There’s a sublime pleasure in spreading peanut, almond, or cashew butter on a slice of bread—and let us suggest fig jam on toasted seven-grain—but there are many other delicious ways to use nut butters

1. Whisk peanut butter or almond butter with warm water and fiery Sriracha sauce for a zesty dip for veggies (see image above).

2. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of any type of nut butter into a smoothie to add protein and help thicken it. 

3. Whisk any type into soups and stews as a thickener. Try a traditional African peanut stew recipe or almond butter in your favorite chicken or pumpkin soup.

4. Swirl almond, cashew, or peanut butter into cooked oatmeal to add creaminess and make your cereal an even more stick-to-your-ribs, protein-powered breakfast.

5. Make a Chinese takeout favorite, sesame noodles, at home using peanut butter. Combine it with soy sauce, sesame oil, a sprinkle of sugar, a little hot water, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes. Toss with whole-grain spaghetti, chopped vegetables, and chopped chicken or tofu, then garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallion.

6. Blend unsalted, unroasted cashew butter with lemon juice, fresh garlic, water, salt, and pepper to make a rich and completely plant-based Alfredo sauce.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.