Use almond butter for more than a toast-topper with these decadent recipes

almond butter
Credit: photo by bhofack2 via getty images

People can get stuck in a rut with almond butter. Occasionally one might go out on a limb and plop a spoonful in a salad dressing or smear some on an apple, but for the most part, almond butters are thought of strictly as something that goes on bread, as part of an AB&J sandwich or a spread for toast. But there's a whole wide world beyond this application. Almond butter is surprisingly versatile, and it plays nicely with a cornucopia of flavors, from herbacious to savory to smokey—not just the sweet fruit in your jelly jar.

Here are six ways to make the most of almond butter.

Smoked-Almond Butter with Crispy Rosemary

EC: message-editor%2F1506370755788-hd-201203-r-smoked-almond-butter-with-crispy-rosemary
Credit: Photo via Food & Wine

Almond butter is easy to find in stores, but making it with smoked almonds in the food processor is crazy easy, and the savory flavor is really unusual. Spread the butter on apples, pears, fennel and celery.

Strawberry, Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie

EC: message-editor%2F1506370923490-201012-hd-strawberry-banana-smoothie1-201012-r-strawberry-banana-smoothie1
Credit: Photo via Food & Wine

Chef Nate Appleman lost lots of weight by running. After a morning workout, he often makes this smoothie, which gets a dose of protein from almond butter.

Kale Chips with Almond Butter and Miso

EC: message-editor%2F1506370846897-hd-201203-r-kale-chips-with-almond-butter-and-miso
Credit: Photo via food & wine

"We have an entire garden bed dedicated to kale that we use for these chips," says Sera Pelle. She usually makes them in a dehydrator, but the oven method here works perfectly, too.

Chocolate-Cherry Almond Butter Cookies

EC: message-editor%2F1506371405458-201404-r-xl-chocolate-cherry-almond-butter-cookies
Credit: Photo via Food & Wine

Almond butter, almond extract, and crunchy almond slices make these chocolate-cherry cookies especially decadent.

Almond Butter and Fresh Blueberry Sandwich

EC: message-editor%2F1506371626545-201311-xl-almond-butter-fresh-blueberry-sandwich
Credit: Photo via Food & Wine

Cut back on the sugar and use fresh blueberries instead of jelly in this simple twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Almond-Butter-and-Jelly French Toast

EC: message-editor%2F1506371672098-hd-201301-r-almond-butter-and-jelly-french-toast
Credit: Photo via Food & Wine

This fluffy, nutty breakfast is a playful, delicious mash-up of French toast and PB&J. Instead of peanut butter, it's made with almond butter.