While more than 50 percent of peanut butter connoisseurs admit their favorite sandwich is the classic PB&J, an adventurous 14 percent say their favorite combo is one unique to them. Those one-of-a-kind recipes are what Southern Peanut Growers sought in its recent "PB&J My Way" contest. Peanut butter lovers nationwide were called upon to reinvent the traditional sandwich, drawing hundreds of entries that also were purposefully created to support the nation's leading hunger relief organization, Feeding America.
Pledging to match one jar of peanut butter per recipe submission, SPG beat its goal. The organization will donate 3,000 jars of peanut butter to Feeding America's nationwide network of food banks this fall.
"Not only did this contest inspire imagination among peanut butter lovers," said Leslie Wagner, executive director, Southern Peanut Growers, "it also gave participants a unique opportunity to make a difference by providing nutritious food to the people who need it most."
SPG narrowed the recipe entries down to the top ten creative sandwiches. Rules were simple: include peanut butter, and offer a fresh perspective on the traditional treat. Below are SPG's top three picks:
The Bangkok Peanut Butter Sandwich, submitted by Michael C., California
Recipe Excerpt: A mouth-watering spin on Thai fare. Aside from peanut butter, star ingredients include Serrano pepper, soy sauce, coconut and mint leaves. The spread is layered over sliced bread and topped with cucumber slices and a hint of orange marmalade.
Peanut Butter, Strawberries and Basil Sandwich, submitted by Merry G., California
Recipe Excerpt: Simple to prepare yet rich in flavor. Peanut butter-covered baguette slices are topped with freshly sliced strawberries. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh, chopped basil.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich, submitted by Dyan C., Virginia
Recipe Excerpt: A refreshing, sweet frozen treat. Two dark chocolate cookies are smothered with peanut butter and vanilla ice cream to resemble a moon pie. Roll crushed peanuts, toasted coconut, jimmies and/or chocolate chips along the edges for added deliciousness.
SPG awarded a one-year supply of peanut butter (one case) to each of the 10 winners. Complete recipes are featured at www.peanutbutterlovers.com.