Hi friends! The key to any great banana bread, is of course, the bananas. Do you ever buy bananas purposefully so they will get over-ripe and you can use them in bread? I do! With a few ripe bananas on the counter and bored toddlers in the house, the grand-mini’s and I made some California Fig Banana Bread for an after-nap snack at #OmieDayCamp.
First step to baking with kids: Clean hands! The mini’s have their own step-stool to help them reach the counter and the sink. It’s a handy thing to have around the house, until one of them decides to move the step-stool and spends the next ten minutes happily turning on and off the kitchen light. He’s two. I forgive him.
The next step is for Mini Sous to peel the bananas so we can mash them. Look at those perfectly dark and speckled bananas! She won’t eat them this way, she says they’re too “dirty” but she loves them in bread! We peel them and put them in the mixing bowl and let the beater smash them. That way there is less of a mess as we add other ingredients.
Mini Sous loves to crack eggs and has since she was tiny. I let her do them one at a time into a small bowl (so I can fish out the occasional shell) and then pour them into the batter. This is true generational baking. The lovely pale yellow Kitchen Aid mixer in this picture belonged to my grandmother. So did the loaf pan we used to bake the bread. I love being able to pass stories along to the grandkids and I love how good brands build products that last! Thank you Kitchen Aid!
Mini Two finally got in on the action, smashing the macadamia nuts for the Fig Banana Bread. Meat tenderizers are great for little hands to use in smashing nuts or whole spices. It’s not about getting the pieces to a uniform size, it’s about the experience. Be careful though, two-year olds can think they are Mini Thor and swing around their great hammer trying to smash things you don’t want smashed. Don’t worry, Sisters fingers are fine.
After everything is combined and in the pan, we come to the best part of baking with Omie, licking the beater! YUM!
In my memories of baking with my grandmother, I remember being able to lick the beaters too, but don’t really recall what we baked. It was just a treat to swipe our fingers or tongues across the batter and help “clean up!” After the sweet treat of taste-testing, comes the very hard part of waiting for the bread to bake. For the curious, noses against the glass doesn’t help.
An hour is a long time to wait. We took advantage of the time and played outside for a while.
But it is soooooo worth it in the end! See the dented and scraped loaf pan? Yep, it’s a family heirloom and somehow bread and meatloaf don’t taste the same unless they are made in this pan. Do you have pans like that? I don’t know who made this pan, but it’s going to be with me forever!
Mini Sous was the first to wake up from naps after the bread was cool, so she got the first bite. I think it’s approved. Especially since she went in for seconds!
California Fig Banana Bread
- August 21, 2018
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- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup ( 5 1/4 ounces) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (6 ounces) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed well (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole or low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
- Step 1
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Step 2
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and figs together in a large bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, place peeled bananas and blend until mashed to a paste. If the bananas are very ripe, this will not take long!
- Step 3
- Add melted butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla to the mixer and blend well.
- Step 4
- Gently add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Step 5
- Fold in the toasted macadamia nuts. The batter will be very thick and chunky.
- Step 6
- Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 55 minutes. If necessary, rotate the pan halfway through baking for more even color.
- Step 7
- When the loaf is done, remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving.
The mini’s and I love to bake together! Thank you for letting us share part of our day with you. Do you like to cook or bake with your kids or grandkids? What’s your favorite recipe to make together? We’re always looking for more ideas. Let us know what you bake in the comments below and maybe we’ll try your recipe too!
Until next time friends, live life deliciously!