06 July 2006

Streamlining PB&J sandwich prep

Dad (who's raising4boys) optimizes his peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich assembly line by making an entire loaf's-worth and then freezing them. I queried him further, because my experience with frozen pre-made sandwiches was terrible, but he swears that with a good-quality bread, they turn out wonderfully. (If you try this hack, let us know how it goes.)

He uses this technique to ease the morning lunch-packing crunch before school, but it's equally helpful during the summer for spur-of-the-moment picnics.

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My midwife suggested making up a whole loaf like this and then putting it in the fridge post-partum for quick, protein snacks for the older kids and for me while so busy nursing a newborn. (But when you have kids who all like it made DIFFERENTLY...what do you do? Plain PB vs. Crunchy PB...jelly or no jelly...blah blah blah!)

By the way... The 'good' bread that we use is EarthGrains Honey Wheatberry.

Absolutely! Throw a frozen sandwhich in the lunch sack & it's thawed by lunch time. It's not any different than the Smucker's PB&J that sell in the frozen food section --they're good, too.

To keep the bread from getting soggy with jelly as the sandwich thaws, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on both pieces of bread first.

Also, most lunch meats / deli meats freeze just fine, although ham releases more water as it thaws than some other kinds.

Super idea!! Just wish they hadn't all but outlawed peanut butter at schools, camps, etc.

Yep, it works great; when I worked as a naturalist I would do this all the time for myself. I found they stayed a little better (and I avoided garbage) by using Wrap-N-Mats: http://www.reusablebags.com/store/wrapnmat-p-2.html

My girl's still in the no-peanut-butter phase, but as soon as she's allowed I'll be breaking out this hack.

My parents used to do this for school lunches for me and my brothers -- two or three loaves worth made once a month really cut down on getting-ready-for-school hassle.

Another good combination is cream cheese on raisin bread.

I just wanted to add that if you store your all-natural Peanut Butter upside down the oil mixes in all by itself--no stirring and no mess. It also seems to keep that last inch from turning rock hard (but then you don't get to use the honey hack, which I might try anyway because it sounds yummy!)

Hubby also makes really delicious PB and banana sandwiches by mushing half an overripe banana in a custard cup with a big spoonful of peanut butter--mixing the banana in disguises any little brown spots that the kids would normally turn their noses up at.

I do this, too. If you have kids who like different versions (grape v. strawberry or creamy v. crunchy), store them in separate labeled gallon zip-top bags in the freezer.


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