Authors: .green kitchen stories
I suppose this must be the post where I tell you about fika, similar to the danish hygge. Fika is an essential Swedish expression, similar to coffee break but almost always including some kind of sweet bread – fikabröd. We take these coffee breaks at work, at a café or at home. This scandinavian tradition is different to the Italian coffee break, as they do it very efficiently. Often standing up with an espresso in one hand and a cornetto in the other. Fika is the opposite of effective. You sit down, drink your coffee slowly and talk about anything. You can do it any time of the day and several times a day.
It is often a spontaneous break and therefore requires that you always keep fikabröd (sweet bread) at home. I actually read somewhere, that in the old days you should be ready to serve at least three different freshly baked goods not to insult a Swedish guest. But I can assure you that those rules don’t apply anymore, so don’t be afraid to invite us in.
If you have followed us for a while, you probably know that we’re not the kind of family that keeps sweet bread in our home seven days a week. But for the last week we actually have. So when friends or family came by on spontaneous visits, we could offer them this banana bread for fika.
We have baked a few versions of banana bread throughout the week. The final result was a delicious vegan version that we only sweetened with bananas and apple sauce. Best thing about that, is that we have also been able to munch on a slice for breakfast. We brought home fresh cacao beans from Mexico, and they were perfect in this, but you could just as well add some cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
You can bake this either in a bundt pan or in a traditional loaf pan – we have tried both. It looks spectacular in the bundt pan, but is slightly more difficult to get it baked all the way through. If you are not an experienced baker, the loaf pan is therefore an easier choice. The bread require a longer baking time than other banana bread recipes because of the applesauce, but it will stay moist and delicious for days.
Vegan Banana Bread
1 cup / 140 g wholegrain spelt flour
1 cup / 130 g light spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 very ripe bananas
1 cup / 240 ml unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup /120 ml milk of your choice (we use oat or almond)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla powder
1/2 cup / 100 g pecan nuts or nuts of your choice (replace with sunflower seeds if your are allergic)
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then add apple sauce, milk, vanilla and nuts and stir to mix. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour into a greased and floured 10×4 inch (25×10 cm) loaf pan or 8 inch (20 cm) round bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, the baking time varies according to oven. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the pan to remove the banana bread and leave to cool completely for a couple of hours. Ready to serve. The bread will stay moist for days. Keep in the fridge.
PS! We’re flying to London in a few days to meet our publisher and do a couple of interviews. We will also sign our book! So, if you are in London on Wednesday April 10 and want to get a signed copy of our book – or just say hello! – stop by Heal’s at Tottenham Court Road. We will be there between 4.30–6.00 pm. No booking required. Hope to see you there!