I love baking. So, when I crave banana bread, I usually just make it myself.
My favorite banana bread recipes are packed with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, plus hearty nuts like walnuts or pecans. I also love adding chocolate chips to my banana bread for some extra bitter-sweetness.
When I first decided to try Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread, I was happy to see walnuts in the recipe. It’s also vegan which makes it accessible to a wide array of shoppers, even though I’m not personally vegan.
Overall, the loaf looks moist and rich, so I took it home with high expectations.
Types of Banana Bread At Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread is available for $3.99 per loaf and can be found in the baked goods section near the other breads and cakes. But this isn’t the only banana bread option available at this popular grocer.
You can also find boxes of Banana Bread Mix in the baking aisle for just $2.69 a box. With this mix, you won’t even need to add any of your own bananas. You can add things like nuts and spices though if you’d like, to tailor it to your favorite home recipe.
Using this mix, you could even try this adventurous Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Muffin air fryer recipe from ForkToSpoon.com if you feel like trying something new.
Ingredients & Nutrition
Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread is made primarily from banana purée and wheat flour, meaning that it is unfortunately not gluten free. As of January 2023, Trader Joe’s does not currently offer a gluten-free banana bread option.
The other ingredients in this banana bread include cane sugar, canola oil, walnuts, baking soda, natural flavors, and salt. Aside from the addition of natural flavors, it’s a pretty simple and straightforward recipe that sticks to tradition. The only thing I was disappointed to not see on the ingredients list was some kind of spice such as cinnamon. But I guess some people prefer unspiced banana bread.
As far as nutrition goes, each slice of Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread (1/8th of the loaf) contains 9 grams of fat, 125 mg of sodium, 30 grams of carbs, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Each slice also contains about 210 calories, making it quite rich for a small dessert or snack.
In other words–just because it has bananas in it doesn’t make it healthy. This banana bread is especially high in sugar when compared to homemade alternatives (almost all of its sugar content is added), and it also contains a surprisingly high amount of sodium.
I personally prefer my baked goods to be less sweet, so I definitely would have hoped to see less sugar content on the label.
But let’s see how the taste holds up.
My Honest Review
Unfortunately, I found this banana bread to be pretty disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong–I’ve had plenty of amazing vegan baked goods in my life. I’m not the kind of person to write off a pastry simply because it doesn’t have butter or eggs.
This banana bread just wasn’t that good, even by vegan alternative standards. The texture was dry and slightly crumbly, rather than moist and dense like I imagine banana bread should be.
It also barely had any walnuts in it, which was pretty disappointing since the walnuts are highlighted as a main ingredient. It seems like most of the walnuts are on top of the loaf, making it appear as if it’s more walnutty than it really is.
My big takeaway from trying this banana bread is that it’s bland, too sweet, and definitely not worth eating again. I especially didn’t like that they add “natural flavors” into the recipe. I imagine this is probably code for banana flavoring, as there is a distinct aftertaste of some sort of added banana taste.
If you’re looking for some satisfying vegan banana bread, I’d look elsewhere or just bake it yourself at home.