How to Make a Nutritious Seed Butter and Jelly Sandwich (SB&J)

What is portable, satisfying, wholesome, safe at room temperature and loved by both kindergartners and grandparents? A PB&J sandwich. Not much beats the classic combination of nut butter and jelly sandwiched between two slices of bread for a crowd-pleasing lunch or after school snack. In fact, nut butter and jelly sandwiches are versatile enough to be enjoyed at just about any time of day or brought to school or work, and are still delicious after sitting in a backpack or purse for hours.

Here at 88 Acres, we are partial to stepping it up a notch. Instead of peanut or almond butter, we prefer seed butter for its heartier texture and distinctive flavor, as well as it standout nutritional profile. Sunflower seed butter and pumpkin seed butter take over for peanut and almond butter in a delicious SB&J sandwich, providing a burst of antioxidant vitamin E, inflammation-reducing magnesium, immune-boosting zinc, energy-promoting copper, bone-building phosphorus and energy-delivering iron.

Since we know that many schools and classrooms are now nut-free, SB&J sandwiches are a perfect addition to a healthy and fun lunchbox - for students and teachers alike! The sky’s the limit when it comes to putting together flavor and food combinations. To get the most nutrition out of the SB&J, complement the protein and healthy fats of the seed butter with high-fiber whole grain bread and antioxidant-rich fruit. Together, the complex carbohydrates from the whole grains, fruit and seeds deliver energy to body systems in a slower and steadier rate which keeps one’s energy levels from spiking and crashing. The unsaturated fats in seed butter help the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K, to maintain proper hormone production, nourish our brain cells, and prevent disease in blood vessels and cell tissues. Protein is an important piece of the balanced lunch puzzle, and one that isn’t missed in a well-made SB & J. Two tablespoons of seed butter spread on a sandwich provides a serving of nutrient-rich, plant-based protein. Whole grain bread, hemp and chia seeds all offer an added dose of protein if you need a bit more in your sandwich. Read on for a few delicious, balanced variations on your SB&J:

Whole-grain bread with strawberry chia jelly and pumpkin seed butter. Nutritious grains and healthy fats for a great breakfast!  
Homemade strawberry jam in glass jar. No-added sugar, homemade jam.

1. Classic Seed Butter and Chia Jelly Sandwich

For lovers of the classic combination of a sweet jam and creamy butter, a mellow spread of pumpkin seed butter mixed with sweet strawberry fits the bill. Feel free to use whatever kind of fruit preserve you would like, but our strawberry chia jam recipe is easy to prepare and adds an extra boost of protein, healthy fats and fiber to the sandwich thanks to the super seeds.

For the chia jam, heat 1 cup of frozen strawberries in a saucepan on low heat, and stir in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. If using fresh strawberries, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to prevent burning. Stir the strawberries occasionally and cook until melted into a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use! 

Vanilla spice sunflower seed butter on sprouted grain bread, topped with figs and sea salt. Spice up breakfast, pack for a picnic, or take to the beach!

2. Salted Vanilla Spice Seed Butter and Fig Sandwich

Salty and sweet is a classic combination for good reason. The Vanilla Spice Sunflower Seed Butter pairs like caramel with a sprinkle of sea salt, and is lightened in texture and flavor by the addition of dried or fresh figs. This one is sure to please even the most refined palates.

Multi-grain, seeded bread with mashed butternut squash sprinkled with raisins and currants. Great recipe to try out in the fall!

3. Toasted Seed Butter and Mashed Butternut Sandwich

Didn’t think you could get veggies into a seed butter sandwich? Winter squash like butternut is naturally sweet and pairs well with fall-inspired flavors and spices that parallel its seasonality. It is also chock-full of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. 

  • 2 slices sprouted grain bread (gluten-free if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons 88 Acres Vanilla Spice Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash, mashed (or canned pure butternut squash puree)
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins or currants
  • Drizzle of maple syrup
  • Dash of cinnamon 

Roast a whole squash, or purchase pre-cut squash and bake in the oven, drizzled with olive oil at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until soft. Alternatively, you could use canned butternut squash purée. Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Spice Sunflower Seed Butter and mash 1/4 cup of the squash on each slice. Top with golden raisins or currants, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a harvest-worthy treat.

Sliced banana, dates, and dark chocolate sunflower seed butter wrapped in a tortilla. Healthy dessert option or fuel for student athletes.

4. Sports Fuel Dark Chocolate Date & Banana Seed Butter Wrap

For student athletes or weekend warriors, SB&J sandwiches serve as excellent pre-game or halftime fuel. When you need energy quickly, skip the whole grain bread in favor of something with less fiber. While high-fiber foods are important to feature in your diet overall, in many people the slow-digesting properties of fiber can actually hinder sports performance in the short term. When your goal is to provide energy to muscles and brain cells without delay, pair seed butter with carbohydrate-rich dates and low-fiber banana, and wrap it up in a flour tortilla. The seed butter will provide just enough protein and fat to make the snack satisfying and buffer the spike in blood sugar, but your body will still be able to benefit from the nutrients quickly, and your digestive system will thank you.

Open-faced english muffin breakfast sandwich with seed  butter, blueberries, and mint. Provides antioxidants and is great for post-workout recovery.

5. Flu-Fighting Mint and Berry Seed Butter English Muffin Sandwich

For post-workout recovery or staving off an illness, load up the SB&J with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytochemicals from rich colored fruits like blueberries, spices like cinnamon and turmeric, and herbs like rosemary, basil and mint. After intense exercise, the body switches into healing mode just like when we are fighting off an infection. The antioxidants in darkly colored fruits and vegetables help our immune system by reducing the burden of inflammation in the body. One caveat: when we are already sick, adding antioxidants may actually reduce the effectiveness of our body’s own immune system, so stick to incorporating them before you fall ill to get the most benefit. 

 

When it comes to building a tasty sandwich, it’s possible to balance both flavor and nutrition. The key is to choose ingredients that serve a purpose. Start with a base of a whole grain bread product (it doesn’t have to be sandwich bread!), add seeds and seed butter for protein and healthy fat, and then choose whole fruits for sweetness with a boost of fiber.

Enter our SB&J Instagram Photo Contest!
A SB&J is a fabulous way to mix up your lunchbox routine. Show us how you make yours by tagging @88acres with the hashtag #SBandJ on Instagram for a chance to win a free jar of 88 Acres Seed Butter.