Friday, August 13, 2010

Aloha Banana Bread

I looked over at the banana holder and saw two very ripe bananas hanging and thought--banana bread, but something a little more unusual.  I guess I still had my Mom's stories of her life in Hawaii on my brain when I decided to give this a tropical twist.  One of her cherished memories was of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Wakiki.  When we traveled there in 1987, she asked me to check if the "shrimp-pink" colored hotel was still there.  While my husband was at a conference, Erin, Kelly and I took off the first day we arrived to find it; now nestled between large buildings, but nonetheless still "pink" and beautiful.  We took lots of photos to show her, however three days into our trip, I received a call that my mother had been taken to the hospital and been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I flew, with my sister, to be with her, leaving my family to make memories in Hawaii to share with me later.  My mother passed away four months later, but I did get to share photos of her Hawaii and our girls loving it as much as she did.

So, baking this morning had special meaning to celebrate my mother's life.  Intertwining flavors of dried pineapple, papaya, guava, and coconut with macadamia nuts and a trio of spices gives this banana bread a refreshing new taste.  I decided to bake them in mini loaf pans so I could give them as gifts or freeze easily...especially for when winter comes and I want to imagine warmer temperatures. LOL

Aloha Banana Bread
6 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 T orange zest
3 T fresh orange juice (from 1/2 orange)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cardamon
1/4 tsp. mace
1 tsp. Hawaiian Vanilla
1 tsp. Banana Flavor
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 oat flour*
3/4 cup Tropical Dried Fruit Blend
3/4 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped

Preheat oven 350F-degree.  Spray a 9"x5" loaf pan with a non-stick spray or you can use mini pans, like I did or even a muffin pan.
[*to make oat flour, process old-fashioned oatmeal in a food processor or blender.]

Mash the bananas and add the orange zest and juice to the banana mixture.

In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, eggs, milk, banana mixture and cooled melted butter.  Beat well.  Add the vanilla and banana flavoring and the spices.  Mix until combined.  Remove bowl from stand and add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine. (It's important with quick breads not to over mix!)  Finally fold in the tropical dried fruit blend and macadamia nuts and combine thoroughly.  

Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared pans.
 I had some leftover crumb topping from the Sour Cream Coffee Cakes and decided to sprinkle some on top.  This is a good topping to have on hand and sometimes I mix up a batch and freeze it for just these times when I wanted a little extra crunch on muffins or breads.
I baked the mini loaf pans on a separate baking sheet to ensure even browning.  The baking time was 30 minutes.  For a regular loaf pan, the time will be 45-55 minutes and large muffins, 20-25 minutes.
Let breads cool in the pan.
When you can easily touch the pans, turn the bread out and continue to cool.  The flavors are wonderful and turned, what could be just a another banana bread, into something memorable.  Enjoy!


  1. Susan,
    Its funny I just read the email you wrote to me and thought of a banana bread recipe that I make - I use twice the amount of bananas that regular banana bread calls for so I consider it "healthy" - then I opened your blog and there was your tropical banana bread - it sounds delicious - we will have to try it.

  2. I also do a "true" banana bread that I use 5 banana in, but it seems I make banana bread at least once a week and sometimes you just have to morph it:) Love you!

  3. Banana bread is something that I always make, and this is a great new variety to add to my recipe list! Thank you!

  4. Did you realize that you posted this on the 1 year anniversary of your blog? Happy (belated) Birthday My Mother's Apron Strings!!!!!!

  5. OMGosh! It's true...time flies when you're having fun! Thank you Kandyce for the birthday wishes. Love you, Susan