This is just the thing to have around when anyone fancies a little something in the afternoon – as members of my family often do! It’s good on its own or extra yummy spread with butter and I really like it toasted. Just make sure you get soft figs or dates so they purée easily.
MAKES 12 SLICES
225g wholemeal flour (wheat or spelt)
1 heaped tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
150g soft dried figs or pitted dates
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a large loaf tin with baking paper.
2 Put the flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and whisk together.
3 If using figs, snip the tough stems. Cut the figs, or dates, into small pieces, then put them in a food processor or blender with the buttermilk and eggs. Whiz together until well combined – the buttermilk should turn the colour of honey. Stir in the bananas.
4 Pour the combined wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together, trying to keep stirring to a minimum. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
5 Bake the banana bread for about an hour until it is well risen, rich golden brown in colour and a skewer comes out clean. Check it at regular intervals and if the top is getting too dark, cover it with a sheet of foil.
6 Leave the banana bread to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a cooling rack. Cut it into thick slices.
164 calories per slice • Prep 20 minutes • Cooking about 1 hour