, or just prefer to use a nondairy alternative – try the So Delicious brand’s yoghurt line. We also never tried a cake mix from Pamela’s – another first. It turned out to be one of the easiest desserts ever.
For this recipe, you will need to purchase:
1 package of Pamela’s Gluten Free Classic Vanilla Cake Mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract
1 8oz. container of Chobani yoghurt with strawberries
1 8oz. package of Neuchatel cream cheese
2 Tbsp. raw honey
Sliced organic strawberries to cover the top of the cake
Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and slice. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, combine the mix, eggs, oil, water and vanilla extract and (we used a hand mixer) mix well on low to medium speed. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9-inch spring form baking pan. Pamela’s also offers suggestions for other types of baking pans on their package directions. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice the cake into half horizontally. Place the bottom part onto your favorite cake platter and top it with the Chobani yoghurt. Spread it out evenly and place the top layer of the cake over it.
In a separate bowl, mix the Neuchatel cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of raw honey and blend well. Spread this mixture over the entire cake and top with sliced organic strawberries. Serve with your favorite summer drink!