Move over trail mix and granola bars: Nut butter is the new must-have snack item for outdoor adventure time. Branching out from peanut butter to almond, cashew, walnut, and beyond, high protein, nutrient-and-antioxidant rich nut butters have been growing in popularity, especially among outdoor sports enthusiasts and backpackers who use the small packets for a quick energy boost. You can squeeze the butter onto a protein bar, rice cake, or piece of bread, or just squirt it directly into your mouth if you’re in the middle of a long hike or run and don’t have much time to waste. Easy, convenient, and delicious, nut butters are changing the outdoor on-the-go nutrition game. So whether you’re a hiker, backpacker, runner, or cyclist, these are the best nut butter packets to bring along for the ride.
Coming in 32-gram packets that are instantly recognizable for their bold colors and hip design, RX Bar’s Nut Butter packets hold true to the same “no B.S” philosophy the company has for their wildly-popular protein bars: only use a handful of good, high-quality ingredients, and put them front and center (literally, front and center on the wrapper so the customer knows right off the bat what they’re getting). There are a variety of flavors to choose from, including Vanilla Almond Butter, Almond Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter, and all have around 180-190 calories per pack. And as promised, the ingredients are full of protein-rich goodness, like egg whites, dates, and nut of choice. Flavorful, smooth, and easily slurpable, these are perfect for a quick hit of protein in the middle of a hike or outdoor workout.
Justin’s all-natural nut butter was among the first to spark the current nut butter craze, as well as pioneering the design and use of nut butter squeeze packets. Starting off selling his almond, peanut, and hazelnut butters in jars, it was founder Justin Gold’s passion for outdoor sports that led him to the innovative idea of packaging his uber-tasty nut butters in single-serve squeeze packets, making them a healthy, natural alternative to the sugary energy gels used by many athletes. Since then, Justin’s has become one of the leaders in athlete and outdoor enthusiast-focused nut butters, with their 32-gram packets available in flavors like Classic Almond Butter, Classic Peanut Butter, and Classic Cashew, which all have flavor options like vanilla, maple, or honey. With a thick consistency, rich taste, and between 180-200 calories per packet, these can be enjoyed while on a run (just knead it thoroughly so the butter will flow out more easily) or added to apples or other snacky items.
For the super health-and-wellness-focused lover of nut butter, SuperFat ticks all the boxes: It’s Keto-and-Paleo-friendly, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO. With no added palm oil or sugars, SuperFat focuses on using only the best ingredients to achieve its flavor, offering fun options like Macadamia Coconut, Cacao Coconut, Almond and Macadamia Nut, and Nitro Coffee. Ranging from between 240-300 calories per 42-gram packet, each flavor is loaded up with protein and plant fats, giving you just the right kick of energy when you need it. They also come in stylish packs that feature twist-off caps, so you can easily pour or sip the butter, depending on your preference.
Packaged in eye-catching packets of chocolatey-brown paired with bright colors and large graphics, Yumbutter adds other “superfoods” like chia seeds, hemp, and goji into their health-conscious nut butter mix. Their options include classics like Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and Peanut Butter, but they also offer Sunflower Butter as a great alternative for those with peanut allergies. Every packet is 176-grams of gluten-free, kosher, and vegan butter that is delectably creamy and can be sucked up from the nozzle at the top or squirted onto other foods. The packets contain upwards of 5 grams of protein and are around 180 calories. Yumbutter also prides itself on operating an ethical supply chain, working with fair trade, organic, and sustainable farmers and growers to source ingredients like organic palm oil. They’re also dedicated to giving back with their Buy One: Help Nourish One program, where, for each purchase of a jar or packet of Yumbutter, funds go to help children struggling with malnutrition.
Available in original, outdoorsy flavors like Trail Mix, Maple Syrup and Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate and Coffee, Trail Butter’s mission is to provide wholesome, delicious nutrition for those who are happiest in the great outdoors. As their mantra goes: “BE TRAIL READY.” The idea came when co-founder Jeff Boggess was embarking on an 8,900-mile bike trip around Europe and the United States. Loaded down with snacks that took up valuable packing space, Jeff realized that there was an easier way to access the nutrients and protein he needed for long days of cycling while taking up a fraction of the room: Just combine them all into one simple, delicious package. The result was Trail Butter, now operated by Jeff and his brother and fellow adventurer Brad. Their unprocessed, all-natural nut butters are conveniently packaged in easily-transportable, resealable brown packets, which range in size from Lil Squeeze Packs of 1.15 oz, 200-calorie energy bursts to Big Squeeze packets of 4.5 oz. Jars are also available. Made with almond, sunflower seed, and cashew nuts and sweetened by coconut oil, clover honey, and other whole food, all-natural ingredients, Trail Butter gives you the perfect amount of slow-burning, healthy energy for long days on the trail.
Crunchy nut butter fans will fall in love with Barney Butter’s selection of snack-sized, on-the-go nut butter packets because (surprise, surprise!) they have creamy and crunchy options! Barney Butter made its name with its ultra-creamy, highly-delicious range of California almond butter, which it has made available as single-use packets available in 17 or 30-gram sizes that are full of protein and all-natural ingredients. Flavors include regular almond (smooth or crunchy), Cocoa and Coconut, Chocolate, and Bare, which has no added sugars or salt. Gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, and guaranteed produced in a peanut-free facility, Barney’s signature touch of blanching the almonds before roasting them produces an almond butter so good, it easily makes total converts out of peanut butter fanatics.
Alright, a quick word of warning on this one: This company should probably change its official name to Crazy Oily Richard’s Peanut Butter Co., because this is hands down the oiliest peanut butter I have ever eaten. It also happens to be just about the tastiest I’ve tried, so all the stirring and mixing and inevitable peanut butter oil drips are worth it. Crazy Richard’s is made with 100 percent American-grown peanuts and nothing else. No sugars, no salt, no anything except peanuts. Once blended, it spreads on smooth and it also makes a great soy peanut sauce when simmered with soy sauce, wine, minced garlic, and water. And here’s a pro tip for dealing with this and any other oily nut butter: store the jar upside down so the mass of the butter can settle slowly, with the oil rising upward (you can assume it was stored upright on a store or warehouse shelf) and then flip the jar over shortly before you’re going to open it.
If you’re into raw and organic foods that actually taste good, you’re going to be into Thrive Market Organic Raw Cashew Butter. As the name makes pretty clear, this stuff is certified organic and is made using entirely unprocessed cashews. Well, unprocessed beyond the process of pulverizing the nuts down into a thick, creamy goo. Their cashew butter tastes great and offers six grams of protein per serving along with a solid dose of iron. Yes, said serving also delivers almost 20% of your daily recommended fat intake, but you can balance things out with a salad later.
If you like cashew and almond butter, you’ll probably like an almond/cashew butter blend, no? Why stop there, though? The guys from Nutzo certainly didn’t. They went right on adding ingredients and ended up with a butter that uses cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds. For those of you counting at home, that’s seven different seeds and nuts total. It’s a veritable United Butters of Benetton and probably why they call this unique, flavorful, and filling spread the 7 Nut & Seed Butter.
I first learned about SunButter when my son began attending a preschool with a strict peanut-free policy. And I’m glad I did, because, while this sunflower seed spread will never supplant peanut butter’s place in my heart, it’s quite tasty and a great product to have on hand when allergies are (or may be) an issue. In fact, beyond being peanut-free, SunButter is free of the top eight most common food allergens, including any tree nuts, milk, soy, and so forth. Enjoy this stuff just like you would with traditional peanut butter — it makes a find substitute on sandwiches, in sauces, for desserts, and beyond.
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