Growing up, I wasn’t a huge peanut butter fan. I preferred chocolate desserts to nutty ones and liked my sandwiches more savory than the classic PB&J. All in all, I wasn’t too impressed with this iconic spread.

Everything changed when I got to college and discovered the world of natural peanut butters. The Peter Pan peanut butter I’d grown up eating tasted like pure sugar compared to its 100% peanut counterparts. Making peanut butter and banana sandwiches in my dorm room was my version of cooking, and it made me feel like I had more say in the foods I could eat while living on campus. I became completely hooked on the stuff, and wanted to see how else I could use it.

As it turns out, there are lots of things I didn’t know you could do with peanut butter. Here are the seven peanut butter hacks you should've been using yesterday. 

Make peanut butter hot chocolate

sweet, mocha, hot chocolate, espresso, chocolate, cream, cappuccino, milk, coffee
Alex Kaneshiro

The last traces of peanut butter are almost impossible to get out of the jar. My hand is too big to fit inside, and my knife never scrapes all the peanut butter residue out. The solution? Peanut butter hot chocolate.

Simply fill your almost empty jar of peanut butter with hot milk and some hot chocolate mix, then shake it and enjoy your tasty creation. If you want to go the extra mile, top it with whipped cream and bits of Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Combine it with a mixer

Charlotte Close

Although I love the taste of natural peanut butter, it has a nasty habit of separating while it sits on the store shelves. Mixing it by hand while the peanut butter is still in the jar almost always ends with me spilling peanut oil all over my countertops. To make things much easier, scoop the oil and peanut butter into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it all together.

Melt it in the microwave

coffee, beer, tea, beans
Leanna Smith

Melting peanut butter in the microwave is especially good for the last bit of peanut butter in the jar. The final dregs of nut butter are usually a bit dry, but popping it into the microwave softens it again. You can use this warm, spreadable peanut butter like you normally would, or you could be adventurous and use it to top your ice cream.

Store it upside own

condiment, mustard, peanut butter, spread, jam
Izzi Clark

To prevent peanut butter from separating, store it upside down. When you’re ready to use it, simply turn it right side up and mix it a bit with your knife before using it. This ensures that you’ll never be left with a puddle of oil on top of your peanut butter again.

Use it to replace butter or oil

condiment, gelatin, milk, salt
Lauren Hughes

You’ve heard of using avocado as a healthy swap for butter, so why not use peanut butter? Keep in mind that you’ll want to use creamy natural peanut butter for this, and use this trick only if you want your food to taste slightly of peanuts. This works wonderfully for baked goods and certain paleo bread recipes.

Eat PB as a healthy snack

chocolate, butter, peanut, peanut butter
Jocelyn Hsu

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how delicious peanut butter is. Whether you’re eating it by the spoonful or are using it as a healthy dip for apples, carrots, or celery, it’s an all-around superstar snack.

Whip up a grilled PB & J

sweet, meat
Tarika Narain

Grilled cheese, you’ve met you match. Put a little butter on two slices of bread, load up the center with peanut butter and jelly, and fry away. The peanut butter gets all warm and gooey, and the buttered bread complements the sweet and savory filling perfectly.

With these seven peanut butter hacks, you’ll never get bored of this spread. Many of these tricks can be used with other nut butters as well, so see which spreads you like best.