By nut butter addict and GMB Nutritionist Melissa Fine.
We’ve given peanut butter plenty of attention at GMB, so we think it’s time for its rival almond butter to step into the spotlight!
Almond butter is a good plant-source of calcium, as well as antioxidant-rich vitamin E. By alternating between peanut butter and almond butter, you’ll be giving your body a broader range of nutrients…if you’re not sure what to do with that almond butter jar in your pantry, here’s a little ode to this creamy, dreamy, satiating spread - with sweet and savoury ways to use it that you might not have thought of.
1. Cookie Dough Muffins
Barney Butter’s Smooth Almond Butter is the star ingredient in this healthified take on cookie dough…here’s our adapted version of the recipe1:
- 3 cups almond meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter
- 1 cup milk of choice (we like almond milk)
- 1 large egg (or for a vegan alternative, make a ‘flax egg’ by mixing 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons of water)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (sub with coconut oil for a vegan version)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the almond meal, baking powder and salt until combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, stir the almond butter, milk, egg, vanilla, butter, and coconut sugar together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir again until just combined (don’t over-stir or the muffins will turn out tough). Fold in the choc chips.
- Using a spoon, distribute the batter evenly into the 12 lined cups.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through; a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing them and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely…enjoy, and see if you can stop at one!
2. Peanut Allergy Friendly ‘Satay’ Sauce
Substitute peanut butter with almond butter for a new spin on satay. This is a great one to make if a family member has a peanut allergy but you feel like cooking up a Thai or Malaysian-style dish – often peanut heavy! Serves one, but can easily be doubled, tripled etc.
In a small bowl, mix together:
- 1 heaped tablespoon smooth or crunchy almond butter
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
- ½ teaspoon rice malt syrup or honey
- Pinch of ground ginger or chilli flakes (or both!) for a little kick
Add a little just-boiled water to thin before drizzling the sauce over whatever you’re eating…we like it on our stir-fries, or on a homemade version of Gado Gado salad.
3. Almond Butter Cups
Break a 100g block of 70% or 85% dark chocolate into pieces and place into a microwave-safe bowl. Melt on high for 1 minute and stir, and then for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until completely melted (alternatively you can melt the chocolate using the stovetop method). Pour the chocolate into the holes of a mini cupcake silicone tray tin so that they’re half-full. Add about half a teaspoon of smooth almond butter to each chocolate filled hole, before topping again with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle a teeny pinch of salt over the filled holes and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set…or pop in the freezer for a firmer filling. Yum yum!
4. Nutty Rice
Stir a tablespoon of creamy almond butter through 1 cup of cooked basmati rice. Stir through a tablespoon of raisins if you’d like. Top with a handful of chopped, dry-roasted almonds and you’ve got yourself the perfect side dish for a chicken or white fish dish.
5. Almond Butter Yoghurt
Add a heaped spoonful of almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon to a single-serve tub of your favourite unsweetened yoghurt (Greek is our go-to). Mix together and devour as a snack, or use as a dip for apple or pear slices, or even carrot sticks!
6. Almond Butter and Cheese on Toast
If “Gross!” is what you’re thinking, hear us out…almonds often feature on a cheese plate because they compliment creamy cheeses and vice versa…so it makes sense to add thinly sliced gouda or edam cheese to your almond butter toast. Let us know how you like the combo!
7. High Protein Vanilla Almond Butter
In a small bowl, mix together a tablespoon of smooth almond butter with a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder (whey or plant-based are both fine). Add a teaspoon of rice malt syrup or honey and mix again, adding a dash of just-boiled water if you’d like to thin the mixture a bit more. Delicious stirred through yoghurt or porridge, as a dip for fruit, or straight off the spoon for a pre or post-workout snack!
8. Almond Butter and Marmalade Sandwich
The adult version of the classic peanut butter and jam combo, citrusy marmalade cuts the richness of the almond butter and adds a touch of sweetness. While marmalade does contain some added sugar, a little goes a long way – a tablespoon is all you need. Pro-tip: the almond butter marmalade combo also tastes awesome stirred through porridge or yoghurt.
9. Barney Banana Pops
Another one from the peeps at Barney Butter. See the original recipe2.
- 3-4 very ripe medium to large bananas, and 3-4 paddlepop sticks
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter Toppings: try desiccated coconut, dry-roasted sliced almonds, goji berries for a pop of colour, or your favourite granola
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil, choc chips, and Barney Butter (alternatively you can melt these with the stovetop method).
- Peel the bananas, slicing each one vertically in half. 3. Place a paddlepop stick on the flat end of each banana.
- Dip each banana in the melted coconut oil/choc/almond butter mixture, before placing on a baking paper-lined tray.
- Sprinkle with toppings and freeze for at least five hours...now this is our kind of ‘ice cream’!
10. Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pumpkin with Almond Butter, Pecans and Cranberries
More proof that almond butter isn’t limited to sweet dishes. Head over to Barney Butter’s website for the recipe, and for a whole library of mouthwatering recipes, all whipped up with almond butter!