March 18, 2014

It's peanut butter jelly time!



I am continuing to make clean eating changes for both myself and my family. I've already tackled my coffee creamer issue (which was kind of a fail, but whatever) and my kids mac & cheese. Today I am taking on my son's pre-made frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He brings one of these to school for lunch every single day. He never gets sick of them. So I decided it was time for me to attempt to make them myself.

I looked online for the perfect sandwich press, and according to reviewers on Amazon, this version from The Pampered Chef is a must-have item. Also, since it was the same shape, I was hoping Hudson wouldn't notice the difference.
So off I went to get the ingredients... and I was all ready to pump out dozens of home-made, organic PB&J sandwiches. Let's just say it didn't quite go as planned. The bread broke in half, peanut butter and jelly was oozing out, and I couldn't get the circle mold separated from the bread. So I googled some tips and tricks about the sandwich press... and there was a lot of them. Use less filling, put a dent in the top of the bread with your finger then press the sandwich out, wet the top of the bread with a little bit of water... I tried it all. My sandwiches still sucked. 

My husband suggested I may need to buy different bread, since the kind I bought was thicker. (it was the ONLY plain white bread I could find at Whole Foods) So we went to the store and found the 'cleanest' version of white bread that we could find (without high fructose corn syrup and no 'yoga mat' chemical)

Well it turns out hubby was right... with the thin, softer bread there was no breaks or holes!  It wasn't perfect every time, but it was a lot better. I still couldn't get a perfect cut, no matter how hard I pressed, so I eventually just got a pair of scissors and I would cut around the edges.
I stuck them on parchment paper and popped them in our deep freezer for a bit. Then I transferred them into baggies and put them back in the freezer. 

Hudson loves his new PB & J's, especially since I can switch up the ingredients. He can have grape mixed with strawberry jelly, or a nutella and jelly sandwich (say what!). He even said he wants to pick out some 'crazy' jelly like raspberry or blueberry the next time we go the store.

I made another batch this weekend, and the entire process went smoothly. I made a tray of sandwiches in no time, and they all turned out perfect. (I still cut them out w/ scissors)
I'm glad I didn't give up, and I will definitely continue making these for my little man! (but who knew PB& J sandwiches could be so infuriating!!??)

Finally, listen to the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song... just because.  

UPDATE: I have actually improved upon this recipe since creating this post, and I use a different sandwich press now... click here to read my updated post!



7 comments:

  1. Great idea. Oddly enough I make the worst pb and j's in the world so this is super helpful!

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    1. Thanks for you comment Jenny! Maybe this will help improve your pb&j skills! lol ;)

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  2. What bread did you end up using? We're trying to eliminate yoga mat foods too. I grew up loving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I think it's great that your son wants to experiment with different jams and Nutella.

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    1. I would have to double check this weekend, when I buy more to make... but I THINK it was Nature's Own regular white bread. The 'healthiest' breads just don't work for this purpose, so I had to just cut my losses and try to make the best choice. (and I am sure you already know this, but for other readers.. the 'yoga mat' chemical is called azodicarbonamide on the ingredient list)

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  3. We're trying to eat healthier too, so thanks for this idea! (And forgive my stupidity, but what are yoga mat foods??)

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    1. It is a chemical that it is in yoga mats that lots of companies have been using in breads. It is called azodicarbonamide on the ingredient list. It's a foaming agent that gives yoga mats that cushy feeling, and companies were using it to make breaks rise faster! (ew)

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    2. *breads rise faster (not breaks!)

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