|Maple Spelt Banana Bread|
I love the place. The volunteers always greet me with a friendly hello and let me know what's fresh or new or just plain amazing. The food is fresh and of high quality. We eat much, much better because the quality of the products is excellent, and my grocery shopping is simplified because I don't have to circle the big aisles of processed crap that I find in the large grocery stores in order to get what I really want. Occasionally I still need to stop by one of the larger chains for toilet paper and the like, but mostly, everything I need can be found in that little corner shop.
Check out this short video clip from their website to get a sense of the spirit of it:
It's open on Tuesdays from 16:00 - 19:00 and on Fridays from 16:00 - 18:00. In the summer, they arrange a farmer's market in the parking lot across the street, and invite the local farmers to come on in and sell their goods directly to the public. If you live in the area and haven't visited yet - what are you waiting for? I highly recommend it. Note: nobody is paying me to praise it - I simply have full admiration and respect for the concept, and enjoy it so much that I want to share the good things in life!
|Morning coffee with Maple Spelt Banana Bread|
But there is an even more delicious option that most of you already know: Banana Bread.
|Packed full of seeds, sultanas and whole grains|
Banana bread can actually be pretty unhealthy - made with bleached white flour & too much white sugar, and I wanted to make something a bit more nutritious and tasty than that.
So today, Saturday morning, bright and early, I pulled a large bowl out of the cupboard, tossed in and smashed 3 very ripe bananas, and started making banana bread. Spelt flour and spelt flakes from the Herttoniemi ruokapiiri stood in as the substitute for the flours, and maple syrup replaced the sugar, but I used 1/2 cup rather than one cup. I added ground flaxseed tossed in sunflower seeds and sultanas as well. It took less than 10 minutes to get the ingredients mixed together and into the oven - an efficient little project.
The bread baked as we did our morning clean up and projects, and by the time its warm, enticing fragrance began to fill the house, we were more than ready for a coffee break and a slice of the delicious bread. The result was a satisfying loaf with a lovely grainy chewiness from the spelt flakes and sunflower seeds, and a pleasant sweetness from the maple syrup balanced by the lemon juice.
|Ethiopa Yirgacheffe in the French Press goes nicely with this bread|
This is what good weekends are made of: a slow start, a sweet treat baking slowly in a hot oven, a glance out the window across the horizon of a world waking both from the slumber of sleep and of winter - a moment to think about how good life really is, when we have the luxury to sit back, even for a moment, and dream over a slice of something as simple, basic and wholesome as fresh banana bread.
Happy Weekend, my friends!
Maple Spelt Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Lightly oil a bread pan and line the bottom with a strip of parchment paper.
1 1/4 cup whole-grain spelt flour (can substitute 1/2 whole wheat and half regular wheat flour)
1/2 cup spelt flakes (can substitute oatmeal)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 golden sultanas
Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Stir together with a spatula or wooden spoon until well combined. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes (oven temps and pan sizes vary, and the starting temperature of your ingredients will also have an impact) until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes; remove and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes, then slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes one loaf.