When it comes to an all-American household lunch, peanut butter is a main staple in 94% of America’s pantries. It is estimated that the average child will consume 1.500 PB&J sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school. Yet, I have some delicious possibilities that extend the peanut butter household use in out-of-the-box ideas that will introduce some new favorites to your current norm.
Not a fan of peanut butter or you have allergies associated to peanuts? Not to worry, you can substitute a different nut or seed butter, such as almond, cashew, sunflower seed or soy butter if you or a family member suffers from nut or seed allergies.
1. Peanut Butter Smoothies
While blending, just add a spoonful of your favorite brand of peanut butter to a smoothie for an amazing creamy texture that adds extra protein and a nutty flavor.
2. PB Apple’wiches
By replacing the two slices of bread with apple slices, you create a peanut butter and apple sandwich or what we like to call the PB Apple‘wich. I recommend that you serve this up with a crisp, firm variety of apple. Honeycrisp or Gala apples are an excellent choice and they don’t brown as quickly as some of the other varieties.
Preparation: Slice off the top 1 inch of 1 large apple and discard. Cut 4 to 6 [1/4 inch] slices horizontally. Lay slices on work surface. Use a small cookie cutter to remove the core from each slice. Spread 1 Tbsp. peanut butter [or other nut or seed butter] over half of apple slices. Top the center of each slice that has peanut butter, with a dollop of jam [about a ½ tsp]. Combine the remaining apple slices with the coated slices to make your PB Apple’wiches.
3. PB&J Sushi Rolls
With a whole wheat bread, cut off the crust from all four sides and discard. Gently flatten the bread with a rolling pin, then conservatively spread peanut butter and jelly. Now roll them and cut them into little sushi rolls. They make for fun bite size finger foods that you’ll quickly notice your child requesting over the standard PB&J.
4. PB Sauce
Whisk your favorite peanut butter into a creamy sauce to which you can drizzle on a salad, use as a dipping sauce with a flavorful vegetable melody, or simply toss with cooked noodles.
Preparation: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, V2 cup water, juice of 1 lime, salt and Sriracha hot sauce -to taste. Sauce will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Yields 1 cup.
5. PB&J Waffle
Although there is no great mystery to this option, you don’t have to serve it exclusively for breakfast, just because it is a waffle. This makes for a nice spin on lunch or just a daytime snack. Toast a whole grain waffle, top it with peanut butter and jelly. Serve as whole slice or cut into more bite size pieces and eat them as poppers.