The peanut butter and jelly sandwich, otherwise known as PB&J, is an all-American classic. It's a lunchbox staple for every kid and adult alike. It's the go-to entrée when the main meal didn't get planned or the back-up entree when the main meal fell apart. Aside from its mouthwatering taste, it's simplicity and ease is what makes this sandwich so great.
The cool factor is that everyone has his or her own preference as to the "right" way to make a PB&J. Just a quick stroll around my office, and I received varying degrees of the "right" bread (white or wheat), the "right" peanut butter (crunchy, smooth, natural or a favorite must-have brand) and the "right" jelly (grape, strawberry jam or homemade blackberry). I also found that some preferred to cut it on a diagonal, while another would actually eat the outside crust first as to enjoy the best part last!
We know PB&J's are delicious, but are they nutritious, too? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, PB&J's are the "perfect pocket fuel." This portable snack can give a boost of energy, ideal for long bike rides or competitions lasting longer than one hour. The bread and jelly provide carbohydrates, which gives our bodies the fuel it needs. Opt for wheat bread and you'll get a little more dietary fiber and B-vitamins. The peanut butter offers protein, which our bodies need to build and repair tissues and serve as an important building block of muscle. Peanut butter also provides fat, mainly the heart-healthy unsaturated kind. However, regular peanut butter also contains trans fats, the man-made unhealthy kind. Choose natural peanut butter without hydrogenated oils for optimal heart health.
Choose a favorite way to make your PB&J, but don't be afraid to try another person's "right" way!
Classic PB&J (Printable PDF)
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
2 Tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon grape jelly
Spread one slice of bread evenly with peanut butter, spreading to all four corners. Repeat with jelly on the other slice. Top one slice with the other, making sure the peanut butter and jelly are facing each other.
Yield: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 400 calories, 18 grams fat, 360 milligrams sodium, 43 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 14 grams protein