This smoothie is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk all in one. [Photographs: Carolyn Cope]

No one in our family can get away with eating PB&J for breakfast without hearing the line. The line is spoken in a gravelly but good-natured Old Man voice and goes like this: "Peanut butter and jelly?! For breakfast?!"

It was first spoken years ago by our friend Ben, 85 at the time. Ben had grown up in the America where eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, hot cereal, maybe even cold cereal were breakfast foods. Peanut butter and jelly was a lunch food. Everybody knew that. Ben was brilliant, eternally industrious, and gifted with a sense of humor that made grownups giggle like little girls—which was lucky in that it made his own generous laugh fit in just fine.

Ben was serious about some things, though. And seriously, PB&J was not for breakfast. I wonder what he would have thought of this smoothie.

I can only speak for myself, but I'd have one for breakfast any day. With cooked oats, peanut butter, and banana slices (optional, just like on the sandwich), it's incredibly creamy. Frozen raspberries and a spoonful of raspberry jam make it bright and sweet. It's hearty enough to "stick to your ribs" all morning, as Ben might have said, but not overly heavy. I like to use oat milk as the base, but this smoothie would work well with just about any dairy or non-dairy milk you like to drink. It's like a PB&J sandwich and a glass of milk all in one. No offense to Ben, but that sounds like a pretty good breakfast to me.

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