I was homeschooled until 9th grade, which means I was not the kid who brought peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to grade school. In fact, I don’t remember really ever eating them when I was younger. Actually, I know I ate one once when I tried out a charter school for the day and my Mom brought my forgotten lunch to math class. Well, it was a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with a spotted, brown banana. But I don’t think I liked it because all I thought about was math and that was never a good thing. Back home, I’d sit up on the metal stool and place a slice of dark bread on the kitchen counter with a piece of turkey bologna and drizzle a ketchup smiley face. That was my favorite lunch and I probably had it everyday and I could because I was home but if I wasn’t home I wouldn’t be eating it because an open-faced sandwich with smeared ketchup everywhere would spill out of my bag and get on all my coloring books.
Ok, so welcome to my first day of high school. I know exactly what outfit I wore and recall walking up the steps with my Dad and not even embarrassed by him coming in with me. I was so happy he came in the building. I convinced him I needed to buy school lunch. What was so special about school lunch? You didn’t bring a brown paper bag from home. There was nothing amazing about the hot lunch, except cookies, all the soft, chewy cookies for dessert. Then I realized bringing your lunch to school was actually cool. Like, nobody even cared if you got lunch from the line. So here started my path down the peanut butter & jelly road. And welcome to my long lost years of PB&J brown paper bag sacked lunches. Yes, it’s seriously all in the name, all the ingredients you need for this delicious, crusty and creamy sandwich. This is a story about the stages of my sandwiches and probably the start of my peanut butter love. Let me tell you how this goes down. I always wanted the white wonder bread with the bright circles on the package. But my Mom never bought that and so I was left with the crusty, seedy bread which I’ve come to love. So, you take two slices of bread and then you toast them. Because it’s a fact bread is always better toasted or basically hot from the oven, which unless you just baked a loaf then you gotta follow the steps and toast. When the bread is crispy, you are golden. And the bread you choose is optional. I’ve done so many combinations like Ezekiel Raisin bread or sprouted bread from Aldi or a thick slice of sourdough. I think the grainier seeded bread the better because texture is so important.
On one slice of bread slather on a heaping spoonful of your favorite nut butter. I’m a classic salted crunchy peanut butter girl. But in this sandwich I used Nuttzo butter because I found it on sale for $3.99.Whenever I find a sale like that, it feels like my birthday but then I remember it’s not my birthday so I refrain myself from buying 10 jars. Really, this nut butter is so good because it’s filled with a blend of nuts like cashews, almonds, brazil nuts and chia seeds! I like fancy nut butters, and I like making them. So stay tuned for a recipe soon.
When I was younger, I remember finding a recipe for PB&J sammy and on the list of ingredients was butter. Now, I’m all about the yellow, organic grass-fed butter because butter makes everything taste better. Really, when you add a healthy fat to a recipe it will enhance the flavor. It also helps with energy through medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which converts the butter to energy rather than fat in your body, is anti-inflammatory containing butyric acid and high in vitamin A which is good for our teeth and skin. If you are dairy free, try grass-fed ghee, which is clarified butter, meaning the lactose is removed. So, if you want to add a tablespoon of the good butter, then go for it!
The next important thing is choosing your jam. My mom bought sugar free jam. So I like using sugar free jam which means it’s only sweetened from the fruit! I think it tastes amazing plus the other key ingredient will sweeten it up. The jam I had on hand was Crofter’s Organic Just Fruit Spread black currant. If you don’t have jam at home, think about adding fresh blueberries or raspberries or dates! And of course a sliced banana filling each corner of the sandwich. The last step is sprinkling on cinnamon and cardamom and pink himalayan sea salt (unless your nut butter is already salted).
I made this sandwich the night before school and put it in the fridge. Then when I went to college, I used to freeze it the night before and have it for lunch. You just had to time it right so that the bananas didn’t get mushy. And now that I’m not in school, I make this at home and dip the sandwich in yogurt. The older I get, the fancier the sandwich gets, and yet it’s really just the same flavors, only enhancing it and improving it. And when I eat this sandwich I remember why I love peanut butter, bananas and bread and why I really don’t like math.
- 2 slices seedy bread
- 1-2 tbsp jam
- 1-2 tbsp salted peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 1 tbsp grass fed butter
- 1 medium banana
- dash of cinnamon & cardamom
Toast the seedy bread.
Spread the butter over one slice of bread. Add the peanut butter then jam to the other slice.
Cut banana in rounds and place on top of buttered slice of bread. Add a dash of cinnamon and cardamom. Place the other side of the bread on top. Cut diagonally and enjoy!