A roundup of the BEST peanut butter and jelly inspired recipes from around the web! Think outside the box when it comes to this classic combo and get ready to reinvent the way you think about this lunchbox staple.
It’s been a long while since I’ve celebrated a food holiday. In fact, this may be the first one of the year. I’ll admit, I’ve been off my game a bit with keeping up with them. But now I am back on track and today’s celebration was one I could NOT miss!
It’s National PB&J Day! The childhood favorite. The classic combo of sweet and salty. The lunchbox staple for generations and generations. THAT is the PB&J.
But truly it’s more than just a sandwich. PB&J has created a class of foods all on its own and had inspired so many other amazing sandwich combos since its inception. Speaking of its creation, do you know how the PB&J came to be? Here are the background details…
History of PB&J
In 1901, the first peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipe appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics written by Julia Davis Chandler. She was said to have used currant or crab-apple jelly and called the combination delicious and as far as she knew, original.
Still, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was an exclusive food, and its popularity among the masses was yet to come. As pre-sliced bread became popular, another breakthrough happened with peanut butter—commercial brands found a way to create creamier peanut butter that didn’t stick to the roof of the mouth so easily. And during the Great Depression of the 1930s, families discovered peanut butter provided a satisfying, high protein, less expensive meal.
But the major event that took the peanut butter and jelly sandwich over the top in popularity was WWII.
Peanut butter and jelly were on the U.S. Military ration menus in World War II. Peanut butter was a high-protein, shelf-stable ingredient and easily portable on long marches. With pre-sliced bread so easy to use, the natural inclination was to combine these items, and before long the good ol’ PB&J was a part of the American soldier’s life.
When soldiers came home from the war, peanut butter and jelly sales soared. Kids loved it because it tastes great, parents loved how easy it was to make and how kids could make it themselves with pre-sliced bread. Many families and college students on a budget relied on PB&J.
So, the story of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the story of three essential ingredients; all of which have been around for a long time, joining together to give us America’s favorite and enduring sandwich.
Pretty cool, right? I definitely always had a PB&J packed in my lunchbox everyday for many years when I was young. Always a higher ratio of PB to J, of course! I am on Team Strawberry Jelly for sure and since then have experimented with tons of different PB&J varieties now that my palate has matured and become more experimental. Here are a few fun ways to jazz up your traditional PB&J…
- peanut butter, jelly, and banana
- peanut butter, honey, and granola
- peanut butter and pomegranate arils
- grilled PB&J
- peanut butter, fresh sliced strawberries, and crumbled peanuts
- peanut butter and homemade blueberry chia jam
- peanut butter and (turkey) bacon
- peanut butter and sliced dried figs
And now for the star portion of this post…a roundup of the BEST PB&J inspired recipes to celebrate National PB&J Day the right way!
PB&J Inspired Recipes
Peanut Butter and Jelly Donuts | Broma Bakery
Peanut Butter and Maple Strawberry Slice | Angie Cooks in Portland
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread | Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Vegan PB & J Bites | Love Me, Feed Me
Peanut Butter and Jam Banana Bread | Taste & Tell Blog
Peanut Butter & Jam Bars | All Day I Dream About Food
Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins | Erica’s Sweet Tooth
Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies | Averie Cooks
Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats | Delish Knowledge
Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola | Maebells
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies | Tastes Lovely
PB&J Smoothie | Kitchen Treaty
Grown Up PB&J Toast | Healthy Nibbles and Bits
PB&J Overnight Oats | Oats for You
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake | Will Cook for Smiles
Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jelly Hot French Toast Sammie | Half Baked Harvest
Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches | Perpetually Hungry
Now you are ALL set to celebrate National PB&J Day today and for many years to come! I bet you’ll never think of PB&J the same way again after reading this delicious post. 😉
Are you Team Strawberry or Team Grape Jelly?
What’s your favorite type of PB&J? Classic or with fun add-ins?
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