Boy Bait To Banana Bread: 8 To-Die-For Breakfast Cakes

Cake for breakfast? Yes, please! From blueberry coffee cake (aka boy bait) to marbled chocolate banana bread, these recipes will motivate you to jump out of bed and start your day.

1. Blueberry Coffee Cake (aka Boy Bait)

The recipe for this old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake traces back to a 1954 Pillsbury Recipe & Baking Contest. Its creator, 15-year-old Renny Powell, called her tender, easy-to-make cake “Boy Bait” for its habit forming effect on young men. (She won 2nd place in the junior division.) My version is updated with lemon zest to complement the flavor of the blueberries and a crunchy cinnamon streusel topping. GET THE RECIPE

2. Peach Cake with Pecan Streusel

Heavy on the crunchy streusel topping and spiced with fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, this peach coffee cake is a natural for breakfast, but it’s also wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream after dinner. GET THE RECIPE

3. Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

Tender and sweet-scented with a gorgeous ribbon of melted chocolate running through it, this banana bread is the perfect way to start the day. Plus, it’s fun to make: you spoon the banana and chocolate batters into a loaf pan alternately, then artistically swirl the two together with a knife. GET THE RECIPE

4. Honey & Spice Cake

This gem of a cake comes from Marcy Goldman’s much-loved cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. It’s tender with tremendous depth of flavor — there’s coffee, orange juice and booze in it! — and the taste of honey shines through. GET THE RECIPE

5. Harvest Grape and Olive Oil Cake

Studded with juicy red grapes with hints of vanilla and citrus, this is a simple and lovely Italian-style cake — perfect for breakfast, brunch or tea. It’s called a “harvest cake” because it’s traditionally made during the grape harvest season to use up the small grapes not going for pressing. GET THE RECIPE

6. Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Rich and tender from the addition of sour cream, and jam-packed with chocolate chips, this is the kind of old-fashioned, homey cake that appeals to just about everyone — and it’s super-simple to make. GET THE RECIPE

7. Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Chai is the actual word for tea in many countries but when we say chai in the States, we’re usually referring to Masala chai, which is a smooth and calming beverage made of black tea, milk and fragrant Indian spices. Its flavor goes beautifully with bananas, so this quick bread is infused with warm spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.GET THE RECIPE

8. Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

If there were ever a cake for lemon lovers, this is it. Lemon zest and lemon juice are added to the batter, which lightly perfume the cake. Then, while the cake is still warm from the oven, it’s doused with a lemon syrup to further enhance the lemon flavor. Finally, the cake is drizzled with a tart lemon glaze, which adds a pop of intense lemon flavor in every bite.

Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes

et’s face it: everything tastes better wrapped in bacon! These bacon wrapped salmon cakes are a fast recipe and an easy way to make canned salmon gourmet. The kids even liked these and they are good cold for lunch the next day.

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Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes

prep 15 mins

cook 20 mins

total 35 mins

author wellness mama

yield 12 +

Delicious bacon-wrapped salmon cakes are a great way to make canned salmon delicious and fancy.

Ingredients

2 pounds of wild caught fresh, frozen or 2 cans wild caught salmon
1 package of bacon
¼ cup very finely diced onion
¼ cup very finely diced bell pepper (optional)
2 minced garlic cloves or garlic powder
3 T parmesan cheese (optional)
1 egg
2 tsp mustard (Dijon is best)
Spices of choice (I use salt, pepper, garlic, and herb blend)
1 bunch asparagus
2 yellow squash or zucchini
1 onion
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook salmon in skillet (heat canned salmon if using to cook off the juice) You want it to be flaky and have no extra juice
Let salmon cool while dicing onion, garlic, bell pepper, etc.
Mix cooled salmon with onion, bell pepper, garlic, parmesan, egg, mustard and spices to make a thick mixture
Cut bacon slices in half. Lay bacon slices on buttered cookie sheet with rim. Use your hand to scoop about ¼ cup of salmon mixture and roll into a ball. Wrap the bacon around the salmon and pin with toothpick (not necessary, but makes eating easier)
Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all salmon mixture is used up
Place into oven and cook about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and until bacon is crispy
While those are cooking, sauté peeled and sliced squash/zucchini and onion into skillet with butter and spices and cook until soft
Boil asparagus for 2-3 minutes, remove from water and sauté with butter and spices (garlic and salt) in same skillet (get squash mix out first) for 1 minute or so
courses main

Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes

Let’s face it: everything tastes better wrapped in bacon! These bacon wrapped salmon cakes are a fast recipe and an easy way to make canned salmon gourmet. The kids even liked these and they are good cold for lunch the next day.

