Olya Hill (Living Notes)


Jif & Smuckers loved teaming up with our favorite bloggers to spread some love for PB&J. We asked Olya Hill, creative director of Living Notes blog to share some tips on how to make some connections with her kids over fun combinations of PB&J. Check out our excerpt below for some awesome PB&J combos, and be sure to check out Olya’s whole post for more heart warming tips. 

Whoever invented PB&J sandwiches is a genius!

We are not quite at school yet; ours starts after Labor day, but currently we are doing both, soaking in the last days of SF “summer” and prepping for school, which means there is lots of excitement and buzz around here!

Moments like this are very special. I stumbled on a set of printed photo books from a couple of years ago last Saturday while cleaning. I couldn’t believe how much not only the kids have changed even in such a short period of time, but how different our life is today comparing to what it was even three years ago. I noted in my mind too, how happy I was that we put extra effort into recording those moments and memories. It may seem at times that snapping pictures with the camera is too much hustle and best moments are engraved in the memory (which is partially true), but the reality is, life is so full, those memories that are fresh today will dim a little in a month, and even more so after a couple of years, so it is well worth the effort.

PB&J sandwiches are such a classic in my eyes. I was about 10 years old when we met our American friends for the first time and they had introduced us to this iconic, cultural recipe. I have very warm memories attached to a simple PB&J sandwich. I wanted to share the warmth of this memory with my children as well, so that throughout the year and for years to come every time they pick up a PB&J sandwich they will think of moments we spent together, whether they are 5, 15 or 35.  We wanted to put a little twist on them, though! So here is what we came up with.

First, we used Jif Creamy PB and Smucker’s Strawberry Jam. We did both savory and sweet sandwiches. I also used sprouted bread for sandwiches because it is more nutritious, and for some of the sweet options I also used PB to offset the sugary sweetness with fresh roasted peanut butter taste and 7 grams of protein.

Here are some of the combinations the kids liked most from the savory choices:

  • PB + diced zucchini +sweet potato ribbons + pomegranate seeds
  • PB + diced broccoli + sweet potato ribbons + sliced cucumber
  • PB + sliced zucchini + diced broccoli + sliced mushrooms
  • PB + sliced tomato + sliced zucchini

Here are the sweet combinations that were favorites:

  • PB + sliced strawberries + sliced figs + pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 PB + 1/2 Jam + sliced figs + blueberries + raspberries + pomegranate seeds
  • Jam + slides apples + sliced strawberries + blueberries
  • Jam + sliced strawberries + sliced figs + pomegranate seeds

Any of the choices can go well with other fruits such as grapes or dates, and most of all have fun as you make your own creations!