Hi. You may have read some of my posts here. I'm Melissa. I just joined the Cooking Light staff as the new fellow. Looking through our blog archives, I saw several posts on peanut butter, like this one and this one. I must admit, I got a little jealous. See, I have a minor allergy to peanuts, or intolerance—whatever hives count as. It started late in life, so I dearly miss my peanut butter.

This is where the story gets happy. My mother introduced me to almond butter. Almond butter is a little different than peanut butter. The oil tends to rise to the top of the container so you have to stir it. The texture is more sticky, less creamy. The taste is very similar to peanut butter, but it's richer, more flavorful. Honestly, it's divine.

I'd like to share with you my favorite almond butter, Wild Friends Nut Butter, which comes from fellow University of Oregon grads Keeley Tillotson and Erika Welsh (Go Ducks!). I'm a huge fan of the Vanilla Espresso. I like the Chocolate Sunflower Seed as well but learned the sad way that it contains peanuts.

There are just six ingredients in Vanilla Espresso nut butter: Almonds, agave nectar, vanilla, coffee, espresso powder, salt. Perfection. No preservatives. No additives. Just wholesome goodness.

Erika had this recipe to share with us, for a healthy pick-me-up whether you skipped lunch studying for finals, or just went on a 10-mile hike in the lush Oregon wilderness:

Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter Smoothie

Ingredients:1 cup of milk/almond milk1 frozen banana2 T Vanilla Espresso Almond ButterA pinch of cinnamonsome ice cubes

Method: Add to blender. Mix well.

Check out all of Wild Friends nut butters. You won't regret it.