A couple years ago, Mikey and I went to Maui, somewhat randomly and out of the blue; it was absolutely amazing, and I still can’t wait to return. While there, we had asked around our resort about the must-see spots on the island. Multiple people told us we *had* to get our hands on some of Julia’s banana bread, that it was literally the best, ever. Strange, right? You fly all the way to an island in the middle of the Pacific, and the one thing everyone agrees you have to do is go buy some banana bread…
Anyways, after speaking with our hotel concierge about how to get there, we set off. Luckily, we had rented a car because this place was in the middle of nowhere. We had to drive for miles and miles, snaking our way up and down the coast line, along narrow cliff-side roads with no barriers. But, while Julia’s is a bit out of the way, it’s hard to miss. The little wooden stand is painted a vibrant lime green, with a matching sign out front that promises “Free samples.”
You guys, this banana bread quite honestly is the “best on the planet.” We enjoyed multiple samples, and bought a loaf. We enjoyed it for a few days when we got back home and then mourned the fact that we wouldn’t be able to have any again for an undetermined amount of time.
Fast forward to early this year. I was sitting on my parent’s couch in Florida, flipping through their copy of Bon Appetit, when I saw something familiar—the small, shockingly green banana bread stand PLUS a version of Julia’s banana bread recipe. I literally gasped aloud as I grabbed my phone and sent a quick picture of the article to Mikey saying “Recognize anything?!?”
I’ve now made this recipe numerous times, and tried multiple variations, all of which have been delicious. I really liked this latest variation, using coconut and walnuts, but I’ve including possible substitutions in parentheses. The key here is to use VERY ripe bananas. Don’t be afraid of the black bananas (uh, as long as they aren’t moldy).
“But wait, Rachael, why is your bread two different colors?” Thank you for asking. Because I don’t know how to read recipes before making them and forgot that this one only made 1 loaf instead of 2. I made two separate batters—one using coconut flakes and coconut oil, and one using walnuts and vegetable oil—then had to end up combining them in one loaf. Smart.