5 Best Powdered Peanut Butter for Campers and Hikers in 2020

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Kansas State University’s Jami Harrison volunteered to write about her powdered peanut butter experience for Spoon University, declaring it “unusual.” She mixed up a batch, did a taste test, and decided to “stick to the usual stuff!” But after meeting people who find the powder not just appetizing, but an excellent peanut butter milkshake ingredient, she endorsed the product. 

For campers whose goals include bringing nutrient-packed foods on their sojourns, peanut butter powder is not just yummy but versatile. Don’t knock it until you try it, and we’ve got the scoop on five brands that work solo or with an equal amount of jam.


PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter – Our Pick!

Get your hands on a jar of PB2, and you have the makings of a quick, nutrient-packed spread that so pleases the palates of fans. Some are enthused enough to consider starting a fan club. One 6.5-ounce jar of this all-natural powder is not just a Kosher product for observant campers, but for those watching their weight, BP2 has 85-percent less fat than a comparable amount of a traditional peanut butter product. 

Since no additives are used in the preparation of this product, campers with food sensitivities probably won’t have trouble digesting it, and reconstitution is a breeze. Because you mix it, “serving by serving,” the spread you prepare is always fresh tasting. A couple of teaspoons full, mixed with water to the consistency you prefer, is satisfying. There’s very little sugar in this powder, and if you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, you get 5g of protein per 2 tsp. serving.


PBfit All-Natural Peanut Butter – Also Great!

If you’re feeding the crowd at a campsite meet up, get the motherlode of peanut butter powder: This 30-ounce container doesn’t disappoint. Further, the 5g of protein used in PB2 pales in comparison to 8g per serving of PBfit. Only three ingredients go into this product: peanuts, coconut palm sugar, and salt, and for members of your crew who won’t touch a product if it’s got gluten, this brand is manna from heaven. 

The preparation consists of mixing 2 Tbsp. of PBfit with 1.5 Tbsp. of water. Stir until smooth, grab a camping knife and start spreading. Versatility? For campfire cooks eager to earn reputations for innovation, throw this powder into pancake batter or breakfast smoothies and ditch the traditional fried eggs that leave you with a skillet to clean. This powder has 87-percent less fat, and a serving has 1/3 fewer calories than the regular stuff, yet you can taste real roasted peanuts the moment this spread hits your taste buds.


Betty Lou’s Organic Powdered Peanut Butter

If only organic will do, this product will set you back twice the amount of the 30-ounce jar of BPfit, but you may not care when you taste it. Promoted as “tons of flavor, zero guilt,” just about every concern a person may have about their dietary needs has been addressed by Betty Lou: This powder is Kosher, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, certified organic, has 90-percent less fat than regular peanut butter and each serving is just 50 calories. 

Made with peanuts, coconut palm sugar, and salt, Betty Lou has expanded her offerings by producing three types of powders: chocolate, regular, and protein plus (made with organic pea protein). Unlike PB2 and PBFit, these powders come in three sizes: 1.5 pounds, 6.3 ounces, or 6.4 ounces. Despite the higher price, Betty Lou’s products sell out fast, so even if you’re on a budget, you may want to see what she’s been up to in the kitchen!


Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Powder

Nearly as expensive as Betty Lou’s peanut powders, if you choose this brand, you get so many flavor choices, you may think you landed in an ice cream parlor. Your ability to select from many product sizes is also unique. Can’t decide between original, vanilla, flax & chia, honey, cocoa, pure peanut, and whatever else the company may have dreamed since it started churning out these jars of peanut butter powder? You have arrived, dear product browser, at what Peanut Butter & Co. calls “endless peanut possibilities.” 

Using USA-grown peanuts and also meeting Non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan standards, nutrients emulate those of competitors: This powder has 90-percent less fat than traditional peanut butters and each serving has 5g of protein, adds just 50 calories and between 1 and 1.5g of fat per serving. Reconstitute with water and throw any of these powders into recipes that even include sauces and soups. Vanilla-infused peanut butter campfire shakes, anyone?


Naked PB

Admit it: You love the name of this peanut butter powder almost as much as you enjoy this childhood favorite. Naked PB’s jar label says that this powder has nothing to hide, so take the manufacturer at its word. Available only in 2-pound containers, this additive- and preservative-free powder has no salt or sugar, so when they say that all you’re getting are roasted peanuts, taste tells the tale. One serving of this powder delivers 6g of protein, 4g of carbs, and importantly, Naked PB product is tested by an independent, third-party laboratory that certifies this product to be lead-free. 

At 50 calories per serving, this peanut butter powder is a favorite of vegans, and it can be used in sweet and savory recipes if you like to experiment. Priced somewhere in the middle of the other products in this review, Naked PB is non-GMO, dairy, and soy-free, so if you’re a purist seeking unadulterated peanut butter powder sourced and made in the U.S.A., you may want to get naked, too. Please wait until you get home to do this if you’re camping with people you don’t know very well.


