This sandwich needs some ‘splainin. “Tropical” is one of those food words that can mean anything from, “it contains tropical ingredients,” to, “I made it while wearing a hula skirt.” This Tropical PB&J is solidly more of the former, mostly because I couldn’t get Sarah to wear the skirt.
It’s inspired by North Shore Goodies, a Hawaiian purveyor of peanut butter and jelly that we tried for the first time in – surprise! – Hawaii. Their coconut peanut butter and lilikoi jam are the inspirations for this sandwich.
Now, can you guess what’s in it?!
Okay. I’ll tell you. The “tropical” in this tropical PB&J obviously comes from
the marshmallows the homemade coconut peanut butter and our homemade passion fruit jelly. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat difficult (and expensive) to get fresh passion fruit here, so we undermined our authenticity a little bit and used passion fruit juice from a box. That being said, it’s still got all the tart, sunny goodness of passion fruit flavor. And it’s cheaper and more convenient for you, assuming you don’t have a ready supply of fresh passion fruit.
As for the marshmallows? They’re not tropical. They’re just gooey and delicious.
Tropical PB&J Sandwich w/ Marshmallows
“This tropical PB&J tastes like sunshine!” …Is what I would say if it weren’t the tagline for every food made with ingredients growing in a sixty-mile radius of a palm tree. But this sandwich is seriously good. Gooey, sticky, and full of flavor in a way that regular PB&Js are not. And there’s nothing wrong with the classic, but if you’re like Sarah and the thought of it just reminds you of bagged lunches, this tropical PB&J will give you a new outlook. (If you already love it, we think you’ll appreciate this version all the same.)
NOTE: The passion fruit jelly needs to set overnight. Of course, if you’re impatient and you can find it, a jarred version from the store will work just as well.
- Thick sandwich bread
- Unrefined coconut oil for frying
- Vegan marshmallows (we used Dandies)
For the Passion Fruit Jelly:
- 3/4 cup water
- 5 cups sugar
- 1.75 oz. pectin
- 3 cups passion fruit juice, such as Goya or Ceres
For the Coconut Peanut Butter:
- 1 jar (16oz) creamy natural peanut butter, oil poured off
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
How to Put It in Your Mouth
For the Passion Fruit Jelly:
NOTE: This recipe makes a lot of jelly, so feel free to cut it in half if you don’t want so much excess. You can store the passion fruit jelly in your fridge for up to 3 weeks or freeze it for up to a year.
Using boiling water, rinse clean plastic container or jar (with lids). Dry thoroughly.
Mix passion fruit juice and sugar in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, mix the water and pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute, then add to juice mixture and stir for another 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
- Immediately pour the jelly into your containers, up to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe off the edges of the jar with a clean cloth and cover immediately. Let the jelly stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.
For the Coconut Peanut Butter
Pour off peanut oil from your peanut butter. Scoop the peanut butter out of the jar and into a mixing bowl.
Add the unrefined coconut oil, powdered sugar, and coconut extract. Mix until thoroughly combined, then pour back into the jar. Store the coconut peanut butter in your fridge.
Putting it Together:
- Spread coconut peanut butter and passion fruit jelly onto your bread as if you were making a peanut butter sandwich, which you are, and do I really need to tell you how to do this part?
Tear marshmallows in half (if using large ones) and put in-between your sandwich. Close sandwich.
Spread about 1/2 tbsp. of unrefined coconut oil on the outsides of your sandwich. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes per side on very low heat until the bread is golden brown and the marshmallows are melted.
- Eat sandwich. Repeat until satisfied or asleep. Whichever comes first.
Photography and videography by Sarah Alice Photography.