In grade school, I’d open my brown bag lunch to three possible sandwich situations.

1// Egg salad with big chunks of celery (which, at the time, I hated.) {Cry face}

2// Tuna fish on rye with caraway seeds (which, at the time, I also hated.) {Cringe + a whole lotta dirty looks for neighboring lunch mates.}

3// The PB&J {Sigh of relief, big grin, major heart-eyes}

I’ve always had a crush on peanut butter. And the jelly, well, that was just the icing on the cake sammy.

Back then, I obviously didn’t know ANYTHING about high fructose corn syrup or saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, because love is blind…and I was eight.

But now I’m adulting, and I’ve built my life and my business around random, healthy things.

So, whenever I think, “Aw man, I’m in the mood for {insert favorite unhealthy childhood food}” I get to work making a better version…for you…and for me.

Sometimes it looks like this…

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites

Yep, it looks like balls. More accurately, bites. And if you’re scratchin’ your head RN, hear me out.

As I was de- and re-constructing this recipe, I realized that I liked my PB&J crustless (sometimes even breadless) with extra, extra PB (typical) and just a smidge of J.

Basically the reconstruction came down to a spoonful of peanut butter – which isn’t really a recipe. So, I tightened my thinking cap.

That’s when this delicious-sounding idea hit me…

“What if I just made the dang sandwich a SNACKwich?!”

Mostly peanut butter, a lil bread-like fiber (oats + flax), a touch of sweetness (cause, duh), a hit of omegas (chia) and a hint of something jelly-ish (your choice of dried fruit, I went with cranberries).

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites

And that’s how my favorite grade school sandwich became my favorite healthy snack.

If you like to flirt with peanut butter, as much as I do, I present to you:

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites VM3

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites


  • ¾ cup crunchy salted peanut butter
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal (ground flaxseed)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries


  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well until combined.
  2. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 5 -10 minutes.
  3. Using your hands, roll the “dough” mixture into bite-sized balls.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for a month.

Then fall in love with PB&J all over again.

Alternatively, you can run to the fridge and eat a spoonful of peanut butter! 😉

I won’t judge.

Let me know which way you decide to go.


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