In Praise of Peanut Butter

My kids grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretty much every day of their lives between the ages of two and twelve, and maybe longer. Their father before them ate peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches. And not just a little brown sugar sprinkled on top of the peanut butter. Oh no. It was sort of stacked up like a slab. I’m pretty sure this recipe came from his Canadian mother’s side of the family.

Now I was a skeptic at first, at least until I tried it. And I confess it is very tasty. But I never indulged in it. Just didn’t seem right. And now it’s been years since my husband has had one himself. But I am a fan of a little peanut butter and jam on toast in the morning, and many of my grandchildren are following faithfully in the tradition.

I don’t know if you have seen it, but in the freezer section of the grocery store you can find frozen PBJ’s. I kid you not. But if you are headed off somewhere, I supposed a bag of frozen PBJ’s could come in handy. But surely the homemade kind can be frozen as well. And surely they are much better than the mass-produced variety.

My daughter’s family is visiting Holland and staying with a very hospitable Dutch family. They have been serving the children peanut butter toast in the morning with chocolate sprinkles on top! A few years ago some Dutch friends of ours gave us some of these Dutch sprinkles, and I can testify that they were nothing like I had tasted before. Not a thing like those little artificially flavored and colored chocolate sprinkles that you can find in the supermarket here. They are rich delicious chocolate. The real deal. So my grandchildren have been having a grand ol’ time hitting the sprinkles for breakfast. Tomorrow they are going to a real Dutch farm, windmill and everything, and gathering up the ingredients for pancakes: fresh farm eggs and milk, and freshly ground flour from the mill.

But I digress. This was in praise of the inventor of peanut butter, who never dreamed we would find so many condiments to embellish it. My dad liked peanut butter with some mayo spread over it and a slice of American cheese on top. But he has always been the daring type. Can you top that?

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61 thoughts on “In Praise of Peanut Butter

  1. Peanut butter jam cheese is pretty good. And it’s a great snack on apple or celery. When I was working in Sudan, I came across a peanut butter soup, which apparently was not unusual…

  2. My husband is Norwegian, and whenever we are with his family, we are offered peanut butter with brown goat cheese and raspberry jam on a very Scandinavian (very delicious) pumpernickle bread.

    Our hosts always sit back in their chairs, grinning expectantly, as we indulge in what they know is a magnificent treat. And it IS surprisingly good.

    My Norwegian nephew loves peanutbutter with caviar. I can hardly watch as he eats it.

    Elza, my mother in law, so often says that it takes all kinds to make a world. This is certainly so.

  3. I have a good one, but I do not believe for a moment that anyone who has been a in a family that camps regularly, has not heard of this one.
    Take a Banana in it’s peal, cut in lengthwise down the center without cutting through to the other side,(like a hot dog bun). Stuff this with a myriad of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, peanut butter and smother it with honey or maple syrup. Wrap this puppy up in foil and toss her in the fire. Give it a good five to ten minutes in the coals, crack her open and dive in with a spoon. Careful not to burn yourself, it’s hot!! You will be able to eat this once and years later you will crave it again… I guarantee it!

  4. Peanut butter and banana toasted sandwiches here in New Zealand. Our friends (10 year old) daughter made him lunch the other day and when he opened his lunchbox at work – he was most suprised to find peanut butter and raisen sandwiches 🙂 We are of dutch origin and wouldn’t go with out Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) mmm on toast mmm..

  5. My husband’s favorite is a peanut butter sandwich with marshmallow fluff and shredded cheddar cheese. I honestly have never tried it, but two of my sons love it, too! My favorite is pb&j, but occasionally I’ll have my peanut butter with sliced bananas.

  6. Oh, hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles from the Netherlands) is one of my favorites! Our local Asian markets actually carry it so we enjoy it at our home regularly.

    For years I looked at those frozen “Uncrustables” p.b. and j. sandwiches wondering who would waste their money on such an item. Then a few months ago I found myself pregnant with three very young children at home. With my severe nausea causing me throw up every time I even walked near our kitchen, Uncrustables became my best friend. I have never been so indebted to a frozen food item. I almost wrote a letter to Smuckers thanking them for making such an amazing product.

  7. At our house, we’re generally boring – pb and jelly, pb and honey, but my dad is a little out there. He likes his own take on the Elvis special – toasted bread, peanut butter, bananas and MAYO. Seriously, I can not watch him eat it. Or make it. In fact, I don’t even like typing about it. Eeeeeew.

  8. I’m surprised no-one has mentioned peanut butter and honey! My sister and I grew up with lots of PB&J, but when that got a little old (or we ran out of jelly) Mama would pile on the honey instead of the jam. To this day, PB&H is one of my comfort foods.

