When you think “peanut butter,” you likely think “jelly”—or “chocolate.” Both excellent combos, but if that’s all you think of, it’s time to expand your culinary repertoire.
Peanut butter—as well as almond butter and all the other thick nut spreads out there like cashew, macadamia, walnut, and pecan—can be used in a plethora of recipes to add flavor, make things rich and creamy, and raise good dishes to the purely amazing level. Try these fresh ideas from top cookbook authors and food bloggers, but be warned: You may find yourself adding nut butters to almost every recipe once you realize it’s good with pretty much everything.
1. Perfect Paleo Pancakes
Skip the flour. Instead, use a combo of your favorite nut butter, eggs, bananas, and cinnamon to make these gluten-free, protein-rich pancakes.
2. Chewy Maple Date Oat Bars
The ingredients list here is a tad long, but so worth it. These soft granola bars have a similar texture to a packaged brand, yet you’d be hard to find this mix of pepitas, almonds, coconut, cherries, and spices in stores.
3. Flourless Peanut Butter Protein Muffins
These maple-syrup-sweetened treats prove that tasty muffins don’t only come in fruity flavors. And they’re a cinch to make.
4. Morning Maple Cranberry Pecan Oat Bars
Make this recipe on Sunday and have breakfast all week long. These chewy vegan bars with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans can also be made gluten-free or formed into cookies.
5. Guilt-Free Maple Almond Butter Doughnuts
Made with healthy ingredients like whole-wheat pastry flour, almond butter, and applesauce, these are baked, not fried—and topped with a gooey, lick-your-fingers glaze.
6. Sticky Dried Fruit Nut Bars
These easy, no-sugar-added bars taste a little like Snickers and are packed with nuts and dried fruit. Pick your faves or whatever you have on hand to change up the flavor.
7. Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Frosting
A creamy, thick icing made with protein-rich Greek yogurt and salty peanut butter to top all your favorite healthy (or not-so-healthy) treats, or use as a dip with fruit.
8. Healthy Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Nut butter, protein powder, and honey or agave are all you need to make these soft, fudgy-rich snacks. Feel free to add chocolate chips (because why not?).
9. No Bake Apricot and Dark Chocolate Bars
Soft yet crunchy, fruity yet chocolatey, these are good for breakfast or snacks, and will stay fresh in the fridge for a week.
10. Chocolate and Cashew Bliss Balls
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and delicious! These bite-size sweets are perfect for when a chocolate craving attacks.