Peanut butter and jelly got you through your childhood and perhaps some rough times in college, too. But you might have sworn off the easy-to-make snack more recently — maybe you’ve outgrown the taste, or maybe it caused you to pack on a few pounds. Whatever the reason, PB&J still might be categorized in your mind as “ol’ reliable,” but there are plenty of ways to spice up this inexpensive meatless meal for a more sophisticated palate.
GOBankingRates decided to whip up some budget-friendly upgrades for your PB&J game.
Keep reading to learn about some impressive ways to serve this cheap childhood staple.
Peanut Butter and Basics
Every solid peanut butter and jelly sandwich needs a few basic ingredients, namely the peanut butter and the jelly.
If you want to change up the dynamic between your slices, opt for a different nut butter. Although classic peanut butter is high in protein and comes in two styles — chunky or smooth — feel free to sub in something a bit more sophisticated for some lip-smacking goodness. Popular substitutes are almond butter, flax seed butter, cashew butter — even macadamia nut butter, for an island flair.
As far as jelly goes, there are an endless amount of combinations. Instead of the plain Jane grape jelly, you can go simple with some strawberry or raspberry spread — or get wild with mint-lavender infused apricot preserves.
Suggested PB&J Upgrade-wiches
Once you settle on your basics — the nut butter base and the jelly — add some more ingredients to spice up your ‘wich. Here are a few PB&J upgrades that you can easily make at home:
Sandwich No. 1: The Rocky Road
To satisfy any sweet tooth, add some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to your regular PB&J sandwich. If you really want to go PB and gourmet, you can lightly broil your marshmallows on the stove so they have that gooey, s’mores-like quality.
Sandwich No. 2: The Chocolate-Covered Pretzel
For those who enjoy a little crunch as they munch, this is another delectable deviation from the traditional PB&J. You’ll need some salted pretzels and more chocolate chips for this variation, except this time you’ll throw those chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds until they’re melted and spreadable. Swap in Nutella for a more hazelnut-flavored treat.
Sandwich No. 3: The Movie Theater Deluxe
Get ready to take your Netflix sessions to the next level with this popcorn concoction. Sprinkle a fresh-popped bag of movie theater-style popcorn for a satisfying crunch.
Sandwich No. 4: Sweet N’ Salty
If you want to take that crunchiness to the extreme, sprinkle on some classic potato chips. The texture is sort of like if chunky peanut butter got a massive boost — and the salt complements the jelly with some serious bite.
If you’re feeling seriously brave, sub in some salt and vinegar chips for extra tang.
Click through to read about some easy, delicious and cheap breakfast ideas from around the world.