Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an American classic, so much so that April 2 has been declared National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Here are a few ideas to fancy up the sandwich so many grew up eating, and still do.
We’ll start with the original, untoasted PB&J. The only real choice here is what flavor jelly to use, what sort of bread and whether to go crunchy or smooth. A PB&J is easy to make, but as the folks at nationalpeanutbutterandjellyday.com explain, there are some intricacies you need to keep in mind. An easy way to upgrade the original is to butter and fry the sandwich in a pan, giving it some extra crunch and that peanut butter some gooeyness. You can stuff it with bananas and honey to make an “Elvis,” so named because the King reportedly loved them so much.
Moving on to a borderline gourmet PB&J, we have the deep-fried sandwich. This guide from Leite’s Culinaria gives you the step-by-step on making your own batter and some ideas for optional ingredients like banana chips to step up your game. After all, if you’re going to deep-fry a PB&J, you might as well go all out.
Combining two of the best staples of breakfast and lunch is the French toast PB&J. Simpler than a deep-fried PB&J, the recipe for this French toast version nevertheless requires 10 ingredients, but chances are they’re in your kitchen. You might have to make a run to the market for some vanilla extract and baking powder, but it will be well worth the trip.
Is it really a sandwich? No, but PB&J crepes are worthy of adding to this list. Crepes are just really thin pancakes from across the pond, and their buttery, crispy goodness perfectly complements any kind of peanut butter or jelly you decide to use for them. Along with the French toast PB&J, they make an excellent excuse to eat PB&J for breakfast.
If you’re thinking that these recipes pack a bit too much heft, you can make a leaner, healthier PB&J by substituting jelly with a fruit spread and using almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter, and whole grain bread. Compare the nutrition facts of your classic PB&J with this healthier version here.