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Recipe: Fruit-Forward PB&J

This classic sandwich offers all the protein and flavor without the additives and added calories

Jelly on a piece of bread with peanut butter

Who says peanut butter and jelly is just for kids? Not us! Adults and children alike will fall in love with our Fruit-Forward PB&J Sandwich.

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Scan the ingredients list and you’ll notice something odd — there’s no jelly ... or peanut butter — at least, not in the usual sense. We can see those raised eyebrows, but bear with us.

Most jams and jellies are loaded with added sugar — and have been heated to the point that some of the beneficial nutrients in the fruit get destroyed. Peanut butter is also often loaded with dubious “extras” like salt, sugar and manufactured oils.

So, we use naturally sweet (and deeply nutritious) bananas and smashed raspberries, along with peanut butter powder, which gives you the protein and flavor without additives or added calories (it makes a great addition to smoothies, too!). Add two slices of fiber-rich, whole-grain bread to the mix, and voila: A nutrient-rich, satisfying lunch.

Yes, we know it’s dicey to reinvent a beloved classic. But one bite of this new-and-improved PB&J will make you — and the kids in your life — true believers!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup (sugar- and salt-free) peanut butter powder
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, puree the banana and peanut butter powder until creamy.
  2. Divide evenly and spread on four slices of the bread.
  3. Puree or smash the raspberries and spread over the tops of the banana-peanut butter.
  4. Top with the remaining slices of bread.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Bananas: Nutritious, delicious and easy on your budget, bananas are a great addition to any recipe. They’re full of gut-friendly fiber, and immunity-boosting vitamin C and vitamin B6 to keep your brain happy. Bananas also have potassium and magnesium for healthy blood pressure.
  • Peanut butter: One of the most beloved nut butters of all time, peanut butter can provide a lot of benefits in moderation. It has unsaturated fats that support your heart and vitamin E to promote healthy skin and eyes. It’s also an excellent source of plant protein. Like bananas, peanut butter has potassium and magnesium, along with vitamin B6, which means you’ll get a little more of these important vitamins and minerals from your meal. The next time you’re in your local grocery store or supermarket, consider choosing a natural variety that doesn’t have added sugars, corn syrup and other unnecessary ingredients. That way, you can get all the perks out of your PB.
  • Raspberries: Why use store-bought jelly when you can make it yourself? Fresh raspberries have a fruitier taste and plenty of nutrients to spare, such as vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Raspberries also have polyphenols and anthocyanins, antioxidants that fight inflammation and harmful free radicals, which can damage your cells. And they’re rich in fiber, for “smooth moves.”
  • Whole-grain bread: You can’t have a sandwich without bread! Whole grain bread is, unsurprisingly, loaded with whole grains, an essential part of a well-balanced diet. Whole grains have heart-helpful fats, plant protein and complex carbohydrates to keep you satisfied for longer and give you more energy. They’re also packed with vitamin E and may help lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, blood pressure and your risk of certain types of cancer. When you’re out food shopping, look for breads that say 100% whole grain or whole wheat on the packaging to ensure you’re getting all the benefits these little kernels can offer.

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Nutrition information (per serving)

Serving = 4

Calories: 233
Total fat: 4 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Protein: 13 g
Carbohydrate:: 37 g
Dietary fiber: 9 g
Sugar: 9 g
Added sugar: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 199 mg

Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness.

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Learn more about our editorial process.

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