Move over peanut butter and jelly, cause I know a peanut butter pairing that’s better…fruit!
6 good reasons why whole fruit is better than jelly:
- Taste. Fresh fruit has WAY more flavor than any jelly or jam. Period. ESPECIALLY right now in the summer when fresh berries, peaches, cherries, plums, etc are all in season. But don’t think that PB&F is only a summer dish–it’s great with apples and bananas too!
- Fiber. Essentially all of a fruit’s fiber is lost during the process of making fruit jellies and jams. Fiber is important in slowing digestion and preventing blood sugar spikes. Even the “just fruit” varieties contain little fiber. FYI, “just fruit” jams are your best bet nutritionally in the jelly aisle because they usually contain less added sugar, which brings me to my third point:
- Added sugar. Fruit naturally has a lot of sugar, which is fine because it also naturally has a lot of fiber to help slow down the digestion of that sugar to prevent blood sugar spikes (see above). Jelly and jams, however, have sugar added to them as a way to not only enhance fruits’ sweetness but also as a preservative. Jelly can last in the fridge a long time because of its added sugar.
- Texture. Adding cut up fruit to your sandwich adds multiple different textures that help mix up that tired PB&J to make it a new and exciting meal. Switching the type of fruit you use will not only change the flavor but the texture of the sandwich as well. Swapping out jelly flavors doesn’t do that.
- Appearance. PB&F looks cooler than PB&J…on Instagram and in real life. We eat with our eyes first, so looks do matter. I like to have my PB&F as an open-faced sandwich aka PB&F toast.
- Accounting. Jelly doesn’t count toward your daily fruit recommendation. Fruit (obviously) does, making PB&Fs an easy way to add more fruit to your diet. You can get about 1/2 cup of fruit on your PB&F. Adults aged 19-30 should aim for about 2 cups of fruit a day. After 30, females need less, about 1.5 cups/day. Head to MyPlate for more information on what 2 cups of fruit looks like and the recommendations for other age groups.
There’s no recipe for this post, just a method (and it’s one you already know): Take a piece of WHOLE GRAIN bread/bagel/tortilla/etc, toast it if you’d like, and spread on some nut butter** (about a tablespoon per slice of bread). Next cut up your choice of fruit, or a combination of fruits, and place on top. For an extra little something sprinkle on cinnamon. Add another piece of bread with nut butter on top to make a sandwich or, my favorite way, keep it as an open-faced sandwich. Enjoy 🙂
**Quick note about the nut butter: Chose whatever kind you like: peanut butter, almond, sunflower, pistachio, cashew….just make sure its ingredient list does not contain anything besides the nut and salt. Anything else and you don’t want it. The NY Times just had an article comparing which foods nutrition professionals believe are healthy and which foods Americans think are healthy…spoiler alert: Everyone disagrees! Part of the reason for this disagreement is relevant to our discussion today. On the list, nutrition professionals and the general public both labeled peanut butter as a healthy food. It is. But, peanut butter with added sugar and partially hydrogenated oil is not. In the article, however, this distinction is not made. The same is true with many other foods on the list. How a food is prepared matters. All peanut butters are not equal in taste, nutrition, or appearance. Choice is great, but can be confusing when following a blanket statement like “peanut butter is healthy.” So, to clarify, I would consider peanut butter that contains ONLY peanuts, and maybe some salt, a “healthy” food to eat frequently.