View Full Version : PooGooBars

05-17-2005, 12:41 PM
so Nuthatch and I have been playing around with trying to duplicate LaraBars since they're A) expensive and B) I'm allergic to the nuts they use. Here is the closest I've come so far and man are they good!!!!

2 cups dates
1 1/4 (+/-) cups dehyrated unsweetened bananas
1/2 cup nut of choice

Chop everything up in a food processor until it starts forming a ball.
Place the ball on a cutting board and form into a large rectangle. The mixture should be slightly sticky but not gooy.
Cut into smaller bars and wrap in foil.
Bars can be frozen.

The 2 cups dates can be played with ie: 1 cup dates, 1 cup cranberries etc.

So far I've used cashew - which tend to be oily and sunflower seeds which I LOVE.

05-17-2005, 06:26 PM
Sounds really quite yummy
I'm going to try it, the problem with so many energy bars is that they are either too chewy or too dry to eat while you are riding...

This sounds like it could be a great energy solution and if I cut it up in bite-sized bits, well then I don't have to tuck the surplus into my bike shorts where it gets too salty, or chuck in my back pocket where it disintegrates

Thanks for the research
if we find it successful, you two should market it/them!

Pedal Wench
05-17-2005, 08:21 PM
I got this from a hiking website - Ultralight Joe has done some amazing long-distance hikes. He asks that it always be referred to as "Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo"

The History of Moose Goo
Having tried corn pasta and finding it uniquely awful no matter how it was cooked and seasoned, I was in a dilemma. It's bad enough I've never read Jardine's book, but here I was also bagging on his sacred "super fuel" as totally inedible. What's an ultralight freak to do? Constantly hearing of the Mystical Powers of corn pasta, I felt left out. So I decided there had to be another way....

My goal was simple - to make a tasty, compact, efficient, and inexpensive snack food that packed a whallop of energy and would last well on the trail. I saw a lot of recipes on the Web, but to my barbaric senses they were all too complicated. I'm a lazy cook at heart. Anything with more than four ingredients better involve candles and a waiter named Jean-Luc. :-) What I ended up with is so simple, basic and tasty that even a restless kid could make it and like it!

Please note again that I am not a nutritionist! I just eyeballed my goals for ease, portability, calories, simple- and complex carbs, protein, etc. I then tried to fit that to what tastes good to me. The results: A mixture of honey, corn flour and peanut butter. That's it! For me at least, it's turned out to be a perfect, palatable mixture that supplies a good dose of "oomph". (Moose Goo and Cream of Rice were the core of what fueled me on my 60+ mile day from Rae Lakes to Lone Pine at the end of my JMT trek.)

One food tube supplies me with enough of the Goo to spread on my lunch tortillas for three days, two days if I'm really woofing the calories. Has a good shelf life too. One batch sat in my resupply box for several weeks, finished the JMT with me, and was still good after I got back home. Honey doesn't spoil! Guess the preservatives and stabilizers in the peanut butter help too.

[Back to top]

Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo
NOTE: If you pass this around to your friends, I have but one request - please refer to it as "Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo". Since I run this site anonymously, it's not an ego thing. I just get a kick out of hearing it mentioned on the trail, let's me know I'm contributing to my fellow trekkers. A simple pleasure, perhaps, but I take what I can get. :-) Thanks!

Basic Recipe:
2 parts honey
2 parts corn flour (NOT corn meal! I plan to try sweet rice flour soon.)
1 part peanut butter (preservative-laden)
Mix thoroughly, will take some time.
Pack into Coghlan's Squeeze Tube (REI, Campmor, etc), or in cold weather wrap in wax paper.
Single Squeeze Tube Proportions (2-3 lunches w/ large tortillas):
8 tbsp honey
8 tbsp corn flour
4 tbsp peanut butter
Per tube:
1320 calories
172g carbs (70 simple, 102 complex)
24g protein
38g fat (That's a high proportion of fat, but what the heck...)
BEWARE! Below 40F, Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo becomes impossible to squeeze out! I open the tube from the back and spoon it out when that happens. For snow camping I pack it in wax paper instead, eat it like a candy bar, or pre-pack it into tortillas.

[Back to top]

Sandpiper's Mookies
Sandpiper (aka Amy) was mousing around with a batch of her Moose Goo variation one day and wondered what would happen if she tried baking some like cookies. The result? Mookies! To honor her creation, I ask everyone to pass the recipe along as "Sandpiper's Mookies". Thanks!

Ok, I have a breakthrough!!! A couple of weeks ago I had a Christmas Cookie Baking Party. Paula (Ten Toes/Cheerio) came and we were talking about her hike, and food, etcera, and late in the evening talk came around to Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo, which she hadn't tried. I mentioned that I had wanted to try baking it but never had any left when I was baking... but then I realized I actually had some left from my last trip!!! I took a little bit (my version, with the soy milk powder in it, plus a little extra honey) and baked it. Now we have a Mookie (Moose gOO cooKIE): great little cookie, no more frozen-solid Goo on cold trips. :-) Paula liked the cookie better than the goo even, since she's not used to the taste of soy.