PRINT

Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes

prep 15 mins

cook 20 mins

total 35 mins

author wellness mama

yield 12 +

Delicious bacon-wrapped salmon cakes are a great way to make canned salmon delicious and fancy.

Ingredients

2 pounds of wild caught fresh, frozen or 2 cans wild caught salmon
1 package of bacon
¼ cup very finely diced onion
¼ cup very finely diced bell pepper (optional)
2 minced garlic cloves or garlic powder
3 T parmesan cheese (optional)
1 egg
2 tsp mustard (Dijon is best)
Spices of choice (I use salt, pepper, garlic, and herb blend)
1 bunch asparagus
2 yellow squash or zucchini
1 onion
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook salmon in skillet (heat canned salmon if using to cook off the juice) You want it to be flaky and have no extra juice
Let salmon cool while dicing onion, garlic, bell pepper, etc.
Mix cooled salmon with onion, bell pepper, garlic, parmesan, egg, mustard and spices to make a thick mixture
Cut bacon slices in half. Lay bacon slices on buttered cookie sheet with rim. Use your hand to scoop about ¼ cup of salmon mixture and roll into a ball. Wrap the bacon around the salmon and pin with toothpick (not necessary, but makes eating easier)
Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all salmon mixture is used up
Place into oven and cook about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and until bacon is crispy
While those are cooking, sauté peeled and sliced squash/zucchini and onion into skillet with butter and spices and cook until soft
Boil asparagus for 2-3 minutes, remove from water and sauté with butter and spices (garlic and salt) in same skillet (get squash mix out first) for 1 minute or so
courses main

Concerns about alleged ‘harmful’ arsenic levels in baby rice cakes

Almost half of baby rice food products contain illegal levels of inorganic arsenic despite new regulations set by the EU, according to researchers,” ITV News reports.

While this may sound shocking, arsenic is a common chemical compound naturally present in the environment.

It’s found at very low levels in tap water in this country, but is present in foods that come from places where water contamination is higher.

At low levels, it causes no problems. The concern is whether levels could be high enough to cause health problems and, in the case of babies, developmental issues.

This study included 11 babies from Belfast who had their urinary arsenic levels measured pre- and post-weaning. Arsenic levels were higher post-weaning than pre-weaning, when most babies were eating some baby rice products.

Researchers also sampled baby rice products bought in February 2016, and found arsenic levels exceeded the maximum limit.

However, it was only in January 2016 that the European Commission introduced regulations on the amount of arsenic that should be present in rice.

As a spokesperson for the British Specialist Nutrition Association Limited, the trade group that represents rice cake makers, pointed out: “Research … was carried out using products bought in February 2016. This was one month after the application of the legislative requirements. It is likely that all samples were manufactured before the legislation came into force.”

This research involved a very small sample from just one region. And there was no comparison group from elsewhere in the UK.

This means we can’t conclude with any certainty that the measured arsenic levels can be directly attributed to rice, or that these levels would have any adverse developmental effects. Further testing of rice products could be useful.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Queen’s University and Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, and Dartmouth College in the US.

Funding was provided by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme, and the Metabolic Research Unit at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One on an open access basis, and is free to read online.

While some of the headlines could be seen as alarmist, the general tone of the UK’s media coverage was generally fair and balanced.

The Guardian is of one of many sources that provided helpful quotes from independent experts, including a spokesperson from the Food Standards Agency, who said:

“We recommend that consumers eat a balanced, varied and healthy diet. Rice and rice products can be part of that, including for young children.

“However, we do advise that toddlers and young children – ages 1-4.5 – should not be given rice drinks as a substitute for breast milk, infant formula or cow’s milk.

“This is because of their proportionally higher milk consumption and lower body weight compared to other consumers.”

What kind of research was this?

This small cohort study aimed to assess arsenic metabolites in the urine of babies before and after weaning.

