Aldi Plant Menu Banana Blondies – Product Review
This week during the tail end of my Aldi visit I spotted the new Plant Menu Banana Blondies. We recently went through a period of buying dairy free products while my husband was being tested for a dairy intolerance, so I was keen to see how these blondies tasted.
I should start out by stating that I used to be extremely skeptical of vegan/plant based baking, that was until I went to a plant based food festival in Coventry a few years ago.
Amongst the ultra processed fake meat products (don’t get me started – grrr!) were some absolute gems, and one that I still vividly remember is a vendor that had a stall full of what looked like delicious baked goodies including brownies, blondies and cookies. I’ve been back through my Google Photos and I’ve found lots of videos, but alas no photos.
Believe me when I say that the brownie I bought was moist, chocolatey and if you’d given me this as part of a blind taste test I would not have said that this was vegan or plant based! It was just a really delicious brownie and this opened my eyes up to the delights of vegan or plant based baking.
I was initially impressed with the presentation of the blondies. The box contains 4 perfectly portioned blondies which you could easily take out and pop into a container for an afternoon snack. Each portion included 1 or 2 pieces of banana which reinforced its banana credentials, adding to the taste anticipation.
Unfortunately things started to spiral when I pulled away the packaging. First impressions are so important and imagine my disappointment when I saw lay behind the pretty packaging! I expected to see a moist blondie filling the casing, but instead there was a great big air pocket with the top forming a solid crust away from a dry and dense looking base- not very blondie like!
Just because the exterior looks tempting, it doesn’t mean that the bake within is right. How many times have we witnessed Paul Hollywood on GBBO cut a bake in half, examine the exterior, cast an expert eye on the base and inform the contestant exactly what went wrong with their bake.
To be honest, and my aim of EVERY review I publish is to be honest even if it’s not favourable to the product in question, I wondered if the product was also gluten free? I’ve dabbled in a little GF baking and I’ve always had problems with getting the GF flour blends to behave in a way that I’m used to wheat flour behaving in baking. On checking the packaging, the ingredients list includes wheat, so that’s not the issue!
Holy moly they’re sweet! With the first ingredient listed as sugar I can see perhaps why the bake isn’t stable and of course this skews the balance of what could have been a lovely blondie.
The nice thing when baking something that includes bananas is that you can dial back on the sugar as the bananas will help with the flavour profile as well as contributing to the sweetness. The excess sugar in my opinion has helped to contribute to the bake resulting in a tough crust with a dry and claggy base layer.
When you get past the sweetness and the texture, the banana flavour comes through, but it feels synthetic. If you’re a child of the 1970’s as I am they are a bit like the banana flavoured penny sweets we used to get.
I should state at this point that the packaging clearly states that the product includes no artificial colours or flavourings, but the banana flavour is reminiscent of the banana flavouring that was based on a now extinct variety of bananas – just saying!
A pack of 4 banana blondies is £1.99 so each blondie is just under 50p.
Over the last year I have come to understand and appreciate the need for plant based bakes and I have spent many hours walking around the supermarket searching for sweet treats that my husband could enjoy which were dairy free. This meant that I turned to lots of vegan or plant based treats, but believe me when I say that this product could have been so much better!
When you taste a blondie that ticks all of those mouth feels, it comes as a lovely surprise to learn than they were plant based and I would really hate for you to base your opinion of vegan or plant based sweet treats after eating this product.
Sorry Aldi but you really could have done better!
Taste : 1 out of 5 – the blondies were very disappointing, but banana chip on top was nice and I thought the packaging was well designed.
Value for money : 0 out of 5 – need I say more?
Likelihood of buying it again : 0 out of 5 – Life is too short for bad blondies. Find a recipe from a plant based baker and have a go at making some yourself!
Where To Buy It
Visit the Aldi website for full details or CLICK HERE to add it to your click and collect basket.
Please note that this review is based on the product that I’ve purchased and the review reflects my own honest opinion.
Any 3rd party links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by The Lean Cook of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organisation or individual. The Lean Cook bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.