Banana bread will always be a staple in my kitchen. I always have bananas on hand that are at varying stages of ripeness, ready to be mashed and stirred into a quick, easy loaf. My One-Bowl Banana Bread is a recipe that you can’t go wrong with. An option that is about as easy – and I say “about” because it requires a trip to the store to pick up a box, while you might have the ingredients for a from-scratch recipe on hand if you have bananas! – is using a banana bread mix. I picked up a box of Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Mix when I spotted it on shelves a few weeks ago in order to see if the convenience was worth it.
The bread came together easily and did not require that I add any banana to it. The mix actually included banana, which was likely dried and ground to a powder, since I couldn’t pick it out of the mix when I was working with it. I found the batter to be relatively thin for a banana bread and was only moderately surprised to see that my loaf fell during baking. In spite of the less-than-perfect looking loaf, the problem with this mix was really the fact that the bread did not taste much like bananas. Instead, it tasted like a bran muffin. Wheat bran was listed with the ingredients on the box, but the fact that it was so dominating it was surprising. Given that Trader Joe’s sells bananas, it would definitely be nice if they included an a mixing option that allowed you to incorporate extra bananas.
The bread did have a nice open crumb and the moist, tender texture that I expect to find in banana bread, even though it lacked in the banana department. I suspect that replacing the liquid in this mix with mashed banana would produce a much more banana-y loaf – and one with a thicker batter that should not collapse during baking. This mix is not a bad one if you want a quick, pleasant base for a breakfast bran muffin, but I wouldn’t use it as-is for banana bread if I could make it from scratch instead.