We're not usually big on gimmicky recipes, but the beginning of another school year put us in the mood to make something fun for lunch boxes, even if our own school days are long behind us.
We've seen a few peanut butter and jelly "sushi" recipes, but they are usually more like thin wraps, and we wanted to make something with a little more structure. And sure, it's essentially just a peanut butter and fruit sandwich, but we had fun with it and we think younger eaters might too.
We used fresh apple and mango, sliced into thin strips to give the rolls some body, and accented them with raisins and toasted coconut.
We're planning to keep this idea in our back pocket for the next time we find ourselves entertaining children, and let them play with the combinations. The possibilities are endless - crushed nuts, halved grapes, peaches or pears, maybe even celery or carrot sticks. Or for something really sweet - banana and chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter and Fruit "Sushi"
4 slices whole wheat bread
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 Granny Smith apple or 1 mango, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup raisins or 1/4 cup toasted coconut
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Equipment: sushi mat, plastic wrap, rolling pin or tortilla press
If you're using apples and won't be eating the rolls right away, toss the strips with a little lemon juice.
For the rolls, start by flattening the slices of bread. We used a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap, but a rolling pin would work fine too. Cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, covering the whole slice. Add desired fillings horizontally on the bottom third of the slice.
Using the mat, carefully roll from the bottom of the slice, tucking the ingredients under. Pull back the mat and plastic wrap and finish rolling the bread. Use the mat to shape and secure the roll. Slice into 5-6 pieces. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
(Images: Joanna Miller)