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You Can Do Better Than Plain Old PB&J: Here's An Update To Try

Samah Dada
October 14, 2020
Samah Dada
Recipe Developer and cookbook author
By Samah Dada
Recipe Developer and cookbook author
Samah Dada is a New York City-based recipe developer, food photographer, and the blogger behind Dada Eats.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Image by Suzanne Clements / Stocksy
October 14, 2020

I am fairly certain I spent at least six years of my life bringing a PB&J to school as if it were an inherent part of my character and personality (and let's face it: I think it was). I have always been obsessed with peanut butter anything, and the combination of peanut butter and jam, jelly, or fresh berries is something that simply cannot be beat.

Not only is it a nostalgic combination, but it can translate well to something a little more sophisticated and elevated when paired with some fun additions—which is what I wanted to do with this sandwich! It has creamy, thick layers of sunflower seed butter and coconut yogurt. This is offset by the tartness and sweetness of my homemade raspberry chia jam, which works well to balance everything out. 

The recipe also works well with other fruit: Strawberries are a great bet to really transport us back to the PB&J days, and I also love how beautifully blueberries work here as well. To be quite honest, it feels like a perfect dessert that is acceptable to eat for breakfast, lunch, or as a sweet snack—and we love having that versatility!

I love this recipe so much because it's decadent and satisfying while using real ingredients that also happen to be allergy-friendly and gluten-free. This makes it inclusive and accessible even for those who deal with different dietary preferences or restrictions, which is something I always seek to do in the recipes I create.

r&J Sandwich
Image by Samah Dada

Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam Sandwich


For the sandwich:

  • 2 slices of bread (I like Little Northern Bakehouse Honey Oat Bread!)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, plain coconut yogurt 
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower butter 

For the raspberry chia jam:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries 
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1½ tbsp. chia seeds


  1. To make the jam: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the jam on medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reduces and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a jar or container and refrigerate for at least one hour. 
  2. To make the sandwich: ​Spread 1 tablespoon of sunflower butter on each slice of bread.
  3. In a small bowl, mix coconut yogurt and cinnamon together. Spread the cinnamon yogurt mixture onto one slice of the bread, right on top of the sunflower butter.
  4. Place the jam right on top of the coconut yogurt on this slice of bread. Feel free to swirl it a little to get everything incorporated. Option to add an extra dash of cinnamon.
  5. Add the second slice of bread with just the sunflower butter straight on top of the slice with coconut yogurt and jam. Press the slices together firmly. Slice and enjoy!
Samah Dada author page.
Samah Dada
Recipe Developer and cookbook author

Samah Dada is a New York City-based recipe developer, food photographer, and the blogger behind Dada Eats. Drawing inspiration from her Indian heritage and inspired by the foodscapes of London, California, and New York she is the host of #Cooking on the Today show's digital channel and the author of Dada Eats: Love To Cook It.