Original UJMG:

1 tube -

1/2 cup (8 tbsp) honey
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) masa harina (corn flour)
1/4 cup (4tbsp) peanut butter
As percent of calories -

Protein: 7.33%
Carbs: 66.48%
Fat: 26.17%
That's pretty good, but it seemed a little low on protein, so I added 1/4 cup Better Than Milk soymilk powder (original light) and upped the protein to closer to 10% with little weight gain. (Calculations available if desired.)

For the baking part, form into balls by the tablespoon (balls are approx 1 inch in diameter). Place on unoiled baking sheet and flatten to ~1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a plastic cup dipped gently in corn flour - shake off the excess flour, and if any gets left behind on a Mookie, gently brush it off with a pastry brush. Bake at 350* for 8 - 10 minutes, or until light golden. Do not overbake! The easiest way to tell that they're done is to watch when the "sheen" disappears from the surface and it looks dry. If you've ever made crepes you know what I mean. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 - 10 minutes before attempting to move them to a cooling rack - they're very soft when they come out but do firm up. Two tubes' worth (starting with 1 cup of honey) makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen Mookies."

I'll be experimenting more some time after New Year's, to see what the baking time would be if, for example, I made them as larger drop cookies or bars (might be easier to pack?). I also want to add chopped dried cherries because I find the tartness enhances the flavor. Update: I made Cherry Mookies and Chocolate Chip Mookies last night, using ~3/4 cup chopped dried cherries and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips respectively.

Ultralight Joe's Note: Sandpiper's right about the "don't overcook" part. I just turned a batch of original-recipe moose goo into Mookies (without soy milk powder or extra honey) and if the edges are getting dark, you've just created carmelized cajun pan-blackened edges surrouding your Mookie. Pre-squishing the moose goo balls (as directed) evens the thickness, which helps prevent this. (Sandpiper emailed me to suggest I try those Airbake cookie sheets as well. Thanks!) Pretty tasty! I can see where Sandpiper's extra honey and extra flour/powder of some form helps it. I'll bring a few dozen on my next snow camping trip and experiment!

[Back to top]

Rosaleen's Bullwinkle Bars
Rosaleen was inspired by Moose Goo but wasn't happy with the texture. A few experiments in the kitchen and a few mutations later, her Bullwinkle Bars were born. As with Sandpiper's Mookies, please give Rosaleen's Bullwinkle Bars their proper title if you pass this around. Everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame. :-)

For grins, I made up three small batches of B.-bars this weekend, the jam bars about midnight last night. The last batch firmed up with cooling, but could be stiffer. My oldest son tried out the first two- honey/molasses and "maple syrup" versions and gave his approval. He noted the "peanut-butter-stuck-to-the-roof-of-the-milk-gotta-have-milk" sensation didn't happen. My husband likes these instead of power bars for archery competitions. The carb-protein-fat combination gives a slow energy release instead of a quick high then crash. Except for commercial pancake syrup or commercial jam versions, these bars are low in artificial anything. If made up in advance of an adventure, maybe freezing would be a good idea.

Heat together until syrups bubble (about 1- minutes in my microwave).
4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) peanut butter (equivalent of two servings) (Plain ground dry roasted peanuts used here)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons molasses
Stir into the hot mix:
Cup (8 Tablespoons) of uncooked oatmeal (equivalent of one serving)
1/3 Cup dry milk powder (equivalent of one serving)
4 Tablespoons soy grits (optional) (equivalent of one serving)
4 Tablespoons raw wheat germ (optional)
3 Tablespoons raisins (optional)
Heating the peanut butter and syrup(s) make the mixing process easier. Once thoroughly combined, turn out onto a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and use the wrap to help form into a log, slice to desired sizes while still warm to avoid excessive crumbling. Depending on the dryness of the weather, and of the ingredients, and depending on how many options are added, a little more of the peanut butter or syrup may be needed.

Nutritional Info per batch (w/o raisins):
811 calories
142g carbs
57.5 protein
36g fat
Variations - Substitute pancake (maple) syrup for the honey and molasses equivalent amount. Try kneading in dried grated carrots, chocolate shavings, dried fruit bits or coconut, or rolling in these or more soy grits. Mix in Ovaltine (Chocolate or Chocolate Malted Moose) with the dry ingredients, increasing the peanut butter. Try dipping the bars in chocolate shell sauce. Substitute a favorite jam or jelly for the syrups, adjusting other ingredients, as needed. (Strawberry Moose?)

Maple flavored, using pancake syrup in place of the honey and molasses, reduces calories in the batch by 128 calories, protein and fat stay the same. Not all the labels had complete listings, and the USDA nutritional values posting no longer lists percentages of daily values. This mix looks to me to be high in fat (but not saturated) and carbs, good for proteins, some minerals, notably calcium & potassium, some vitamin E, some B vits. and other good "stuff". It's not too bad in the sodium, if plain ground peanuts are used. Iron looked low, and vit. C almost doesn't count in this. Long haul hikers maybe should be looking at supplements, anyway. Hope you enjoy this!

