Product Review: The 365 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

A childhood favorite re-imagined with healthy Whole Foods replacements

Whole Foods' 365 Organic products can be healthier replacements for classic, processed peanut-butter-and-jelly ingredients.

Can a totally organic, healthified peanut butter & jelly sandwich really compare to the deliciously synthetic, Wonder Bread delicacy of those elementary-school lunch box days? Some PB&J traditionalists might be skeptical.

To put this question to the test, we picked three of Whole Food’s all-natural, organic 365 products to replace the generic PB&J staples and made a sandwich so we could taste the truth for ourselves. An individual analysis of each ingredient is necessary to evaluate the sandwich as a whole, so read below for our findings.

Wonder Bread White replaced with… 365 Organic Early Bird Multi Seed Small Batch Bread: Without bread, there’d be no sandwich — that’s a lot of pressure to live up to. Thankfully, Whole Food’s Multi-Seed bread is hearty enough to stand up to the challenge. Made with organic sunflower, pumpkin, and poppy seeds as well as whole grains, this bread sounds like a health nut’s heaven but tastes sweet and simple enough for a traditional PB&J. Meanwhile, it’s got the added benefit of being a better vehicle for peanut butter and jelly than soft, easily-torn white bread.

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Jif or Skippy Peanut Butter replaced with… 365 Organic Cashew Butter:
While Whole Foods does have a 365 Organic peanut butter, we decided to switch things up a bit and go for the more unorthodox cashew butter. While the texture might be off-putting to some — it’s a little more oily and liquid-y than typical processed peanut butter — we found its nothing-but-nuts flavor very satisfying. Made with all-natural cashews and a bit of safflower oil, the taste is rich and savory with the perfect hint of natural sweetness from the nuts. Still, while it makes for a great spin on a classic, it’s no peanut butter.

Smucker’s Grape or Strawberry Jelly replaced with… 365 Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread:
This 100 percent natural fruit spread looks like any typical processed jam, but the difference is in the taste. Overly sweetened Smuckers can’t compare with the natural, tangy-sweet flavor of this organic variety. The brighter raspberry flavor also worked much better than traditional grape to round out the nuttier tastes of our au naturel PB&J.

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The Verdict:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich fundamentalists may not be swayed, but for those looking for a more grown-up, sophisticated take on this simple lunch box classic, 365 Organic products present the ideal sandwich solution. Overall, the 365 PB&J tasted heartier, sturdier, and fresher than the traditional sandwich — and it just felt more like a solid lunch.