– depending on the flavor
- Very tasty
- All natural, low sugar and gluten free
- Long shelf life even after open
- No refrigeration even after opening
- Variety of sizes – jar, resealable pouch or single use packet
- Great for cycling, backpacking, hiking
- Runny even after kneading
- Not suitable for people with nut allergies
Price: $11.99 (Single-serve 6-pack); $19.48 (Pouch 3-pack); $14.99 (jar). Deeper discount for larger quantities and subscription service.
Flavors: Original Trail Mix – Smooth; Original Trail Mix – Chunky; Maple Syrup & Sea Salt; Dark Chocolate & Coffee; NW IPA Nut Butter; Spiced Chai; Red, White & Blue ‘Tribute’ Blend
Availability: Company web site, Amazon and select retail outlets
RBR advertiser: No
How obtained: Company samples
Tasty, Flavorful and Nutritional Snack
If you are looking for a portable snack that will help you get through a long ride, check out the nut butter blends from Trail Butter. Recently their rep sent me single servings of different flavors as well as a resealable pouch sample to test. Over the past few weeks I’ve been testing the different flavors and I’m quite impressed.
What is Trail Butter? It’s a combination of several nut butters and other real-food ingredients to create a snack which is both flavorful and nutritious. It helps to sustain energy through a workout, a long ride, or a long work day. Trail Butter is a 100% naturally sweetened predominantly with clover honey and maple syrup. A single-serving packet (1.15 oz) contains 190 calories. Each flavor contains 16-17 grams of the good fat per serving and none of the flavors contain “trans fats.”
How Did it All Start?
According the company’s web site, the story of how Trail Butter started is an interesting one:
The Boggess brothers are lifetime adventurers and credit their parents for teaching them how to craft delicious meals and snacks with real foods to fuel their wanderlust. This is why Jeff packed natural nut butters, mixed nuts, honey and dried fruits when he decided to embark on his epic 8,900 mile bike tour from Germany to California, by way of Europe, Northern Africa and the United States. What about that body of water in between called the Atlantic, you ask? Well, keeping with the “on the surface” approach of the trip, Jeff sailed the Atlantic as crew on a 46’ catch, going from the Canary Islands to Martinique in the Caribbean, over 26 days. Along the way, he found that these energizing snacks were packaged in heavy jars or inconvenient containers that took up precious space in his small bike panniers. So, somewhere in Arkansas, it dawned on Jeff that he could save space and create an even tastier snack if he combined everything into one container. The resulting flavor explosion and energy bump took Jeff by surprise. This was too good not to share! It just needed a proper name…in an aha moment, after getting hooked himself, Jeff’s brother Brad blurted out “Trail Butter”!
With brothers united and a few flavors to offer, the Boggess brothers set up shop in Portland, OR and began selling their nut butter blends by bike at local farmers markets.
A Flavor for Everyone’s Palate
Trail Butter offers several flavors of which I tested five:
- Original Trail Mix Nut Butter Blend – Smooth
- Original Trail Mix Nut Butter Blend – Chunky
- Maple Syrup & Sea Salt Nut Butter
- Dark Chocolate & Coffee Nut Butter (15mg caffeine)
- NW IPA Nut Butter
This may cost me my cycling card, but I don’t like coffee and rarely drink beer. I know blasphemy. In the name of testing I tried all the samples the company sent me. Of the above, my favorite was the Chunky version of the Original Trail Mix. It had great flavor and the chunks added to the eating enjoyment. The smooth Original Trail Mix was also tasty so that came in a close second. I was shocked that my third favorite was the dark chocolate and coffee nut butter. The combination of flavors was very appealing even to this non-coffee drinker. The maple syrup and sea salt was okay but to me didn’t taste much different than the Trail Mix version. I did not care for the NW IPA version and after one bite, could not eat any more. For you IPA lovers, the experience may be more positive.
How Do You Consume It?
Before opening the packet, you must knead it to mix the ingredients. Even after kneading I thought the consistency was a bit too runny and did get messy. The pouch seemed best for dispensing the nut butter or just sucking some out and resealing for later use. This works only if you’re not sharing the pouch.
I tried the different nut butters alone as well as on a variety of foods including apples, bananas and bread. The company web site recommends also trying it in oatmeal, on crackers or celery. I’m sure it would also taste great on pancakes or waffles. How you eat it depends on if you are consuming pre-, post- or during a workout.
Trail Butter has a 1-year shelf life unopened, and 2-3 months after it is opened. What’s great about this product is that even after opening, it doesn’t need refrigeration. If you want to store it for longer than 3 months, the company suggests it be refrigerated.
Package Sizes and Where to Buy
Trail Butter is available in single use packets (1.15oz/32g), resealable pouches (4.5oz/128g) or jars (16oz/454g). According to the company web site, it is currently available in select retail outlets, mostly in the western United States including Whole Food around Portland and N. California, New Seasons and a host of private outdoor specialty shops. Otherwise you can buy online via the company’s web site or Amazon. Pricing for the single serving pack is similar to something like a GU Energy Gel, at about $1.90/packet.
If you are looking for an all natural and tasty option for energy pre, post or during a ride, check out Trail Butter. This low sugar nut butter is available in multiple size servings and flavors, including a coffee version with 15mg of caffeine. Enjoy alone or on a banana, apple or sandwich. Pricing is in line with a standard GU packet.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.