With its delicate flavor, almond butter is more subtle and sexy than peanut butter. Here are five fantastic ways to use it.
1. Breakfast and brunch dishes. For super-decadent French toast, make almond butter and jam sandwiches then dip them in a mixture of egg and milk before cooking on the griddle.
Use it to thicken and flavor smoothies, as star chef and avid runner Nate Appleman does in his favorite strawberry and banana blend.
Or use it it to bind hearty, healthy granola bars. In her recipe, F&W digital award winner Anja Schwerin blends the almond butter with dried fruit, oats and seeds.
2. Dips. To switch up your basic hummus, blend almond butter into the dip in place of tahini.
Or make easy smoked-almond butter in a food processor, and serve it with apple slices as an hors d'oeuvre.
3. Dressings and sauces. Whisk almond butter into a basic vinaigrette to dress sturdy vegetables like carrots, kale and cabbage.
Make a nutty pesto by adding almond butter to chopped herbs, garlic and grated cheese, without bringing out your food processor.
Or blend it with dried chiles, garlic, vinegar and pumpkin seeds for a fast version of pipián, a Mexican sauce.
4. Soups. Stir it into pureed soups for extra protein; the almond flavor is especially nice with orange vegetables, like butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes.
5. Desserts. Add a grown-up nutty flavor to chocolate bar cookies.
Or spread almond butter on graham crackers before topping with chocolate and marshmallows to make a less sweet and more satisfying version of s'mores.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.