Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Banana Bread Mix Kicked Up a Notch!

Thank you Trader Joe's for making life simpler! Who knew  Banana Bread could be so good!



First let me vent before I share the recipe. . . 

Join my Campaign!
I don't think it's any surprise that I love Trader Joe's based on many of my posts. I do, truly.

Even if I need to just vent that they continue to keep my favorite product - the Swiss Beer Fondue - hostage. It hasn't reappeared now for over 2 years and I'm sad. I send them a request about once every three months so they remember the fondue but I think I need to start a campaign. By all means, join my cause.

If you are inclined please drop Trader Joe's customer service a line  here and tell them that they should bring this product back. This is what Hazel said as a response to my latest attempt to wage my one person campaign:

Hello Debra,

Thank you for contacting us, and we do truly appreciate your inquiry and interest in our Trader Joe's products.  We are very sorry to hear that this favorite product of yours has been discontinued at this time due to slow sales in all of our stores. 

However, we have also certainly seen discontinued products make their way back onto our shelves due to high demand from our loyal customers, like you. So, we will be sure to share your comments and request for the return of this product with our Product Steering Committee for review and future consideration.

Again, we do appreciate your feedback, and we thank you for shopping with us at Trader Joe's.


Trader Joe's
Customer Relations 

Okay back to normal programming - the Banana Bread

So if you go to Trader Joe's you know that the love to give out samples. For me samples are truly the enemy, I can be tempted easily, especially with food and if  you give me concrete proof that it will taste divine when I recreate it at home, well I'm a goner. So Trader Joe's keep it up and make me spend more money.

Last week Trader Joe's was showcasing their banana bread mix and the samples were fresh and warm. The bread mix, just plain - no additions - was delicious. But I was already trying to decide how to make it even better and customized. Pecans. . . chocolate chips. . . brown sugar. . . How could you go wrong really?

Trader Joe's Banana Bread Mix KICKED UP A NOTCH


1 Box of Trader Joe's Banana Bread Mix
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup Water

Wait for it. . . 

1/3 Cup Pecan Pieces
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Now I must give you the disclaimer that Trader Joe's is very helpful with suggestions for a "less traditional route to banana bread bliss" which includes stirring in chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or dried cherries. So I'm not totally out there by what I am going to propose right now.

Dump the mix into the bowl and add the eggs, water and oil and give the mixture a quick fold/stir. Quick breads in general need to be "combined" but not overly mixed. You are trying to incorporate the dry mix with the wet ingredients but you are not looking for a smooth texture just a quick toss. I find that a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon is a good tool and just dig to the bottom of the bowl and fold over to the top to mix everything.

I then added the chopped pecans (okay they weren't chopped - I pressed into the larger pieces with my fingers and got them into manageable sizes for my bread - I cheated) and about 1/2 of the chocolate chips. I really like milk chocolate chips the best but I only had semi sweet and they are good in this recipe, especially with the brown sugar as an added sweetness factor.

After just mixing, spread this mixture into a greased loaf pan. This is where we really go that extra mile. Take the brown sugar and sprinkle a nice layer on top of the bread and then add more chocolate chips. Yes, more chocolate chips! It's okay, it will be delicious! I really like it with the crunchy brown sugar crust we will get. I have been thinking about mixing some butter with the brown sugar and make a more streusel type topping but I'm just starting to toy with that. . . Next time maybe.

Bake in a 325 degree oven as directed to on the box. They say about 45-55 minutes but with my oven it was closer to about 65. I wanted it very crunchy on top.

This is really a winner for a quick dessert and I won't lie, we eat it for breakfast too. I think that if you compare the nutritional value of Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Brown Sugar topping, with perhaps the Pop Tarts or Captain Crunch my kids eat, I'm coming out ahead!

Great with a glass of milk!


  1. Can you make this and freeze it??

    1. I'm sure you can. I have not frozen this particular version of banana bread but usually cake type breads are fine. I would wrap it well and unwrap completely before thawing. Good luck and happy eating!

  2. I love this post especially the photos of the loaf being prepared. Take special care.