Nourishing Macadamia Orange Banana Bread

Banana bread is the most wonderful treat for any time of year and any occasion. But what's even better than banana bread??

How about this epic banana bread that's absolutely loaded with bananas (it contains three!), studded with buttery macadamia nuts, and kissed with beautifully fragrant orange? Yup, this is truly banana bread heaven.

You'll notice that I use the word "nourishing" in the title. Even though this bread is "free" of a lot of things, I usually prefer to focus on what's in a recipe rather than what's not in it. That's because I think of food as a way to nourish both the body and soul, and don't consider any foods as inherently bad. Simply put, this bread is loaded with good-for-you and delicious ingredients.

In terms of its structure, this bread contains a mix of almond and coconut flours. Both are nutrient-dense, containing abundant protein and fiber, and they create the most beautiful delicate structure. This bread gets its moisture from three (!!!) bananas, some drippy natural almond butter, and flax seed meal. It's naturally sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.

For those of you keeping track, it's completely vegan and free of all refined sugars and flours. It's also incredibly moist and flavorful, while still being light and delicate.

This is another recipe I've developed in collaboration with my friends at Mauna Loa on the big island of Hawaii, a.k.a. the producers of the most heavenly macadamia nuts. The decadent, buttery, crunchy nuts make an appearance both within this bread and on top of it. I'm a firm believer that banana bread needs some crunch, and MacNuts are the perfect way to do it. Plus, MacNuts, bananas, and oranges are all grown in Hawaii, so they're meant to be together!

I had to make this bread a LOT of times to finally get the ratios right. I wanted it to be moist but not spongy, delicate but not crumbly, loaded with flavor, and powered with ingredients I was excited to eat. Needless to say, Dave and I have eaten a lot of banana bread lately during all my experimenting. But I'm so excited about the finished product, and I can honestly say it's the most nourishing and also the most delicious banana bread I've come across.

A slice of this, maybe with some almond butter on top, would make for the most lovely breakfast, snack, or lunch. We've been jazzing it up with a drizzle of chocolate for dessert. Warm a slice up in the microwave for 20 seconds and magic occurs, especially because the orange smells absolutely amazing. If you really want to go crazy, toast a slice in a skillet!

I think we have a misconception in our society that "comfort food" is inherently bad for you, whereas "healthy food" is inherently boring. It doesn't need to be that way! This bread is an especially good example of a decadent, indulgent treat that will nourish the body as well as the soul.

Make yourself a loaf and slather a thick, warm slice with almond butter. It's instant happiness.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mauna Loa. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running. 

If you love desserts that are (secretly) good for you, check out these Reinvented Monster Cookies. They're made from dates!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • 3 large, very ripe bananas
  • 0.5 c natural, drippy almond butter
  • 0.25 c maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 2 tbsp high-fat yogurt choice. I like to use 5% fat Greek yogurt, but a non-dairy option would be fine too. Choose something really rich.
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of a large navel orange, divided
  • 0.75 c almond flour, packed
  • 0.5 c coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.5 c macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped. Mauna Loa, of course!
  • 0.25 c macadamia nuts, whole
For the Icing 
  • Option #1: The prettiest and easiest. Use about 1 c of confectioner's sugar and add tiny increments of water (or, bonus points, an alcohol of choice like orange liqueur) until you have a thick, drizzly icing. This is what I've shown above.
  • Option #2: No refined sugar, white, but messy. If you'd rather stay away from refined sugar, one possibility is to heat up and drizzle some coconut butter. It has a nice color, but won't harden in the same way that a confectioner's sugar icing does, so it's messier and will soak into the bread a bit.
  • Option #3: No refined sugar, super tasty, but not great color. My preferred no-sugar option is to use a nut butter as your icing base. I prefer the taste of almond butter and the color of cashew butter, so choose what works for you. If you heat it up with a little bit of coconut oil, it makes a nice drizzly consistency that works beautifully as an icing.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and oil a bread pan (I like to use coconut oil). You can also line the bread pan with a parchment paper sling for easy removal. If you choose to go that route, my preference is a long, narrow piece that goes the length of the bread pan and up the ends, with enough room to grab as you pull the bread out.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth.
  3. To the bananas, add the wet ingredients (almond butter, maple syrup, flax seed meal, yogurt, and vanilla) as well as two-thirds of the orange zest. Give it a good mix, then let it sit for at least five minutes to allow the flax to thicken the mixture.
  4. Set the remaining orange zest aside for garnishing the top of the bread; keep it in an air-tight container while the bread cooks and cools so that it doesn't dry out.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).
  6. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until evenly combined. Then stir in the 0.5 c of chopped macadamia nuts.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared bread pan and add the remaining 0.25 c of whole macadamia nuts scattered across the top.
  8. Bake for 75-80 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Let the bread cool completely before trying to remove it from the pan! Once it's cool, invert the pan (or use the parchment paper sling) to remove it. Note that the bread is pretty delicate since it's made with almond flour, so you'll need to treat it more gently than a bread made with traditional flour.
  10. Prepare and drizzle your icing of choice, then finish it all off with the reserved orange zest. 


  1. Loved the recipe! Super dense and nutty.

    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutJune 27, 2020 at 3:36 PM

      I'm glad to hear! Nutty is how I roll... nuts in everything!!

  2. I made many substitutions (thanks Covid 🤬) and it still turned out wonderful. I suggest adding the macadamia nut topping part way through the cooking since mine burned slightly. This is delicious with a morning cup of coffee!

    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutMay 27, 2021 at 9:46 AM

      Banana bread and coffee sounds like exactly the right decision! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Good idea about the adding the macadamias part-way through. I had wanted to try that, but wasn't sure if they'd stick if the top of the bread had already firmed up a bit. Please let me know if you try it that way next time!


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