[Back to top]

Other Moose Goo Variations
From Bryan: " I have used your Moose goo for a couple long distance weekend trips (55,40 miles) and find it to provide great energy. I used the powdered milk version but found it to be gritty in texture. I switched to mixing in kamut flour that was finely milled and it was great. I could not taste or feel the flour yet, the energy was still there. I usually use this for lunch but this weekend went stoveless and it was lunch and dinner. I put this on an arabic pita type bread and loved it. Thanks for the ideas. "

From Andrew: " Living in the Southwest, you may not realize that Corn Flour is not readily available in "Yankee" territory. It can be tough to find from the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic area, throughout the Great Lakes area. Many grocerers insist that Corn Meal is the same thing (we both know that this is not the case). In light of this, I recommend Bob's Red Mill. You can get all kinds of ground goods, including Corn Flour, all sorts of multi-grain, just-add-water, hot cereals, and granola. Check it out! "

(Ultralight Joe's Note: Turns out Sandpiper has used these guys too, and agrees with Andrew that they're great. She also points out that sometimes you can find corn flour by its Spanish name - "masa harina" in the Latino/Hispanic section of your local store.)

Andrew continues, " Also, when mixing "Moose Goo", I've found that using a plastic, "tupperware" type bowl, as opposed to a glass bowl, is preferred. The reason is that, as the "Moose Goo" gets to a "finished" stage, it coagulates together, leaving no trace on the plastic dish. With a glass bowl, there are leftovers everywhere and cleaning that sticky mess is a pain. You know the "Moose Goo" is done when you can lift your spoon out of the plastic bowl and you take all the "Goo" along, leaving a spotless bowl. "


My old friend Marc sent some email my way after reading this. Seems his family used to munch on something very similar when he was a kidlette, but instead of corn flour, they used dried milk. K.H. and others have also kept the Moose Goo suggestions pouring in. Adding chocolate powder, maple butter (spoilage problem?), powdered eggs, powdered eggnog, rice flour, nuts, dried fruit, you name it.

Tell you what - If you actually make a Moose Goo variant and like it (note that critical distinction ;-) ), send me your notes and I'll post it here with full credit to you!

05-17-2005, 09:38 PM
looks yummy but I'm allergic to corn, peanuts, and I don't process honey right - gives me migraines! :(

05-18-2005, 03:21 AM
That Moose Goo/Bars/etc. is definitely worth trying!!! Thanks for the post! I found the recipe on-line at a hikers website and the guy said, "This must be what manna from heaven tastes like." I am convinced that when Moses and the nation of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years they ate Moose Goo (of course it would have been called Camel Goo then). If they had to eat anything else there would have been a revolt!"

My version of Poo was made with several dried fruits - dates, apricots and dried apples for the fruit part, then walnuts for the nuts (cinnamon too). This is still pretty gooey, so I added some oatmeal. I baked it to make it firmer and it turned out to be a yummy cookie-like bar. The oats tended to make the bars dry out when they were frozen, so I might skip the baking part next time. My other version was more like Corsair's, and also very yummy. The prototype batch was way too heavy on the cashews and crumbled apart, looking very much like kitty litter, hence the segue to "Poo" in the name (to appeal to the 8 year old boys who might buy our product, of course! :D )

This whole concept is very flexible, so have fun experimenting with it! We don't have any idea about nutritional content but we're hoping to come close to the 40/30/30 ratio that most energy bars have.

My next experiment will be to try to reproduce a carob/honey/nut bar I had at the health food store. It had honey, carob, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, almonds and was deeelicious!!! I really like the idea of honey or fruit as the carb source instead of rice/corn/syrup that is normally in energy bars.

I'd love to market our product and make $$$ but I think Lara already has the lock on the recipe!! ;)

Happy cooking!!!

05-30-2005, 06:59 PM
Ok, I'm going to have to try making these. CM turned me on to Lara Bars this weekend. She kindly gave me a banana Lara Bar and today I had a cherry one on my ride. They are sooooo yummy, but verrrry pricey. So homemade version, here I come!

05-31-2005, 02:45 AM
Ok, I'm going to have to try making these. CM turned me on to Lara Bars this weekend. She kindly gave me a banana Lara Bar and today I had a cherry one on my ride. They are sooooo yummy, but verrrry pricey. So homemade version, here I come!

If you use dates, watch out for pits!! I've had a few tooth-breakers along the trail out of my first batch!! :rolleyes:

05-31-2005, 09:09 AM
I have started baking the bars as I found I"m happier with a more "cookie" type of bar. So I bake them for about 20-25 mins @ 250. Remember I'm at 6000' so if you cook them at lower altitude, you'll need to adjust your time and temp.

This weekend I made a batch with dates, apple sweetend cranberries, cashews and bananas and they fed me on my century yesterday!

06-03-2005, 04:28 AM
For those of you on the east coast, I just found Larabars at Trader Joes and they are cheaper than I have found anywhere else.