Peanut butter and jelly. Most of us remember it well, and some of us still love its flavor combination. What better trip down memory lane than with a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich? You probably remember your mom carefully packing it for lunch or maybe as a snack before a nap.
Or perhaps you have been eating your favorite combination for years and simply want to liven up the taste into something more “adult.” No matter how you like your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there is nothing like playing with flavors, combinations, and ways to make this favorite snack.
Peanut Butter and Jelly History
It may seem like peanut butter and jelly has always been around. Sure, people have made jam, jelly, and preserves forever – or so it seems. But peanut butter was created back in the 1880s by a doctor out of St Louis, named Ambrose Straub. It was born out of finding a solution for patients who could not eat well.
This was due to missing teeth or those who had trouble swallowing. It helped give the patients something good to eat and something good for them. During that same time that Straub made this tasty treat, the guy who created the cereal brand Kellogg was getting a patent for a process for manufacturing peanut butter.
Peanut butter was first introduced at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. In 1904 Dr. Straub got a food company to develop the peanut spread and they took it to the St. Louis World Fair where it became so popular, that grocery stores began ordering it.
The combination of peanut butter and jelly was around in the 1880s but it was not a common thing. Instead, it was an upscale thing. In fact, the peanut butter itself was only available in upscale restaurants in New York City.
In 1901, Julia Davis Chandler wrote in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics and shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipe that she called original and delicious.
It wasn’t till the 1930s that manufacturers were able to deliver peanut butter to the masses. They even found a way to make it not stick to the roof of your mouth although ask anyone and they’ll probably tell you that it still does!
There was one event in history that propelled peanut butter to the top – that was WWII. The reason it was perfect for the troops is that peanut butter is a high-protein, portable, and shelf-stable ingredient. The soldiers during WWII were supplied something called Grapelade which was basically grape jelly that was a staple during WWI.
By combining the two, the soldiers had something to eat that sated their sweet tooth, was easy to carry, and had high protein to give them energy and sustainability. Once this combination came back home, kids loved it and peanut butter and jelly has been popular ever since.
Why Is the Combination So Darn Good?
But why exactly is peanut butter so delicious when combined with jelly? Or jam or preserves, for that matter. And why is it such a popular sandwich?
There are a few reasons for this. One is that when you combine the sweetness of the jelly, with the good fat from peanut butter, and have a slice or two of fresh bread to hold it all together – you get the trinity of yummy and mouthwatering flavors. Chef and author Justin Warner call it something else – the law of peanut butter and jelly. It’s something fatty, something rich, and something to spread it on. What could be better?
Peanut butter and jelly are also comfort food. As we mentioned, who doesn’t remember having this scrumptious sandwich as a kid? It’s affordable, easy to make, and convenient. Not only that, but here’s an important thing – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are packed with nutritional value.
According to the National Peanut Board:
A PB&J has 15 grams of protein per serving, 13 grams of plant-based unsaturated fat and 5 grams of fiber. That keeps you full and helps build muscle. Plus 12.5 grams of sugar provides the quick release of energy that athletes need.
Enhance the Peanut Butter and Jelly Experience
There’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – you know, the ones you had as a kid. Then there are elevated gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why not enhance your experience?
Are you looking for gourmet peanut butter and jelly recipes? Well, you’re in the right place! Betsy is on a mission to put “GOURMET” into America’s favorite nut butter sandwich. That’s right, it is time to make peanut butter & jelly sandwich recipes that appeal to the foodie in all of us.
Betsy’s Best, with flavor-enhancing, superfood ingredients like cinnamon, Himalayan pink salt, and organic honey is bound to make any healthy peanut butter sandwich recipe better. But, adding adult ingredients like hearty whole-grain bread, bacon, Manchego cheese, and red pepper preserves takes them to new heights of deliciousness.
For instance, check out the Original Gourmet PB&J Sandwich. It combines crave-worthy ingredients like Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut or Seed Butter, cacao nibs, jam, and granola into one, of the super delicious sandwich you’ll want every day. If that one doesn’t please your palate, what about a Blackberry and Mint Almond Butter Sandwich?
This one is a sandwich that takes peanut butter and jelly to new heights. It’s not made with peanut butter but instead, our delicious Betsy’s Best Cinnamon Almond Butter.
Of course, you can always create recipes that aren’t the usual. Instead of bread, use skewers with fruit covered in your favorite nut butter. Or use bananas on a kabob to hold your favorite jam and nut butter. Love Mexican food? Try the peanut butter and jelly combo in a quesadilla. Sure, that may not be a recipe you find at your favorite Mexican restaurant but it’s so mouthwateringly good that it doesn’t even matter.
The point is – have fun with it! And if your kids love peanut butter and jelly as much as we do, why not introduce them to elevated, yet healthy food choices? Check out some of our recipes. We’re sure you’ll find a favorite.