It is my fervent belief that the ultimate adventure food is food (gimme a slice of cold pizza over an energy bar any day) and that the ultimate food food is a peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey sandwich (or, now that I’m 100 percent plant-based, peanut butter and agave).

This was a lesson learned early, as my entire elementary school lunch career was built around PBHs, but it was relearned when I mountain biked the San Juan Hut System from Telluride to Moab. The huts are stocked with heaps of calories, from food food to energy bar food, and each morning before heading to the next hut I’d make twin double-decker PBHs. Done right, the honey would saturate the middle slice into a sugary confection of wheaty texture. Done wrong, well, there was no way to do it wrong, and those sammies fueled my 350-mile, six-day ride like nothing else could.

Almond butter is the grown-up version of peanut butter, but I’ve long stuck to goobers, being from Virginia and all. (When I was a kid, I even had a peanut grinder in the shape of Mr. Peanut.) That is, until just recently, when I discovered that Gu Energy Labs has just launched a new brand of almond butter blends called Boon. They are nothing short of incredible.


The first one I tried is called Espresso Bean, and yes, they had me at “Espresso.” It contains just five ingredients: organic almonds, ground coffee, coffee cherry pulp, vanilla extract, and sea salt. The coffee serves as a foundation, almost a bass line, while the vanilla brings a highlight. It takes almond butter, which I’ve never seen as much of an improvement over peanut butter, and launches it into the stratosphere of heavenly tastes.

And yet, the experience is still subtle. My palate is a blunt-force object; I would add Tapatio to Tapatio if it made it spicier. But all the Boons strike a lovely, low-level harmony between their primary (almond) and secondary flavors (coffee, chai, ginger, cinnamon) that leaves even a food pagan like me impressed and inspired. Let’s put it this way: I went through four 10-ounce jars in less than three weeks and that would have been a lot shorter if I’d succumbed to the desire to eat straight from the jars with a spoon. I’ve already bought a couple more jars, coffee (of course) and sweet ginger.

$15 •

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