Looking for an after-school snack for the kids, a morning treat to enjoy with coffee or the perfect holiday hostess gift? Chocolate Fig Banana Bread delivers on all counts. Freeze loaves whole or cut into slices and wrap individually in plastic wrap to grab out of the freezer for everyday use.
Although it’s likely to be rare, if there are leftovers, Chocolate Fig Banana Bread can be used to transform bread pudding, French toast and layered ice cream parfaits into decadent holiday dishes to delight friends and family.
Use dark purple Mission Figs or Golden Figs; both work equally well in the recipe and add the same power boost of sweet fruit flavor, fiber and potassium. Keep California Dried Figs on hand for a quick energy-rich snack and sweet addition to salads, side dishes and cereals.
For more recipes, baking tips, figs and fig products, go to the Valley Fig Growers website, www.valleyfig.com.
Chocolate Fig Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup stemmed, chopped (½ -inch) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission or Calimyrna Figs
½ cup miniature chocolate morsels
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350º F. Oil 9-x-5-inch loaf pan. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, oil and vanilla. Whisk liquids into dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Stir in figs and chocolate. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 60 to 70 minutes (cover with foil after about 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning) or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Run sharp knife around edge of pan and remove bread from pan to wire rack to cool. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature or freeze. Makes 1 loaf.
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