There is never a shortage of ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and one is never wasted. Sweet tasting banana bread is the only option for this seasoned fruit. If you are tired of the usual and sometimes dry banana bread, this simple recipe mixed with dried fruit offers something good in every bite. Banana, crunchy fig and apricot baked into chocolate bread makes for delectable sweetness with your morning coffee.
The basic recipe from the trusted Great American Brand Name Baking:
Cocoa Banana Nut Bread
2 extra ripe, medium bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (recommend going less if you want less chocolate flavor)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cups chopped nuts (Optional) Choice nut for this recipe is usually walnuts
Added to this recipe:
6 mission figs, cut in small pieces
6 dried apricots, cut in small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Puree bananas in food processor or blender (1 cup puree) or you can blend the old-fashion way for chunkier banana pieces. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add eggs, oil, bananas, figs and apricots; mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into greased 9X5-inch loaf pan.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing. I actually leave the bread cool longer in the pan.
So don’t throw your bananas in the compost bin. There is still life for them in bread. Our inspirational thought for the day is by Emily Post, who seemed to find the value in this staple. “Bread is like dresses, hats and shoes – in other words, essential!” Happy baking and enjoy the garden while the sunshine lasts.
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