The peanut butter and jelly sandwich conjures up images of childhood. Most kids enjoy hundreds, if not thousands, of the tasty concoctions before they enter the world of adulthood. Once they turn 18, most people don’t consume nearly the same number of PB&Js they once did.
However, with a few twists on the recipe, you can turn a traditional PB&J into something that might appeal to more adult palates. Read on for examples.
Peanut Butter and Jelly with Apple and Bacon
This easy twist results in a crunchy and savory combination. All you need to do is spread peanut butter on the bread, add some apple slices, and top it all with bacon before closing the sandwich.
It only takes a few extra minutes to prepare the bacon, making it a worthy addition. If you want to make it healthier, turkey bacon is a suitable substitute for regular bacon. Or swap out savory for the sweet by getting maple-cured bacon. Finally, you can also use other nut butters, like almond butter or cashew butter. Another nice touch: cook the bacon in maple syrup
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich with Honey
The sweetness of bananas pairs well with the saltiness of most peanut butters, creating a similar experience to a classic PB&J. A little honey adds a little something extra. Simply spread peanut butter on the bread, add some banana slices, and carefully drizzle some honey over the top.
This also works well with other Nutella or other flavored nut butters. Then you can substitute some melted dark chocolate for the honey for an even more decadent twist on this recipe.
Mediterranean Peanut Butter and Jelly Panini
This twist on the PB&J calls for bananas, figs, and almond butter. Once you assemble the sandwich, you take this one to the next level by using a panini press.
The panini press lightly toasts the bread and heats the ingredients, making it delightfully warm. You can use a traditional white bread, but consider swapping it for a raisin bread for a real sweet treat.
Flavored Breads or Crackers
Most likely the PB&J you ate in childhood was on white bread. As an adult, you might take the classic sandwich to a whole new level simply by trying it with breads or crackers that infuse additional flavor.
This could range from subtle — like raisin bread, cinnamon bread, challah, English muffins, gluten-free bread or even sourdough — to sweet– like sliced up blueberry or chocolate-chip muffins, banana bread, carrot bread or zucchini bread — to crunchy — like on Ritz crackers, graham crackers, rice cakes, or even matzoh for Passover.
Waffles, French Toast, or Pancakes
You could take things up another level by serving PB&J for breakfast. Take two waffles, coat each one with peanut butter and jelly on the inward facing side, add some fresh berries to the center, and you’ve got a tasty sandwich.
This one also works well with other nut butters. You can also use different berries, like strawberries or blackberries, to add some seasonal flare. Other variations:
- French toast, with or without maple syrup
- Pancakes — either put PB&J into the batter, or slather it on top of them and then you need less syrup on top
- Super-size the waffles to Belgian style, only make it open faced, and top it top it with ice cream, whipped cream, or fruit — the sky’s the limit
- Doughnuts — PB&J either replaces the frosting or supplements it.
- Cronuts, a lighter and trendier variation on doughnut.
- Coffee cake — click here for a recipe.
The variations described above all transform a childhood favorite into something foodies might appreciate. If you’re inspired to make a unique pairing or add a different flavor, give it a try.
And by all means, please tell us about any PB&J variations you’ve put together yourself. What are your favorites?
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