Strong Bones = Poppy Seeds + Cream


I find the best cakes to be just plain simple and bare-bones. No bells and whistles, nor frills nor froufrou. I want to celebrate the uniqueness of those few flavor agents that come with their own kicks. This fluffy loaf covers itself with the perfect slightly crunchy crust, yet stays true to keeping its poppy seed notes above all other competing flavors. The poppy seeds do not add much texture to the cake, so that the soft and crumbly true-cake qualities still greet you at every bite.

If you slice the cake into 12 pieces, then each piece contains 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds. Each cake serving contains enough calcium from the poppy seeds—about 5 percent of your daily recommended value—phosphorus, and copper to give you the right minerals to help with bone strength.  Along with another calcium-packed ingredient, this cake will be great as a sweet treat to strengthen your bones. So poppy seeds, meet whipping cream. This type of cream is a significant source of calcium. 1 tablespoon of whipping cream has about 1 percent of your daily recommended value. Bake this cake soon if you’ve got a bone to pick with the nutrition content of your desserts, and want to make them bone-friendly!

Poppy Seed Head

Poppy Seeds

Poppy Seed Pound Cake

modified from “Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Plum Pluot Compote.” Gourmet Magazine. September 2009.

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened*
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, at room temperature

*Optional: replace 1/2 stick butter with 3/4 cup of whole flax meal for extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and an added nuttier taste to your cake.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer or another large bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with whipping cream, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just incorporated.
  4. Spoon batter into loaf pan, smoothing top.
  5. Bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with crumbs adhering, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert cake onto a rack. Cool completely, right side up.

Serve warm temperature, or warm with fresh butter, vanilla ice cream, or Plum Compote. Bon ap, to strong bones!

Photos courtesy of Flickr members: Auntie P; “Poppy Seed Head.” Caribooooou; “Poppy seeds.”


Memory = Sage + Turmeric

Sage is like mistletoe, right? We see it during the holidays, but keep our distance, unsure of what will happen next if we get too close to it. Who put that there? Is it anywhere else? Gulp.


Well, I can say with certainty, do NOT eat the mistletoe. Do not let the dog or your little sibs near the stuff. It’s in fact poisonous! My research shows that the plant used to relate to male vitality and romance (odd transition there), which then entered Christian tradition, who continued to kiss under the mistletoe like their ancestors. I’d like to think that mistletoe—as long as you don’t eat it—brings about happiness and warm feelings in my days, just like other items in the holiday scene. Sage especially is a healing element that is indispensable late in the year, although it is available fresh during most seasons.

So let’s talk about… sage. It’s name comes from the Latin salvia, which means “to heal.” Sage was used in teas to heal the throat or gums, used as an oil for skin treatment, and also eaten for the purpose of memory. Rosmarinic acid derives from sage; this part of the herb contributes to memory strength,  working inside the brain cells, breaking up amyloid-beta conglomerates. Turmeric acts in the same way outside of the brain cells. So sage, meet turmeric. Together, our memories will get better and we are eating to prevent Alzheimer’s! What a wonderful gift. We can remember who to call at work the next day, and who gave us those last holiday gifts. For more information, check out this site:

Where can sage and turmeric go? They need a set up. Both complement gamey meats and/or poultry, so combining the herb and spice in butter would be a great vehicle for incorporating them into your cooking! Time to make homemade butter, yes!

Recipes are easy to find for butter, but I’d like to share mine from Standing Stone Farms:

  1. Put heavy whipped cream into a blender, food processor, or mixer and whip on high speed. It will soon become whipped cream. Then the whipped cream will get progressively thicker, like whipped butter.
  2. After 2-10 minutes, depending on the speed strength of your machine, there will be a sudden and dramatic change. The milk fat and solids will separate out, leaving a milky liquid behind. This is buttermilk! Keep this process in mind when using an open stand mixer, and be sure to put the guards up to prevent it from flying all over your kitchen!
  3. After this, to prevent your butter from becoming rancid, it’s very important to drain away all of the buttermilk. Squeeze the butter as tightly as possible under ice col running water until all traces of milk have drained away and the water runs clear.

That’s it! Only three steps! My boyfriend made the butter all by himself while I prepared meat the other day, so it’s a great dinner date activity. Thanks babe!

Now grab your dried or fresh sage, and mix it in with your butter. Sprinkle in turmeric now or later. You can use the butter to cook how, or form into golf balls and cover in plastic wrap to leave in the freezer for another occasion. If you have a butter mold, you can show off a cool design and really make that butter look fawncy! Bon ap, to memory!

Butter Mold

PS… there will be more recipes on figswithbenefits for buttermilk!