Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Make That PB&J as Healthy as Possible
If you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as many Americans do (me included), than why not make it as healthy a meal possible. This is one of those situations where in order to enjoy this food you must consume processed foods, so in order to make this meal (or snack) as healthy as possible you must choose the healthiest ingredients. That means organic, minimally processed, with the fewest ingredients listed as possible.
Since you can't have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter, let's start there. I recommend Organic Freshly Ground Unsalted Peanuts, it's what I buy and it tastes great! Unlike prepackaged processed peanut butter, this contains no added salt, sugar, or preservatives so you know all you are getting are healthy organic peanuts. You can find this at certain food stores in the organic section, or at many health food stores.
Next is the jelly jam or preserves (depending on your preference), and this is where your sandwich can turn VERY unhealthy in a heartbeat. When choosing your jam or preserves try to look for organic with as few ingredients listed as possible, and pay close attention to how many times sugar is listed. This is the part people fail to understand. Many jams and preserves (organic or not) not only have sugar listed multiple times on the label, but often it is the first ingredient listed. What is the sense of that? Fruit, especially berries, are sweet enough, so why would you want so much sugar added... and who in their right mind would buy anything where sugar is listed first?
For me I choose Crofter's Organic Black Current fruit spread (many flavors available). You'll notice right away from the first spoon full that it's minimally processed (berries are still in the full berry form), and none of the fruit spreads have any added sugar; plus they taste great!
Finally, the bread. Try to choose an organic whole grain bread, and as always choose something with the fewest ingredients listed. I like Mestemacher's Organic flat breads, they have few ingredients no added sugar and are very hardy, plus they taste great.
See Soy and Dairy Food Replacements for any of the products listed.