The researchers also analysed the levels of arsenic in rice cakes and other baby foods used in infant weaning to look at the association.

The researchers explain how early-life exposure to inorganic arsenic is of concern because it could impact health and development.

Arsenic in this country is found at low levels in water, so most exposure comes through dietary sources.

Infants and young children may be at greater risk of arsenic exposure because of their higher food consumption per unit of body weight.

Rice and rice-based products have been reported to contain higher levels of arsenic relative to other foods, and are commonly used in weaning.

In January 2016, the European Commission set a maximum level of inorganic arsenic in rice of 0.1mg per kg. But there’s limited information on the impact of this regulation.

This study aimed to look at levels in baby rice, rice cakes and rice cereals compared with this standard, and look at child’s levels before and after weaning.

What did the research involve?

This cohort was set up to look at nutrition during pregnancy and then the first few months after birth.

Researchers recruited mothers who were Caucasian non-smokers with a healthy nutritional status from a hospital in Belfast.

Most (70%) were said to be of high socioeconomic status. Their babies included 41 girls and 38 boys born in 2015.

Infants were grouped into their feeding mode before weaning: breastfed (20), formula fed (32) and mixed feeding (27). Pre-weaning urine samples were collected at an average age of 3.4 months.

A small subsample of 11 infants (born September/October 2015) had post-weaning samples taken at an average age of 7.7 months.

An interview with their mothers at that time confirmed that all but one were eating rice-based products as part of their diet.

The researchers measured the arsenic levels in 13 samples of baby rice, 29 of rice crackers/cakes, and 31 samples of rice cereal from nine different manufacturers obtained from 17 shops in the Belfast area in February 2016.

What were the basic results?

The researchers reported levels of two arsenic metabolites (substances created when the metabolism breaks down compounds like arsenic): monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA).

They found that before weaning, infants who were exclusively formula fed had higher urine levels of MMA, DMA and total arsenic than those who were exclusively or partially breastfed.

For example, compared with breastfed infants, formula fed babies had 6.7 times higher levels of MMA, and around double the level of DMA and total arsenic.

Post-weaning urine samples contained higher levels of these metabolites than pre-weaning samples. Urine concentrations were about 7.2 times higher for MMA, 9.1 for DMA, and 4.8 times higher for total arsenic.

Around three-quarters of the baby rice and rice crackers (specifically marketed for babies) analysed exceeded the maximum set arsenic level of 0.1mg per kg, with an average concentration 0.117mg per kg (range 0.055 to 0.177).

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that, “Efforts should be made to provide low inorganic arsenic rice and rice-based products consumed by infants and young children that do not exceed the maximum level to protect this vulnerable subpopulation.”

Conclusion

Arsenic is found in the earth’s crust and is naturally present in the environment. Certain countries – including India, China and Bangladesh – are known to have higher levels of arsenic in ground water than others.

Water supplies in the UK are low in arsenic, but we may be exposed to arsenic through foods – such as rice and other crops – that have been exposed to contaminated water.

This study shows that babies tend to have higher levels of arsenic metabolites in their urine when exposed to food – including formula milk and rice – and that rice contains higher than recommended levels.

These are important findings, but there are a few points to put this in context:

This research used a small sample of infants (particularly the post-weaning sample of 11) and they’re all from one region of Belfast with a very specific sociodemographic background (e.g. non-smoking white mothers of high occupational status). These levels may be representative of babies across the country, but we have none for comparison and don’t know that for sure.
Though nearly all of the 11 babies were given rice products, we can’t conclude with certainty that this food was the direct cause of the higher levels.
Continued exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic is known to have toxic effects, possibly increasing the risk of cancer and affecting development. However, this study doesn’t give evidence that the arsenic levels in urine observed here would be toxic to the child and could affect their future health. Again, there’s no other group for comparison. Many healthy adults today could have had similar (or higher) levels of arsenic metabolites in their urine had they been tested as a baby.
These findings are, nevertheless, important. Europe set a limit on the amount of arsenic that should be present in rice products in January 2016.

Most products tested here exceeded this level, but they were bought in February 2016. It’s possible this sampling may have been too close to when the legislation changed, and samples collected now may be different.