This past weekend was a whirlwind of music, dance, and lots and lots of love being that I was part of the 8th Annual ‘Āina Fest organized by the nonprofit, HIP Agriculture, that I currently work for here in Hawaii.
For those not familiar, ‘Āina Fest is an annual fundraiser utilized to raise money to support the HIP Agriculture mission of training future farmers, educating the youth, and engaging with the community through events, classes, lectures and more! I helped with the publicity and marketing and we really had such an amazing turn out. I’m not usually the biggest fan of music fests, but with its intention, the music, the people, and the food, ‘Āina Fest definitely takes the cake.
Speaking of cake (or in this case bread), one thing there’s usually no shortage of on the farm I’m currently living on are bananas. There are at least 100 different varieties of bananas on Hawaii (damn), but the one that I find myself snacking on most often are called apple bananas. Named for the sweet, slightly apple-like flavor, apple bananas are stumpier and thicker than the ones I’m used to eating back home, and have a firm, yet creamy texture, making them perfect for this recipe.
I also recently read about a place on Maui called Road to Hana, where shop after shop sell some of the best banana bread in all of Hawaii. Although I live on the Big Island, I’m about to go all Moana out here and build a boat just to get to these sticky, sweet confections. WHO’S WITH ME? Sorry…got a little excited there.
Anyhow, because I probably won’t be making it out to Maui anytime soon, and because I’ve got lots of bananas over here, I thought why not make my own and see how it turns out. Mine has got lots of macadamia nuts, a dash of cinnamon, a boatload of bananas, and is topped with drizzled honey and shredded coconut. Heck, I might even give those shops over in Maui a run for their money. Okay, maybe not, but I still think you should give this one a try. Go bananas! And let me know what you think. Mahalo!
Hawaiian-Inspired Banana Bread
Sweet, fluffy, filled with crunchy macadamia nuts, and covered in honey and coconut, you'll want to eat this banana bread all yourself!
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of banana (approximately 8 small apple bananas), mashed
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 cup of macadamia nuts, chopped
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of toasted coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly butter and flour a two loaf pans, set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and eggs until smooth and creamy.
- Fold in the mashed bananas, set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chopped nuts.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the loaf pans and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the loaves are baking, make the honey simple syrup by adding the honey and water in a saucepan. Allow to cook and reduce for about 10 minutes, allow to cool.
- Remove loaves from the oven, drizzle with the honey simple syrup, and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.