The PBJ sandwich is one of the most classic and iconic American meals that has been around for decades. With just two pieces of bread, some peanut butter, and some jelly, you have the most delicious lunchtime sandwich. It’s so easy to make that you would think nobody could mess up the recipe, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, the Air Force changed the original PBJ recipe to make a healthier – and much worse – version of this beloved staple.
The Air Force PBJ Sandwich
With the Air Force on a mission to promote having a healthy diet, the PBJ sandwich is the first to get a change. Alongside the decidedly not great number of PBJ sandwich calories, there are some great nutritional benefits, including the sandwich being high in protein. Depending on how the sandwich is made, however, it can either be an asset to a healthy meal or an unhealthy snack that ends in you just putting a bunch of sugar into your body.
So, since the PBJ is really either a hit or miss healthy meal, the Air Force’s new Nutrition Kitchen program came up with what they believe is a healthier version of the PBJ sandwich. Instead of using bread, they’ve substituted it for toasted sweet potato.
How To Make Air Force Food: The PBJ
To make the PBJ Air Force-style, you slice a sweet potato into flat pieces, broil them, and then you have your new “healthy” bread. On top of the sweet potato, you use peanut-only peanut butter (a.k.a. options with no added sugars) and some fresh fruit on top of that. The types of fruits they suggest include bananas, blackberries, and blueberries, but frankly, you can place any kind of fruit you desire right on top of your potato.
Although the recipe may be a healthier option if you are craving a PBJ, the new nutritious option for food in the Air Force may be a little far-fetched. If you are still able to get nutritious benefits from a classic PBJ, could the Air Force peanut butter sandwich really be worth it?
What Is the Nutrition Kitchen Program?
In June 2022, the Air Force launched the Nutrition Kitchen program, which is a video series of online cooking classes that are geared toward service members and their families.
The program was created to promote healthy eating habits and provide options for service members to make realistic changes to their diets. The program also gives service members and their families the opportunity to learn more about nutrition and the science behind the healthy meal choices they’re promoting.
Every episode that’s released introduces new options to “level up” a classic meal with ingredient substitutions, like subbing the bread on a PBJ sandwich with broiled sweet potato. The program is taught by Chef Tech. Sgt. Opal Poullard, the culinary instructor at the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence in Fort Lee, Virginia.
The series is hit or miss on which ingredients are nutritious, tasty, and fun to make. However, the recipes that are featured are easy to make and affordable while also providing the fuel that’s necessary for military nutrition.
The Nutrition Kitchen program will periodically release new videos and recipes that will help you change your diet into a healthy one, if it’s not already. Other recipes include banana pancakes with date syrup and a cauliflower black bean ranchero taco bowl. But believe it or not, the most viewed video for the program at the moment is the new sweet potato PBJ.
The new Air Force PBJ sandwich is just the first classic American meal they changed up on us, so keep an eye out for future changes they may make to our favorite meals, be they for better or worse.
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