  9. Can’t believe my first response to any of the posts on this blog relates to the peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches I took to school (and apparently liked) as a first grader. I’m not recommending the combination and have no idea how I got the idea or why my mom allowed it. I’ve never been very experimental in my choice of food.

    Must say I look forward to each day’s posts *and* responses. It’s a most encouraging place to spend a few moments.

  10. Peanut butter and pickle sandwiches! I believe dill pickles taste better than sweet pickles on this, but I could be misremembering.

  11. One of my most successful recipe inventions thus far is a PB&J cake: white or yellow cake of your choosing, swirl some jam in the batter (I puree the jam and heat it a bit to make it as smooth as possible), bake, and ice with PB frosting.

  12. My husband is also a peanut butter. cheese, mayo guy. He also eats toasted bread with butter, pb, and strawberry jam. Cut into triangles on a paper towel.

    I used to eat pb and nutella. overkill, yes, but yummmm.

    My oldest son only eats it with honey. He would eat it 3 meals a day. My younger son and daughter draw out the pb and honey with their fingers from between the slices of bread and then eat the bread. I like it plain, just pb on bread.

    I see that we are all quite particular now that I write this all down.

  13. Alas, most of our children are allergic to peanuts and wheat. Instead, they enjoy “honey sandwiches” as well as cinnamon, sugar, and maple syrup on millet toast (sometimes we also melt chocolate chips on top). We are thankful for the sweet things they are able to enjoy!

  14. The best way to eat pb&j is, of course, with banana, and grilled like grilled cheese! Then the pb gets melty, and the banana is soft, and blends better with the jelly. This was one of my childhood favourites, and one of the first things I learned to cook on the stovetop :~}

  15. I love to take the seal off of a brand new jar of peanut butter and just scoop out a big spoonful and eat it right off of the spoon. I used to buy extra-crunchy until I started giving it to my one-year-olds. I was worried they’d choke on the nuts (silly!) but I’ve really fallen in love with the creamy stuff now.
    It takes tremendous will-power to only eat one scoop!

  16. Mrs Wilson,

    I know this has nothing at all to do with peanut butter. I’m sorry for bringing up a question that doesn’t really apply to your post. This is just important to me right now and I don’t know if an answer will come if I don’t just ask.

    How do you show God to your children?

    A lady asked me that question last night and I had no answer. I truly desire to raise our children for the Lord, but when asked outright what I do to show God to our children, I was stumped.

  17. Reading through the comments I was wondering why anyone would think to put mayo on peanut butter, but then I reaized that I always put butter, then the peanut butter. Does anyone else put the pb on both sides of the take to school sandwich so the jelly won’t crystalize in the bread? I still occasionally put the brown sugar on, and certainly honey or jam. My son is big on the brown sugar variety. But it is a sad reality that my youngest just doesn’t like peanut butter (loves peanuts though). I was debating whether to check out some of the asian shops for the afforementioned chocolate sprinkles.

  18. This is a fun topic. As I was reading all the comments my husband was wanting to know if we had any more peanut butter. He told me to make sure I let you all know how good toast with peanut butter and syrup is. That is a Sat morning favorite around here (in the south).

  19. Ok, Amanda is getting close to the best use for peanut butter, but we don’t wait for leftover pancakes. Any pancakes or waffles at our house are immediately smothered with butter, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Sometimes I put chocolate chips into the pancake/waffle batter. Guaranteed to be the best breakfast you’ve ever eaten.

  20. I’m Dutch and positively LOVE “Hagel” as it is called. There is lots of varieties: even pink, yellow, and orange sugar ones (they are my favorite!)

    I’m jealous about a visit to Holland. What I wouldn’t give!

  21. A peanut butter sandwich with honey and fresh strawberries is absolutely yummy. My family also enjoys PB and cucumber sandwiches.

  22. Dear Aunt Nancy,
    Did you know that your little brother can top your dad when it comes to peanut butter sandwiches? He likes to eat peanut butter ,mayo, and cheese sandwiches as well– but he likes to add dill pickles and onion! (It was Grandma’s idea to add onion. We are not sure where he got the idea for adding pickles.) He insists that no one should say that it sounds gross until they try it, but we think that we will pass on this one!

  23. My husband also eats peanut butter and marshmallow fluff . . . . I think it’s an East Coast thing, they call them “Fluffernutters!” And my roommate at NSA brought back some of those sprinkles from Holland, but it was highly tempting to eat them plain rather than on toast!

