5 Ways to Use Almond Butter to Upgrade Your Everyday Meals

A little dollop is all you need to add a flavor boost to everything from dips to desserts.

Almond butter is a pantry ingredient that can add so much dimension to many of your food preparations. Whether you are cooking sweet or savory, a bit of almond butter lends a subtle creaminess or toasted essence to whatever you are cooking. While you can purchase almond butter at most grocery stores, it takes minutes to make your own almond butter at home. Here are five tips for incorporating this pantry favorite into everyday meals.

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. You can also use almond butter to thicken and flavor smoothies, as star chef and avid runner Nate Appleman does in his favorite strawberry and banana blend. Or use it to bind hearty, healthy granola bars by blending 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.

Almond-Butter-and-Jelly French Toast
Johnny Miller

3. Dressings and sauces: Whisk almond butter into a basic vinaigrette to dress sturdy vegetables like carrots, kale, and cabbage. You can also 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 and stews: Stir it into stews or pureed soups for extra protein and a velvety finish; the almond flavor is especially lovely with orange vegetables, like butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. It can also nicely thicken and add nutty nuance to stews.

5. Desserts: Add a grown-up nutty flavor to 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. Or try adding almond butter to vanilla frosting to give it a deeper flavor profile.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

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