Halfway to Hana Banana Bread Recipe. My version of the insanely delicious banana bread you get at the stands on the road to Hana, Maui.
I miss Hawaii. It’s been over a year since we have traveled there. With my husband in school full time now as well as working full time, vacation days are non-existent. It is ok for now since the benefit of my husband changing careers will outweigh the temporary situation of him gone every day with work and school. Until we can get a vacation to Hawaii, I am going to post a lot more Hawaiian recipes on my blog. Like this banana bread recipe.
I have made this banana bread recipe at least thirty times in the past few months. Maybe even more. I will buy several bunches of bananas to ripen, make several loaves then have no time to photograph. So we start eating them before I photograph. And give away to friends and neighbors before the bread goes bad. I also have several loaves in my freezer. My family is loving the overabundance of banana bread at home, I am running out of freezer space!
I know there are countless banana bread recipes online, I debated even posting this recipe on my blog. I have a banana bread recipe already on my blog ( inspired by travels to the Big Island of Hawaii) but I decided to go ahead with it since I am missing Maui oh so very much. Banana bread is popular all throughout Hawaii, but I believe the banana bread found in stands along the road to Hana are the most famous. If you visit Maui, a drive to Hana is should be in your itinerary. It is a gorgeous drive, a must do in ones lifetime. Take it slow, enjoy the sites along the very curvy drive. It is only 52 miles from Kahului to Hana, but it consists of 620 turns, some of them hairpin, 59 bridges, many of them one lane only.
The drive can take several hours one way, and I suggest to make a day of it. Make as many stops as you can to hike to waterfalls, visit the botanical gardens to see the famous rainbow Eucalyptus trees, take photos of scenic overlooks, purchase handmade goods from locals selling their wares along the roadside turnouts. It is truly an experience that I think everyone should do. If you tend to get car sick, this is a drive better done in an open vehicle such as a jeep to keep the fresh air flowing, and of course taken slowly. Stop for lunch in Hana, go to Hamoa beach. One of the most gorgeous beaches on Maui.
Gorgeous black sand beach with crystal clear aqua water. Hamoa Beach is stunning. No wonder it is one of the most photographed beaches on the planet.
Example of the roads you will come across during the drive. Some paved, some needing paved, some you don’t tell your rental car company that you drove on. But the views are breathtaking. The roads are more open on the backside of Haleakala. Highway 31 which turns into highway 37. More places to stop for photo opportunities without people wanting to get around you.
We traveled past Hana, to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o, also known as the seven sacred pools, but there was nothing sacred about them. It was as crowded as Disneyland is on a summer day. It was standing room only in the pools, there were so many people I couldn’t get any good photos without at least 40 strangers in every pic. We decided next time we visit Maui that we will spend a night in Hana, get up early and get to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o first thing in the am, before the crowds. We also decided since it was such a gorgeous day to drive all the way around the backside of Haleakala instead of driving back to Kahului. If the weather is good. If there is a chance of rain or it is raining I don’t suggest taking this route, it can wash out with mudslides easily. Definitely check the weather before heading this way.
If you are like us and don’t buy enough banana bread for the trip to Hana and back, or to Hana and around the backside of Haleakala ( past Kipahulu and Kaupo,) and you end up in upcountry Maui in Kula, definitely buy more than you think you will need. The banana bread goes great with the road trip. Then when you are home and you dream of your Maui vacation, make this banana bread recipe and daydream about your next trip to the islands.
One thing that stands out with Hawaiian banana bread is the bananas they use in their recipes. They are made most often with apple-bananas, which are the most commonly found on the islands. They are a smaller, sweeter banana that unfortunately you can’t bring home (darn agriculture rules) like you can pineapples. My suggestion is when using bananas found in stores ( Cavendish are the typical ones that we see in the States) is to let them get pretty ripe, lots of brown spots, but not all the way brown. Those will add too much moisture to the bread. And don’t forget to eat with cream cheese slathered on, or butter if you prefer. I love cream cheese with banana bread!