Peanut butter and jelly anything was basically my life as a kid.
Does anyone remember those storebought PB and J sandwich cookies?
You know, the super soft ones that just oozed childhood and went perfectly in your lunchbox?
Oh, my! I lived off those for years it seemed, and don’t even get me started on actual PB and J sandwiches! (You all already know I love my PB and J spread!)
Grape was my go-to choice flavor for jelly or jam, and I was certainly picky about what kind I used. I dolloped the sweet, gooey goodness on anything I could think of back in the day, including fast food biscuits from (gasp!) Hardees which were like pieces of heaven to me as a kid on a Saturday morning.
My daddy used to know to get me one of those biscuits with extra butter (cringe!) with extra packets of grape jelly to go with it. I didn’t want meat or cheese on my biscuit, but it’d be a bad day if my biscuit wasn’t loaded with some grape jelly! 😉 And you can bet your bottom dollar that I always asked for extra grape jam if they didn’t give it to me the first time!
But PB and J sandwich cookies and sandwiches were always my favorite way to enjoy the classic combo.
I’m a creamy peanut butter gal too; no crunchy PB for me! I like a smooth spread to go with the sweet and sticky, goopy grape jam, so that’s what you’ll see used in these delicious, poppable, healthy, no-bake PB and J Bites! (But you can obviously use crunchy if you prefer.)
The difference between this recipe and what I used to consume as a kid is that these bites aren’t loaded with refined sugar, hydrogenated oil, and who knows what else like my former favorite treats were. These actually taste like those peanut butter sandwich cookies I used to eat, but these are actually good for you because they’re made from REAL ingredients!
And if you love peanut butter as much as I do, then you will love these perfectly poppable treats!
These bites are no-bake and so simple to keep on hand, so they are perfect when you just need a little bite of something after a meal or for a quick snack.
I’m also proud to say these are “man-approved” because when your step-dad and brother come up to you and tell you how good something you made is—and they actually know it’s healthy and ask you to make more— then you know you’ve done something right.
But I promise, I didn’t do anything but slap a few real ingredients together. The real magical powers in these bites are found in the real ingredients that they’re made of.
- 1.5 cups gluten-free quick cooking oats (or regular rolled will work just fine)
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (sub almond if you're allergic to peanut butter)
- 1 tablespoon of raw coconut nectar, 5 full drops of liquid stevia, or 1 tablespoon of your choice natural liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave, raw honey, etc.)
- 1-2 tablespoons 100% pure grape jam (or your favorite flavor) - choose plain or sugar-free
- 2 tablespoons water
- Grab a medium size bowl and add the oats, peanut butter, and coconut nectar to the bowl. Set a glass plate or square dish aside; you'll need it later.
- Take your bowl of ingredients, and using a spatula, start to mix the ingredients together. It may be difficult, so I suggest adding the 2 tablespoons of water here, and just using your hands to mix it all up. Yes, it will be messy but it's worth it!
- Roll the ingredients together in a large ball of dough. You want to make sure the ingredients are all combined well. If you have a mixer, you can also just use that, but do not use a blender; it won't work.
- Once you have a large ball of dough, flatten it out into a square on your plate or in your square dish. Shape it into a large square evenly in size so it almost looks like a piece of bread. It should be about 1/2 inch thick on the sides and 4 inches wide by 5 inches tall. (My piece looked like a super thick piece of sandwich bread!)
- Once you have your dough shaped, popped the plate/dish in the fridge about 15 minutes so it can set.
- Come back once it's set, and spread 1-2 tablespoons of a plain jam of your choice (I used Eden Farms Grape Butter) on the top of the square of dough. Spread out the jam on top like you're making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Cut the square of dough in half, lengthwise, just like two sandwich halves.
- Now, take one half of the dough with a spatula, and stack it down on top of the other half of dough, just like you were making a sandwich. You want jam on jam in the middle, just like a sandwich.
- Cut the stacked pieces of dough into 8 - 10 squares.
- Let this set about 10 minutes to chill.
- Place the squares on a plate to serve, and enjoy!
- * These will keep one week in the fridge, and you can also wrap them in saran wrap for on-the-go snacks. Or, you can even freeze them in little baggies too.
- * Feel free to sub out whatever nut butters and jams you like, and you can find my favorite ingredients that I used below.
Ingredient Options and Nutrition Notes:
Not into grape jam? Use whatever kind you want!
I used one by Eden Foods which is made from nothing but … grapes! No sugar is added whatsoever, and it’s honestly the best jam I’ve ever had in my life (and that’s really saying something for me!). In the main recipe, there’s a customizable option for you to use your favorite flavor of jam and your favorite natural sweetener. You’ll need both to make this recipe really hit home.
You’ll see that in this recipe, I used a natural liquid sweetener (raw coconut nectar) in the main recipe. I don’t ever use added sugars on a daily basis (even natural ones) since I’m very sensitive to them, but in recipes like this, the amount used is very minimal per bite. You can try using liquid stevia if you wish (which I considered doing), but it may not work as well. Just a note! I would not try using a dry sweetener in this recipe or these bites will fall apart.
What’s your favorite way to eat PB and J and what’s your favorite flavor of jam?
Want more healthy PB recipes? Check these out: