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cooking good in greene

A Childhood (no matter the age) Favorite - the PB&J
(Peanut butter & jelly sandwich)

pb&j sandwich

It is whatever you make it.

Making the perfect PB&J may be one of the first kitchen conflicts in any relationship.  Can it be made on whole wheat bread or does it have to be soft white bread?  Is toasted bread acceptable?

I am a grape jelly purist but my husband prefers strawberry jam.  We both like crunchy peanut butter  but smooth and creamy is favored by many.

My mother cut the finished sandwich diagonally into 2 triangles  (and sometimes into four triangles which made the deliciousness go even further.)  Others cut it into two rectangles while some don't cut it at all.peanuts

Do you put peanut butter on both sides and then jelly/jam in the middle?  Do put peanut butter on one slice, jelly/jam on the other and then put the two sides together or do you just put both peanut butter and jelly/jam on one slice of bread and slap the second slice on top? 

Who knew making a simple sandwich could be so complicated?  Then there is the whole "how do you eat the sandwich?" question.

Some people like to take a bite right out of the middle while others prefer to eat from corner to corner.  Then there are those who like to tear off bite-sized pieces and eat them one-at-a-time.

There is even an entire movement to use PB&J's to replace one meat meal and help the environment. I never realized this common sandwich was vegetarian.

Whatever the composition of your favorite PB&J, here are some variations that may add a little variety to your life.  Of course, peanut butter is a basic but what goes with it can add more nutrition to your plate and a new taste to your palate.

peanut butter sandwichMany people use bananas along with or instead of the jelly or jam but why not use other whole fruit for your sandwich?

For added crunch, slice an apple, pear or nectarine very thin and layer the slices on top of the peanut butter.  Firmer fruits work better for this method.

If you want to make more of a spread, grate the fruit and then mix with the peanut butter and a little lemon juice or milk to make it spread more easily.  This is also the best way to mix in softer fruits like oranges or pineapple.

Drain excess liquid from applesauce and mix it with the peanut butter for a spread.  Apple butter or honey is also a great accompaniment to peanut butter.

If you want to add a sweet taste to the fruit, sprinkle a little cinnamon on the peanut butter first.  You don't need to add sugar.  The cinnamon will make the natural sugars in the fruit taste sweeter.

Raisins or dried cranberries make a great substitute for jelly or jam.  You can use larger dried fruits but it should be sliced thin or chopped into pieces first.

Put the fruit in the bread.  Spread your peanut butter on toasted slices of fruit or cinnamon raisin bread. Even vegetable breads like zucchini and carrot are great toasted with peanut butter on top. 

Make a peanut butter panini.  Lightly spray the outsides of a peanut butter sandwich (with whatever sidekick you prefer).  Place in a hot pan and put a heavy pan on top to press down on the sandwich.

The result with be a crispy curst with a hot gooey center.  PB&J goes gourmet!

Related Food Story   Peanut Butter and How it Started, How it "Spread"

Cooking Good in Greene Main Index

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