If you use balsamic vinegar, it’s probably exclusively in your homemade salad dressings. But this tangy vinegar has much more to offer than just a drizzle on tomatoes or lettuce.

Willing to venture beyond the world of dressings with your balsamic? Here are eight unexpected ways to use it in your cooking that will blow your mind.

On Strawberries


Photo by Liana Lis

Yes, it’s true. For some reason, strawberries and balsamic vinegar pair together beautifully. The zing of the balsamic brings out the sweetness of the strawberries and it’s some seriously refined flavor. Just think: One ingredient can make a simple bowl of fruit way classier than dorm room Ramen.

It’s like sprinkling salt on your watermelon, but better—and juicer. Just don’t go overboard with the balsamic or you’ll pucker up a little too much with each bite.

In Popsicles


Photo courtesy of onelovelylife.com

This 3-ingredient recipe is fruity, somewhat tart and bursting with summer goodness. It takes the strawberry and balsamic combo to a whole new, frozen level.

Since all of the sugar in these pops occurs naturally in the fruit and honey, you can enjoy a few of these without feeling guilty.

On Ice Cream


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jason Fukura

Just trust me on this one. If you reduce balsamic vinegar and sugar together in a pan, you’ll get a sweet glaze that’s made for a scoop of vanilla ice cream (feel free to add some strawberries).

You can also buy infused balsamics, so if you find any mango or raspberry chocolate balsamic (they are surprisingly easy to come by), you don’t even need to bother reducing them to syrups.

On Avocado

Avocado drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with sea salt. ? What have you been snacking on lately?

A photo posted by Brooke Courtney (@brookecourtney) on Jun 11, 2015 at 2:10pm PDT

Obviously everything is better with avocado. I don’t even need to explain this one. Just drizzle it on your ‘cado halves and enjoy.

In Seltzer Water


Photo by Julia Liang

I got this tip from someone working at a balsamic vinegar and olive oil boutique: drizzle a bit of infused balsamic vinegar in seltzer water to make a homemade and naturally sugar-free soda. It won’t be Coca-Cola, but it will be refreshing and unique.

If you’re big on fruity flavors, buying a bottle of blackberry, blueberry, strawberry or some other fruit-infused balsamic vinegar would be a worthy the investment.

On Yogurt


Photo courtesy of cookieandkate.com

Don’t cringe. I know what you’re thinking, “Vinegar in my yogurt?” But this recipe actually makes the two sound like a delectable pair. The sweet balsamic glaze really works with the cherries, and the pistachios add a nice crunch.

You’ll feel like a culinary boss eating balsamic for breakfast while your roommates suck down their Lucky Charms.

On Cheese


Photo by Becca Buchanan

Since really good balsamic is celebrated for its layers of smoky and sweet flavors, a lot of people find that it’s best used when drizzled directly onto foods or dishes (as opposed to being used as an ingredient in a marinade or dressing).

One way to get the most flavor out of your balsamic vinegar is to splash some on a slice of cheese. Balsamic tastes sooooo good when it’s paired with something creamy—like the yogurt and ice cream suggestions above. A good slice of cheese is no exception to this odd rule, so break out the cheese and crackers.

In Pie


Photo courtesy of Steven Karl Metzer via piebox.com

Yes, I know most college students don’t just go around making pies all the live long day, but on the off-chance that you are making pie for some grand occasion, balsamic has got your back.

This drool-inducing blackberry balsamic pie with a walnut sea salt crumble is pure decadence. Pie crust can be tricky to make, but once you pass that step, the rest of this recipe is pretty simple. I’m not even that much of a pie gal, but I want this in my belly right now.