  24. Trader Joe’s also has almond butter and cashew butter. Don’t know if they’re peanut-free enough for allergic folks, but would be worth checking out if there’s a TJ’s in your area.

  25. Peanut Butter on pancakes and waffles is the thing at our house. That comes from my husband’s side of the family who thinks plain old butter and syrup are boring. My gang does all three, Butter, pb then syrup.
    My young kids like to smear it on saltines or graham crackers for a yummy snack.
    But out FAVORITE is to put a little in a glass dish and microwave it for 20 –30 seconds. We then drizzle it along with hersheys syrup over our vanilla ice cream. Add a brownie and whipped cream and it becomes a party!

  26. Oh goodness, I’m a pretty boring pb&j eater compared to some of you guys! I guess I need to go find a banana.

  27. Our Saturday morning tradition is buttermilk pancakes with peanut butter, syrup, and then a good dosing of cinnamon and sugar. My husband then has to top that off with ‘dessert’ – pancakes with butter, syrup, and cinnamon and sugar.

  28. It’s amazing what you can do with peanut butter. Our family loves it spread over waffles which we then topped with vanilla pudding. It’s absolutely delicious!
    My dad also introduced us to dill pickle, ranch, and peanut butter sandwiches, and I actually like them!

  29. My husband likes PB on French toast with syrup. He sure makes it look good, but I don’t prefer it.

  30. Nancy,
    Very fun. We actually finished our pancake dinner a little bit ago. And, though I had not yet read this post, I opted for peanut butter, honey, and whipped cream on my pancakes. However, the pancakes were actually more like crepes. And, most exciting of all, they were cooked with large pieces of bacon in the middle. Fantastic. The windmill was great as well.
    See you in Moscow shortly.

  31. We love peanut butter, too! Isabelle loves a “Sabbath treat” of peanut butter and honey on a warm corn tortilla, rolled up to look like a taquito. And our most often used one is the ever popular (around here, anyway) dip lunch. A big blob of pb on the plate surrounded by whatever I happen to dig up – cut up pears, apples or carrots, graham crackers, etc. Those are my favorite for days like today, when it’s so pretty out that we can’t bear to come inside till it’s really too late for a “normal” lunch!

  32. Personally, I am getting a little nauseous reading about these combinations…however, the great grandfather of the Wilson grandkids, Papa Douglas, ate grilled peanut butter/velveeta/pickle sandwiches every weekend. No wonder peanut butter does not cross my lips!
    See you and the kids soon in Moscow.

  33. After so many years of being pregnant and nauseated by the smell of all those little peanut butter fingers and kisses, there is only one way left for me to enjoy peanut butter: Peanut Butter Cookies! Oh, and I do love the smell of the roasting peanuts when we make our own pb at home!

  34. I agree with Diane about being nauseous when reading some of these combos. However, it probably doesn’t help that I am 11 1/2 weeks pregnant. I am a fan of the peanut butter and honey…. and just peanut butter in general. I think I will go have some with crackers right now.

  35. Okay, this is a bit gross, but I think y’all have touched on just about everything but my “there are no sweets in the house and I have a sweet tooth that won’t wait until I cook something real” treat. Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in microwave. Add coconut, stir. It looks like something that belongs in a diaper, but it sure satisfies in a pinch!

  36. Okay, I was so enthralled reading about all your peanut butter extravagances, that I completely burned the chicken! When I pulled the pan off and set it on the cutting board, it burned the cutting board! But I wanted to dash back and tell you, way to go. I’m eager to try peanut butter and brown goat cheese and caviar. Guess we’ll have that for dinner tonight since the chicken is a no go.
    And Joanne, I’ll try to get to your question soon!

  37. I don’t think any other subject has inspired so very many comments…I ‘ve thoroughly enjoyed all (or most all) of the ideas.
    Is it in very bad taste to mention that I prefer almond butter? I just get a bag of Costco almonds, cover the S blade in my Cuisinart with them and run the machine for fifteen minutes or so. The lovely results keep well in the refrigerator and are great in a sliced banana well dotted with raisins. Power snack!

  38. I am surprised that nobody has mentionned celery yet. One of my favourite combos is a whole stalk of celery with pb, topped with raisins and carrots. We called them Ants on a Log growing up. I am not sure what to call it with the carrots but that makes a yummy combo with the crunch!
    Once, while my mother was away my father made us peanut butter sandwiches with cut up marshmallows- an instant hit. The one thing that I CRAVED while pregnant with both kids was a slice of really dark brown bread (oatmeal molasses with oats on top is my preference) smeared with peanut butter, pop in a couple of cut marshmallows and fold in half. I think I had one every evening of my third trimester with my first! A full glass of milk is a necessary companion.