How to choose the best powdered peanut butter 

Would it be too obvious to state that taste is likely at the tip of your tongue when you sample powdered peanut butter products? Like all food products, your choice weighs heavily on the reaction of your taste buds, because if it tastes bad, why ever would you want to buy it again? That stated, peanut butter aficionados who camp owe it to themselves to taste test all of our recommendations, and we’re happy to hear from you if you decide to express your opinions. 


How vital is the taste to you?

Did you know that your preference for smooth over the chunky version of peanut butter is seated in your DNA? From the moment you lift a knife to slather your bread with peanut butter to the moment it hits your oral cavity, “Taste helps us decide what to eat and influences how efficiently we digest these foods.” 

Taste is so primal, and bad food choices can determine whether we stay healthy or die early, thus “for those who have easy access to tasty, energy-dense foods” like peanut butter, having this type of the nutrient-packed product available to reconstitute while engaging in activities like camping adds another dimension to meal preparation.

While your camping crew may not agree on much, freshly-prepared peanut butter made from powder is one of the tastiest items, you can pack when you go about making food selections. 


Are you counting your calories?

As you probably noted if you read through all of these descriptions in order to reach a decision about which powder deserves your first taste test, caloric content has been showcased by all of these manufacturers to meet the standards of people who are conscious of the number of calories they consume each day. For dieters, knowing that each prepared peanut butter in our list totals 50 calories can help folks not only track calorie consumption but provide a window from which campers and hikers can offset increased activity on the go. 

Further, food sensitivities are even more important to campers and hikers than calories for active people who avoid gluten or who are philosophically averse to consuming GMO-laden foods. Given that all of these products meet the same calorie count, you can remove this factor from your equation and rely on taste, texture, and price to make your buying decision.


Are you a texture freak?

According to a fascinating Popular Science magazine article, “Food texture is the final frontier of food science“, texture plays a big part in the way humans choose foods. If you’re a texture freak, you know that even yummy foods are a turn off if they don’t meet your texture standards. Some peanut butter eaters are so discriminating about their preferences, they would refuse to bite into an apple that’s smeared with the wrong kind of peanut butter. There’s an entire classification of people who consider chunky blends to be disgusting. 

Since peanut butter has traditionally been a high-fat food choice, enjoying a powder that’s low in fat could change the way some perceive peanut butter, especially people who are classified as either “smooshers” or “crunchers.” Chewers crave foods delivering a resounding crunch while smooshers instinctively go for soft, creamy foods. Until food scientists come up with a way to make a crunchy peanut butter powder, crunchers are going to have to learn to be patient and settle for a smooth peanut butter product. 

Is anything easier than blending powder and water?

Far be it from us to downplay the simple act of mixing spoonsful of peanut butter powder with spoonsful of water, but can anything be easier to prepare? Even campers and hikers whose idea of food prep is removing something from a cooler and digging in won’t complain if asked to whip up peanut butter servings from whatever powder you brought along.

But for more adventurous types — say you brought along a camping blender and intend to go beyond meals that consist of PB&J sandwiches — peanut butter powder can elevate the cuisine to new heights that put to shame labor-intensive camping recipes like those posted in a recent issue of the Washington Post.

Are there differences in ingredients found in peanut butter powders?

Not much, according to a comparison of ingredients, we found in the products we reviewed and testers running comparisons for ConsumerReports.org reached the same conclusion. Commonalities include low-fat content and “roasted peanuts that have been pressed to remove most of the oil and then ground into a fine powder,” conclude researchers evaluating these powders. 

Small differences include regular salt versus sea salt, protein amounts that range from 5g to 8g, and while all of the products included in this review total 50 calories, Consumer Reports evaluators say that the products they reviewed have just 25 calories. We believe that since 2 tsp. is considered an average serving, that’s the reason for the 50 calorie designation. Everyone seems to agree that peanut butter powder is a flavorful addition to sweet and savory dishes. 


4 points health experts make about peanut butter powders

Nutritionist Erica Julson writing for Healthline.com goes into detail about the pros and cons of this growingly popular food niche and delivers these four conclusions:

  1.  All powdered versions contain fewer calories and less fat than jarred peanut butter
  2.  Peanut powder may contain fewer fat-soluble vitamins than regular peanut butter
  3.  Nothing could be easier than adding this powder to other recipes for flavor
  4.  Peanut butter powders present less of a choking hazard than regular spreads.

Whether you’re planning to stick to the script and bring this product along on your camping trips and hiking expeditions for expediency (mix, spread, go) or you’re as adventurous about your food as you are about new trails, this could be classified as an ideal food, but the factor that still bothers us has to do with glass jars. 

It’s true that glass recycles more efficiently, but if you’ve ever put your backpack down on a rock and heard the sound of breaking glass, this can get your hike off to a really, really bad start. Look for products packing into plastic jars that can be recycled, friends. Mother Earth will thank you next time you camp by keeping rain away!


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