Peanut butter sandwiches on wholewheat bread topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries, herbs and mozzarella cheese on a wooden picnic table with a jug of orange juice. Peanut butter sandwiches on wholewheat bread topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries, herbs and mozzarella cheese on a wooden picnic table with a jug of orange juice. This is not your mom's packed lunch. (Photo: Ozgur Coskun / Shutterstock)

​5 peanut butter sandwiches that don't include jelly

Stuck in a PB&J rut? Learn about some other simple, unexpected foods that pair perfectly with peanut butter.

Have you heard about the peanut butter pairing phenomenon? This is the act of pairing peanut butter with as many other foods as possible. It's not a real, official movement (yet), but we hope it becomes one. Why? Because peanut butter is magic. It has that rare quality of being sweet and salty at the same time, so it can be paired with both sweet and salty things. Bacon? Banana? Avocado? Fruits like figs, dates, pomegranate seeds and berries? If it's paired with peanut butter, it's a sandwich win-win.

Here are five nifty peanut butter pairing ideas that will significantly elevate your sandwich game.

Avocado

avacadoThis versatile stone fruit always feels comfy between two slices of bread. (Photo: Chad Miller/Flickr)

As you've matured, you've slowly allowed yourself to appreciate the avocado. It didn't happen overnight, but one day you found that perfect piece of fruit (yes, fruit – it's actually in the berry family!) at its peak of ripeness, sliced it up and proceeded to put it on everything. Well, almost everything. Have you tried it on peanut butter? Perhaps it's time you did! Here's a slightly wacky recipe with an unforgettable appearance by bacon (which makes yet another appearance later in this post).


Date paste

date paste on a spoonDate paste is a great spread for toast instead of jam. (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

Since people have been using dates to sweeten their meals for centuries, you might call this suggestion reinventing the wheel. Call it what you want: Date paste (or date butter, which sounds less healthful but much more appetizing) is a delicious alternative to jams or jellies, and it has the added benefit of being considered a low-glycemic sugar substitute, which means it's ideal for people who need to monitor their blood glucose levels. It's also easy to make, using this date paste recipe by our Israeli Kitchen's Miriam Kresh.


Berries

peanut butter with berriesPeanut butter with berries – use crunchy peanut butter for a hearty twist. (Photo: Svitlana Pimenov/Shutterstock)

Sandwich contents don't have to be spreadable. Next time you're thinking of reaching for the jam, reach for the whole fruit instead – simply sprinkle raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a combination of all three over the peanut butter.


Pomegranate seeds

pomegranate seedsThis superfood has so many uses. Try it in a sandwich! (Photo: Kostenko Olga/Shutterstock)

We can't think of anything that wouldn't be made better with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. These little morsels are packed with nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C and three types of antioxidants, all of which have been shown to aid in heart health, reduction of inflammation and regulation of blood pressure. So crack one open, sprinkle and enjoy.


Bananas and bacon, aka 'The Elvis'

Peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich, otherwise known as 'The Elvis.'Peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich, otherwise known as 'The Elvis.' (Photo: Kim/Flickr)

It's not just one of those urban legends. The King of Rock 'n Roll really did have weird food cravings, and one of them was this: a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich. It's known as The Elvis and sold in some restaurants under that name. Odd as it may sound, the flavor profile here is actually perfect – equal parts salty, sweet and satisfyingly sticky. That irresistible hip-swinging and smooth vocals may have been Presley's claim to fame, but this sandwich may be his most delicious legacy.

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