  39. Wow! Lots of ideas but I think I’ll stay away from the mayo. My husband has taught our kids to love peanut butter on pretty much anything, but their favorite accompaniments are pancakes, waffles and muffins. I love it between two graham crackers, with a glass of milk on the side~ yum!

  40. Because of this post when I was at the store yesterday peanut butter was on my mind. Walking down the snack food aisle I remembered one more delicious way to enjoy PB…spread thick between two graham crackers!

  41. My husband also grew up with fluffernutters. It was something his mom did. I’m pretty sure she also did something unmentionable involving peanut butter and mayonnaise. I’ll stick to the fluffernutters, thankyouverymuch.

    After I went to France and experienced the wonders of Nutella I started making myself Nutella and PB sandwiches. Yum. I also like peanut butter on my banana bread sometimes.

    (I am amazed by the concept of pickles and peanut butter.)

  42. I don’t know if this one will top anything: I enjoy peanut butter dog biscuits my sister makes. My family finds it very odd. On the one hand, I must agree with them it is at least unusual to eat food intended for dogs. But on the other hand, the biscuits are just made out of ingredients humans normally consume. The treats are so good, I think, largely because they aren’t as sweet as many cookies from recipes designed for humans. (Incidentally, my mom thinks I was the child who would eat store-bought dog food from the dog’s bowl growing up. THAT I would no longer do!)

  43. My Grandpa taught us to eat our PBJ with wala wala sweet onions. Yum! We also enjoyed sticking tortilla chips in the middle of our sandwich for extra crunch!

  44. Peanut Butter Dog biscuits!
    That reminds me of something funny my Dad used to do…
    He would cover a dip-sized Frito with a gigantic blob of peanut butter, and give it to our basset hound.
    The dog was so appreciative, and the peanut butter left him grinning and chomping with such gusto, and for such a long time. Ridiculous fun.

  45. Okay, I’m a bit late here, but can’t resist sharing my favorite: chunky peanut butter, bacon (preferably still warm), and red onion slices on whole wheat. MMMMM!

  46. My mouth is WATERING! I am a total peanut butter addict, and have taught my children to regularly proclaim the greatness of God for creating peanut butter. And I’m thankful to my husband for introducing me to the real deal — the all-natural, turbo-charged, salted, super chunky, peanut-glory kind (since I grew up on Skippy). Thank you all so much for sharing these bold and enticing ideas! Mmmmm… I know what we’re having for lunch today.

  47. My daughter sent me to your blog as proof that if I would just post about peanut butter my comment section would (finally) take off. She may be on to something!

    While I’m racking my brain for a peanut butter related post, I did link to your closet organization post. Thanks for being willing to share your experiences with younger (and older) women. Titus 2 Gals are a rare breed.

    Debbie (turning 53 in a few days, and not feeling all that wise….)

  48. Oh, I totally forgot to mention my favorite PB concoction in the midst of my earlier penaut butter thrill! Someone has already mentioned it, but it would definitely be peanut butter frosting on chocolate cake. In fact, it’s the only frosting I’ll eat!

  49. Emily, the PB, bacon, and onion on wheat actually sounds pretty good. I’ll have to try that someday.

  50. My family is Dutch Canadian and we eat both peanut butter/brown sugar and peanut butter/chocolate sprinkle sandwiches. (by the way, chocolate sprinkles are called hagelslag in Dutch – chocolate hail.)
    Our new pastor and his wife are from the States, and for coffee hour after church she made a huge plate of PB and J sandwiches that *looked* beautiful. Really. But none were eaten because up here in the Great White North we don’t eat peanut butter and jelly together. Ugh. Y’all up there are straaaange people. 😀

  51. The most horrible combination I’ve ever heard of, though, is peanut butter-and-raw-onion sandwiches. *shudders*

  52. Peanut butter, chocolate, and banana is the best, however. Or honey instead of chocolate. Delicious.

  53. I just finished eating a Peanut butter, Mayo and pickle sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread. I was raised on this and love it to this day. I asked my mom (85) where this came from and she thought it was from camp when she was a little girl. I had never heard of anyone who ate these sandwiches before but now I at least know that our family is not alone in appreciating this culinary delight. I haven’t been able to convince any of my kids to eat this but they have a Norwegian mother who has NO imagination and even less taste.
    Hint: Try this with Trader Joes mayo and some spicy pickles. Pure delight!!!!

  54. As a kid my grandmother use to make us Peanutbutter and fluff sandwiches. It was a sticky sweet combination that as a child was just to die for.

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