Dirtbag Gourmet: New-School Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes

Dirtbag Gourmet: New-School Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes

We tend to think of peanut butter and jelly as a kid’s food, and rightly so — the average American

We tend to think of peanut butter and jelly as a kid’s food, and rightly so — the average American child will eat approximately 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate high school. And after a big day, the average outdoorsman or woman will feel like they could eat that many in a single sitting.

Nobody knows exactly where or when the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was born. Peanut butter wasn’t invented until 1895, so it can’t be older than that. One story suggests a military origin — that in World War II, GIs mixed jelly with their peanut butter — but there are reports of pre-conflict mashups, too, so…in the end, no one knows. And for a truly populist sandwich, isn’t it better that way?

1. Pop-Tart PB&J
This one’s simple. No jelly — the fruit filling of the Pop-Tart takes its place. Just spread peanut butter on the back of one Pop-Tart, stick it to the other one, and voila.

2. The Candwich
No time to assemble that elaborate PB&J? Pick up a four-pack of Candwiches. That’s right, it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a can. Available at Salt Lake City 7-Eleven stores and online. LINK

3. The Pancake PB&J
If you love, or even like, pancakes, they’re a perfect substitute for bread. Especially on backpacking trips when you can make a dozen of them with a little bit of water and some instant mix. Take two pancakes, spread peanut butter and jelly, and you’re home.

4. PB&J Flautas
Okay, not technically a flauta — more like “flauta-inspired.” But take a flour tortilla, spread peanut butter on it, then a little jelly, then roll it around a banana. Oh yeah, almost forget — take the skin off the banana first.

5. PB & Honey & Potato Chips
Are you too cool to eat something that a fourth-grader could dream up? Move onto No. 6 then. If not, open your mind to this iteration that’s a favorite of my friend Elizabeth, a longtime outdoor educator and enthusiast. If possible, don’t add the chips until just before you are ready to eat.

6. Pretentious Peanut Butter & Jelly
Simply make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, substituting with the following:

  • Organic almond butter instead of peanut butter
  • Fresh, organic, locally-grown strawberries or raspberries
  • Organic sprouted fig, fennel and flax bread instead of average white or wheat bread

7. Peanut Butter & Jelly Monte Cristo
Really, what could be better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cooked on a skillet, French-toast-style? LINK

8. Peanut Butter and Jelly Empanadas
Really, what could be be better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cooked on a skillet, French-toast-style? Well, maybe these, dipped in whipped cream. LINK

Brendan Leonard is a contributing editor to Adventure Journal. Follow him at his blog, Semi-Rad.
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Showing 8 comments
  • MJ

    I totally rock the pancake PB&J at home too. I’m not ashamed.

  • Brian

    PB&J Eggo. Bonus points for being frisky enough to run with the flavored waffles (cinnamon, chocolate, or that odd tasting Low-Fat Wheat Eggo)

  • RJ

    I also like to make a PB&J-dilla. Take a wheat tortilla, spread peanut butter and jelly on that bad boy, fold it in half, and nosh that bad boy down…

    • steve casimiro

      @RJ…sprinkle a little granola in there, too.

  • Bruce

    A few years ago needing to stay on a tight budget and wanting to be in the Sierras backpacking for a week. I lived on PB&J banana flour tortillas wraps and oatmeal. Do not want to repeat that menu. Great trip , monotonous diet:)

  • Ray

    Build a normal PB&J, then add a layer of mini-marshmallows.

  • Ben

    PB, honey, and bacon. Started rocking these this summer. Until then, my life was incomplete.

  • Luke

    I’m a big fan of replacing the Jelly with fresh berries. Strawberries or raspberries are great! It’s also fun to replace the peanut butter with Nutella or chocolate peanut butter. Nutella + Banana + Tortilla is especially good!

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