Do you keep bananas on-hand until they are brown just so you can bake banana bread with figs? We do too. Fig banana bread adds just enough of a twist to an old favorite quick bread.
Bring on the Ripe Bananas
The key to great banana bread with figs is to use ripe bananas. The banana peel says it all—from green unripe and extra firm to yellow with its softened sweet flesh and finally to brown, flesh that is slippery and fruit that’s super-sweet, that color change on the peel shows what’s happening inside. Over-ripening occurs from bananas making too much ethylene and you can see the process on the peel too—in the spots that begin to freckle the yellow peel. Another thing that stands out about bananas as they ripen is that they convert to simple sugars, making them easier to digest.
Whether you opt for using chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission Dried Figs or Golden Dried Figs, they add a chewy note, but also add a bit of nutrition too, boosting fiber, potassium, and calcium in the California Fig Banana Bread. Mission Figs add a familiar fig flavor to the bread whereas the Golden Figs add a delicate nutty sweetness. Macadamia nuts bring a bit of crunch to the loaf and contribute their almost buttery flavor too, though you could swap in pecans or walnuts instead if you prefer. You will love the slight tanginess that the yogurt contributes too.
If using a nonstick loaf pan, on which the sides are very slick, grease and flour sides as well as the bottom.
California Fig Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 3 bananas large, very ripe, mashed well
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 eggs large
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt whole or low-fat
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped, toasted
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and figs together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not over mix). Fold in the macadamias. The batter will look thick and chunky.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
- Let the loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out into a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving.