For this Wednesday I’m throwing it back to The Elvis Panini hoping your days are filled with as much fun, food and kids as mine are these days!
When I gave birth to Chloe and the baby my midwife asked me what meal I would like to eat to celebrate and nourish my body. I’m sure I could have picked anything under the sun like Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Lemons and Cherry Tomatoes to Southern Style Pork Tenderloin, but my very favorite meal is The World’s Greatest Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. In fact, I ate one everyday for a week after having her last month when turned into wanting warm sandwiches everyday. After seeing a huge bunch of bananas in the kitchen I started whipping up these Elvis Panini Sandwiches for everyone. They’re not only easy (especially for a new mom to make and nourish her body), but they’re also super satisfying when you want something crunchy and sweet, but also packed with a fruit, protein and carbohydrate.
I literally have hundreds of cookbooks I started collecting when I was a little girl and continue to this day. I admit that after all these years, it’s gotten a little out of control, but I love the endless variety and different styles of books out there. There are also some genuinely odd and funny ones as well. The Elvis Presley cookbook “Are you Hungry Tonight” is great. Just looking at the table of contents makes your arteries feel like they are clogging, but the one recipe Elvis is best know for is the “fried peanut butter and banana sandwich”. I’m not saying that it doesn’t sound incredibly delicious, but it’s not exactly one of the first dishes I would want to turn my son on to given the “fried” approach. So, always in service of trying healthy approaches to not-so-healthy classics, I think I came up with a good one… Mini Elvis Panini’s.
I recently had over a group of little ones ranging from 15 months to 4 years old and they devoured these sandwiches faster then I could make them. Since I still haven’t given Kenya peanut butter (our Doctor recommended we wait until he’s over the age of 2 in case of allergies), I made his with almond butter (feel free to replace it with peanut, soy or cashew butter if that’s what your little one prefers). Almond butter is an ideal first nut for babies to try since it has a low allergic potential and almonds are packed with calcium, vitamins B and E. By using the panini press, the heat melted the banana and almond butter together while pressing the sandwich together for smaller mouths to get bigger bites. And….same great taste, no frying. These mini sandwiches are delicious and will give your little one tons of energy for playing.
- 2 Piece Whole Wheat of Ezekiel Bread, 7 grain or cinnamon raisin
- 1 Tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
- 1/3 Banana, cut into several slices cut lengthwise
- Spread almond butter on one side of bread and cover with 3 slices of banana.
- Top with the second slice of bread and place in a panini press on medium/high heat.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sandwich is pressed and golden.
- Cool thoroughly and cut into 4 squares and serve.