Friends of ours gave us a panini press as a wedding present and for some reason it sat in the closet for years until we had kids. I don't know why we didn't break it out sooner because it's hands down one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment. It's amazing how just hot pressing a sandwich can turn average bread and filling into a rich, gooey and crusty creation that my kids, their friends (and our mommy and daddy friends) adore.
Surprisingly, making a panini doesn't take much longer than a regular sandwich. In fact, while I'm packing the rest of Kenya's lunch I just put his sandwich in the press for a couple of minutes and by the time I'm finished, so is the sandwich, ready to be packed away.
When most people think about paninis, cheese comes to mind, but I thought hot pressing a PB&J was a cool way to liven up a classic school lunch sandwich. With plenty of potassium from the banana slices, carbohydrates from the bread and protein from the nut butter, this is a well rounded treat that will keep your kids going in the middle of the day when they need it most. You'll be hard pressed to beat it. ;)
PB & J Banana Panini (Serves 4)
- 2 Bananas
- 8 Slices whole wheat bread
Preparation1. Cut the banana in half. Then cut each half into strips lengthwise (so the pieces are long and flat).
2. Spread the peanut butter on one side of four pieces of the bread and top with the several slices of bananas.
3. Spread the jelly on one side of the four remaining pieces of bread and then place on top of the banana slices.
4. Place sandwiches in a panini maker, press and cook for 3-4 minutes or until sandwich is pressed and golden.