A Healthy Twist on PB&Js

By Martin Brown

Anyway you slice it (pun intended) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a great treat. But making the perfect PB&J, however, can be a challenge.

I became a bit of an expert at the artful execution of this potentially messy concoction by having raised two children with a noteworthy assist from the satisfying taste alliance of peanut butter and jelly. And here’s the best part, you can even make healthy versions of this food classic that kids can enjoy and adults can appreciate. Here’s three easy steps to making the PB&J dream sandwich:

First, let’s talk bread. There are about a thousand choices, as you know, and that’s a good thing because your PB&J never needs to be boring. Personally I’ve always liked the sage advice that the “softer the bread, the sooner you’re dead.” In other words, steer clear of heavily processed breads that can double as a pillow for your sweet dreams. Look instead for whole grain breads. They are tasty and high in fiber and that’s a great start to a PB&J masterpiece.

Second, remember that not all peanut butters are created equal. And, truth be told, you can step outside of the box and choose equally healthy almond butter if that’s more to your taste’s satisfaction. Spend an extra buck and get a natural peanut or almond butter.

All natural peanut or almond butter spreads last just as long when placed in the fridge after opening as the heavily processed products and rather than having a list of chemical ingredients that you can’t pronounce, they simply state, “roasted peanuts,” or “roasted almonds.” Both are two of nature’s most perfect foods.

Third, the jelly is the crowning touch! Like breads, you can find a thousand choices of jellies and jams at most grocery stores. So go for the one that doesn’t feature added sugar as its number two ingredient. Again, perhaps a little higher price, but a cheaper choice when it comes time for the annual dental check up.

As an adult, you may find the old PB&J a little too quaint, but you can shake things up with almond butter and strawberry jam on an exotic bread. Suddenly you’re living la vida loca. In a time of tight budgets you can keep your kids happy and healthy, and you as well, with the food that made America great: PB&J!


Martin Brown is the Heath Channel Editor for SingleMindedWomen.com, and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right.

His latest book is Fit in 50 Days.

More SMW Dieting Tips

Are You a Nibbler? Curbing Empty Calories

Dieting With the Support of Online Girlfriends

Staying Motivated with Buddy Workouts