I want to stress there is no wrong way to make a peanut butter sandwich. I’m not going to claim you have somehow been incorrectly spreading processed legume paste across bread your whole life.
However, like with most foods, a little extra care can work wonders.
The subtle nuance of nut butter
The beauty of a PB&J lies in its simplicity. Plenty of foods benefit from gourmet recreations, but that isn’t necessarily the case with peanut butter.
Feel free to use single-ingredient peanut butter or even a different type of nut butter entirely, but it’s hard to beat the effortless spreading of the partially hydrogenated, factory-jarred varieties.
No matter what you choose, you’re looking at about 200 calories for a single heaping spoonful, so perhaps now isn’t the time to seek out the healthy alternative.
What’s your jam?
Only by experimenting will you discover your peanut butter soul mate. Mine is a fairly ripe sliced banana, but you may fall in love with a drizzle of honey, apricot preserves or a tangy pepper jelly.
A well-stocked fridge to a curious mind is a match to kerosene.
Before you know it, you’re simmering al dente hunks of an anjou pear in a skillet with browned butter and cinnamon to create the homemade jam of your sweetest dreams. The purple protoplasm that is grape jelly will be nothing more than a sticky, squeezable memory.
Finding a bread for your spread
The tiniest but arguably most crucial step anyone can take in their PB&J assembly is toasting the bread. This guarantees structural integrity and helps counteract all the sugary, fatty tooth cement you slather on top of it.
While we’re on the topic of grains, who said you had to use bread?
I implore you to shake loose the shackles of culinary tradition. Naan and pita are not only remarkably flavorful, but also so light and airy that you can effectively double your filling to dough ratio.
Just try enveloping peanut butter and whatever other topping in a small, warm flour tortilla. It’s like a Smucker’s Uncrustables that you don’t have to feel ashamed about eating as a 20-something grown adult.