Peanut Butter Protein Shake | Ultralight Backpacking Recipe

By Aaron Owens Mayhew MS, RDN, CD

Updated January 6, 2024
This post may contain affiliate links.
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This delicious protein shake backpacking recipe makes for a perfect meal replacement! Yes, you read that right – protein shakes can be meals, too! You might think a shake could never fill you up on the trail. Actually, a well-balanced protein shake can be very satisfying and filling. Don’t believe it?

Here’s why you should consider Backcountry Foodie’s Peanut Butter Protein Shake for your next backcountry breakfast, lunch, or even dinner:

✔️ It’s fine to drink your meals as long as your drink counts as a complete meal.

  • That is, it contains sufficient calories and is a good source of protein, carbs, and fat.
  • With 33 g protein, 27 g fat, and 71 g carbs for a total of 625 calories, this one checks every box and rivels the nutrition profile of commercial freeze-dried hiker meals.

✔️ It’s faster and easier for many hikers to drink their calories.

  • This is especially true if you hustle to cover the distance before sunset.
  • This protein shake recipe is ready in exactly 2 steps: add water and shake.
  • If you are one of the many hikers who struggle with a low appetite, a meal replacement drink is a great solution. Intense exercise, heat, and altitude can all blunt your appetite for heavy, solid foods. This shake makes consuming hundreds of calories a breeze.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake Recipe in Peanut Butter Jar

Still don’t think you’d want to sip a whole meal? Bring it as a snack instead! Long-distance hikers should be snacking every 60-90 minutes to avoid hitting the wall. Your muscles will thank you.

Not a fan of chia seeds? Consider giving our Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake recipe a try instead.

Don’t have time to prepare your own meal replacement shakes?

Here are a few of our favorite meal replacement shakes available in our shop:

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    Peanut Butter Protein Shake backpacking meal replacement drink

    Peanut Butter Protein Shake

    Backcountry Foodie Recipe
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    NUTRITION (per serving)

    cal/oz 123
    cal/gram 4.4
    Calories 625 kcal
    PROTEIN 33 g
    CARBS 71 g
    Fiber 13 g
    Added Sugar 13 g
    Fat 27 g
    Sodium 474 mg
    Home Prep Time 2 minutes
    Field Prep Time 15 minutes
    WT/SERVING 5.1 oz (142 g)
    MEAL PREPDehydrator Not Required, No-Cook
    Diet TYPESBariatric, Gluten-Free, Low-Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian



    INSTRUCTIONS (per serving)


    • Put oats in a coffee/spice grinder and blend until a fine powder forms.
    • Put oat powder and remaining ingredients in a bag or container to be used in the backcountry.


    • Add 8 oz (240 mL) cold water to the bag or container.
    • Stir or shake vigorously to mix well and enjoy! See meal prep tip below.
    • For a thicker shake, let stand 5-10 minutes allowing the chia seeds to absorb water.



    • Meal replacement drinks often mix better when prepared in a hard-sided container.
    • Our large biodegradable food pouches are also great for preparing meal replacement shakes.



    • Total sugar (per serving): 40 g, including 13 g of added sugar
    • For a no-added-sugar recipe, replace brown sugar with a brown sugar substitute.
    • To reduce calories by 160, replace whole milk powder with non-fat milk powder.
    • This recipe may be used as a meal replacement when consumed entirely.
    Did you make this recipe? We’d love to see it!Share photos from your kitchen or the backcountry below.


    Consider checking out our biodegradable food pouches. The large pouches work great for meal replacement shakes.

    food pouch screen shot

    Ready to see more ultralight backpacking recipes like this one?

    Backcountry Foodie is your go-to resource for over 200 backpacking dietitian-created recipes and a one-of-a-kind automated meal planning tool. The meal planner even creates itemized shopping lists for you! Meal prep has never been easier.

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    DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site running. Our reputation is our most important asset, so we only include links for products we use ourselves.

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    Peanut butter protein shake in a plastic jar

    Backcountry Foodie Aaron Owens Mayhew with her dog Ella

    Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD, is a registered dietitian and ultralight long-distance backpacker with over 20 years of nutrition and backpacking experience. She’s also the founder and owner of Backcountry Foodie, an online ultralight recipes and meal planning platform for backpackers. She also enjoys teaching hikers about backpacking nutrition via virtual masterclassesYouTube videos, and podcast episodes. You can follow Aaron’s adventures in the kitchen and the backcountry via Instagram and Facebook.


    • Hi do you have an alternative for the powdered milk? don’t think this recipe would be vegan with powdered whole milk. I saw in another section you said that powered coconut doesn’t work. any alternatives without dairy would be appreciated. thank you

      • Almond milk or soy milk powder would both work well with this recipe. I’m a fan of the Ecomil almond milk powder and NOW Real Food brand soy milk powder.

      • Following up… I just switched to using cashew milk powder – mild flavor and mixes well with cold water. The NOW brand is no longer being manufactured.


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