Until working on last month’s Heart Health month video, I never thought of subbing almond butter for tahini in hummus, but I tried it, and I really like it. Here’s why.

Almond butter is more readily available. Tahini is showing up more frequently, but you can’t find it just anywhere. Almond butter is easier to work with. Except for hummus making, I rarely use tahini, so it sits in my pantry or fridge, oil separating from sesame solids, making it difficult to spoon out. All natural nut butters separate–almond butter included–but not as dramatically as tahini. Give almond butter a gentle stir, and it comes back together.

At least for my culinary repertoire, almond butter is more versatile than tahini. I use it regularly–spread on my morning toast with jam or sliced banana or with afternoon tea flavoring graham crackers or Famous Chocolate wafers.

Give it a try. The subtle flavor difference is appealing, and if you don’t have tahini, it’s nice to know you’ve got options.

Hummus with Almond Butter

Makes a generous 2 cups

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add chickpeas, yogurt, almond butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin. Pulse until well blended and smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; serve with pita chips, crackers or crudités for dipping.