This blog is proof that you can make healthy upgrades to some of your classic favorite foods. There’s something about a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich that brings back so many childhood memories! And while it’s totally okay to treat yourself to the classic version occasionally, there are also some easy swaps you can make if you want to enjoy a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich more regularly at home. That’s why I’m breaking down the original version and sharing some tips for how to upgrade a classic into a more nutritious but equally delicious sandwich.

For the Bread:

White breads like wonder breads are stripped of much of their nutrients, can be bleached and often contain added sugar. Try to opt for sprouted, whole grain bread when you can (Ezekiel is one of my fav).

For Picking Out a Peanut Butter Brand:

Not all brands are created equal – make sure to check nutrition facts and ingredients. Even some brands of peanut butter labeled “natural” will still include added sugar. I usually opt for brands which ingredients include simply just “peanuts” or “peanuts, salt.” The same goes for other nut/seed butters if you prefer a different flavor.

For the Jam Portion:

I love using fresh fruit instead of jam when I can. Mashed raspberries, strawberry slices or even banana slices are some great options. There are plenty of fresh fruit that taste great on an upgraded peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so I thought I’d share 6 of my favorite fruits to add:


For the grape sandwich- Cut the grapes in half. Spread natural peanut butter on both sides of the bread and lay the grapes down flat. Close the sandwich and enjoy.

For the peach sandwich- Slice a fresh peach. Spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread and add your peaches. Close the top and eat it!

For the banana chocolate chip- Cut the banana into thick slices. Spread natural peanut butter on both sides of bread and lay the bananas flat. Top with a handful of chocolate chips, close the sandwich and dig in.

For the raspberry jam- Mash fresh raspberries to create a “jam” or use my raspberry chia seed jam recipe below! Spread peanut butter onto the bread, add your chosen mixture, and close it. You’re good to go!

For the kiwi sandwich- Cut a kiwi into thick slices, then cut each half into another bite-sized half. Add the kiwi to your bread and peanut butter and dig in.

For the blackberry jam- You can mash the blackberries by themselves or sub blackberries in my jam recipe above!

If you aren’t a fan of having whole fruit on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are also plenty of ways to create your own upgraded jam at home. Highly processed jellies can be loaded with sugar and made with high fructose corn syrup so I also included an easy, alternative recipe for homemade jelly that you’ll love, with simple ingredients!⁠ Note: I used raspberries, but you can easily sub in your favorite fruit of choice.


What you need for the the raspberry jam:⁠

3 cups raspberries

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp lemon juice⁠⁠

What to do:⁠

1- Bring the raspberries, water, syrup, and lemon juice to a boil.

2- Mash the berries using a fork.

3- Reduce the heat to a simmer for 9 minutes.

4- Stir in the chia seeds and cook for another 9 minutes.

5- Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

6- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge!

Additionally, there are some better berry preserves out there that at least contain less additives than Smuckers, if you really prefer to go that route.

Which one is your favorite version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?