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Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Mix, reviewed

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Trader Joe's Banana Bread Mix, reviewed

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.

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  • Felecia H
    August 27, 2015

    I recently tried the Trader Joe’s banana bread mix and I totally love it. I always add 2 ripe mashed bananas to the mix along with all of the other ingredients the box calls for. It is so moist and flavorful. I’ve made this bread at least 5 times now and it comes out perfect every time. Everyone loves it and thinks it’s made from scratch.

    Next time, try adding bananas.

  • Bonnie L
    August 22, 2016

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one who thinks this tastes nothing like banana bread. Although it does taste good, just not like banana bread. I won’t buy it again.

  • Barbara
    March 16, 2017

    very disappointed with results of the banana breads recipe. I’m a senior and feel like I may have lost my touch in reading a recipe but, found out others have tried the recipe on the box and have had poor results with it also. What’s the problem?

  • Lisa
    July 26, 2017

    It said on the box that you could add your own banana. We added a banana and chocolate chips and baked them in three mini loave pans. The kids couldn’t stop eating it… it was delicious!

  • Nicole
    July 26, 2017

    That’s great! I think that extra banana is a good call here!

  • Christine
    September 3, 2017

    I just baked banana bread but didn’t think it tasted at all like banana bread.
    It would be good as a muffin. Then warm and eat with butter and coffee for breakfast!

  • Alexis Williams
    October 29, 2017

    Agreed! Made this tonight, asked the family to guess what kind of muffins they were, and no one guessed banana! Several people thought they might be corn muffins. I am very disappointed that the standard recipe didn’t even taste like bananas!

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