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Variations on a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

March 28th, 2013 Cooking

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a classic staple of lunches for children and adults alike in the U.S. Delicious, inexpensive, easy to make and nutritious, this sandwich seems to have it all. However, eating the same thing every day can be tiresome, so here are some fun variations on the traditional peanut butter and jelly, as well as some ways to take the signature flavor of the sandwich further.

New ingredients
One easy way to change your sandwich is to replace some ingredients. With so many peanut butter substitutes out there, the choice only becomes which one to try. Most supermarkets carry cashew, almond, sunflower seed and sesame butter. In addition to this, there are many kinds of hazelnut spread or other, sweeter substitutes that are very tasty. Mixing your traditional peanut butter with one of these alternatives is another great way to work on what may become your new signature sandwich. Using a hearty drizzle of honey can also work as a substitute for jams or jellies, notes the FitDay blog.

Just like peanut butter, the jelly or jam in your sandwich can also be changed. If you're looking for a healthier option, try using jam or preserves instead of jelly. Preserves are often more wholesome than traditional jellies, which can sometimes be more than half sugar. For those who are trying to eat healthier, try not using any jelly or jam at all and instead using slices of real fruit. Bananas, apples, strawberries and many other fruits are delicious when eaten with peanut butter, and may pack more of a flavor punch than jarred products.

Using something other than just peanut butter and jelly is another great way to change your sandwich. Adding anything from bananas to bacon can completely renew the flavor of your favorite lunch. Including a large serving of maple syrup or raisins (or any dried fruit you wish) can also be exciting, according to the WiseBread blog. Adding a little coconut or another tropical fruit may help as well.

Is a sandwich still a sandwich without the bread? Try using rice cakes, crackers or wraps to hold your tasty ingredients to see what works best for you.

New dishes
Peanut butter and jelly is already a sweet and savory combination, so why not make it for dessert? Peanut butter is right at home in many tasty desserts, so adding a little jelly or jam to the mix can make it even more delectable.

Peanut butter cookies are a classic dessert, but with a little jelly, they can take on a new life. The best part about adding jelly or jam to cookies is that you can often do it without changing your recipe at all. By simply putting a dollop of jelly in the center of your cookies, or even using the cookies as the bread for miniature peanut butter sandwiches, you can bring your dessert to a new level. Adding a dusting of crushed peanuts blended with confectionery sugar may help to complete the dish.

Creating bars, brownies or cakes with both peanut butter and jelly can also produce excellent results. Many notable dessert and traditional chefs will have some kind of recipe for peanut butter and jelly bread, and the preparation is usually relatively easy. The ingredients include our two main components along with sugar, flour, vanilla extract, butter, eggs, baking powder - many of the staples of baking. Martha Stewart's recipe calls for mixing eggs, peanut butter, butter and sugar in an electric mixer, adding the dry ingredients, and then layering the peanut butter mixture with the jelly to mimic the original sandwich. This step is common to many of the recipes and may help you create delicious, signature confections.