Meet the PBRB, a quick, nutritious and delicious pressed sandwich that blogger and author Catherine McCord dreamed up while glancing at her appliances one day.
"We have all of this equipment in our kitchens, and it's used for just one thing," she said. "We have rice cookers for rice and a waffle iron for waffles, but I'm always looking to make that equipment stretch."
The recipe is included in her new cookbook "Weelicious: One Family, One Meal" (William Morrow, $27.50).
With the PBRB, McCord uses a waffle iron in lieu of a panini press. She pairs fresh raspberries, bananas and nut butter between two slices of sandwich bread into a morsel that begs to be warmed by a press of the simple (and big-kid-friendly) machine.
Let the little kids prepare the filling for these sandwiches by mashing together raspberries and banana. Once this mixture is heated, McCord said, it becomes a simple jam.
"Instead of über-sugary preserves and jelly, it's naturally sweet," she said. "You're getting the fiber from the raspberries, and all sorts of vitamins."
McCord says that involving your children in the cooking can stave off picky eating by giving them control of their food. When they smash the "bright red raspberries with the yellow banana," they watch the color, texture and flavor change.
For a savory bite, McCord swaps olive tapenade and cream cheese for the fruit filling. She also likes to riff on grilled cheese, adding avocado and tomato.
PBRB 'WAFFLE' SAMMIES
Note: From "Weelicious," by Catherine McCord. For a crisper crust, butter the outside of the bread slices before cooking in the waffle iron.
• 1 ripe banana
• 1/2 c. fresh raspberries
• 8 slices whole wheat bread
• 1/2 c. peanut, almond or sunflower butter
Heat the waffle iron. Place the banana and raspberries in a bowl; mash with a fork.
Spread 2 tablespoons of the banana-raspberry mixture on 1 bread slice. Spread 2 tablespoons nut butter on a second bread slice; press together to make a sandwich. Repeat to make the rest of the sandwiches.
Cook each sammie in the waffle iron until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool; serve.