Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Maple Pecan Energy Cups

Featured Ingredient: ProBar

A few years ago as Tabi and I prepared for a self supported bicycle trip around Cuba, we knew that outside of the homestays the food options were going to be a little lackluster to say the least. Cuba is not known as one of the great culinary destinations. Seriously, you’ve gotta try a peso pizza! So we were looking for a source of portable energy we could pack into our panniers to keep our stamina up during the day. We found our answer in the ProBar.

As far as energy bars go, the offerings from ProBar hit the mark with respect to nutrition and taste. Packed with mostly whole food ingredients, I appreciate that they have enough calories to keep me going strong. I’d have to say that my favorite flavors are the Koka Moka, Cocoa Pistachio and Maple Pecan. Simply delicious.

So I thought it was about time I got around to trying to replicate one of the flavors using the trusty muffin tin. These bundles of nut and seed energy include a lot of the ingredients you’ll find in the Maple Pecan ProBar and boy are they tasty. We are having a heat wave at the moment up here in Ontario (Yes, the igloos have melted and the polar bear hanging out on the front lawn is sipping a mojito), so the best thing about them is that they let the oven hibernate.

And here’s more good news: It’s time for another Muffin Tin Mania product giveway. Who doesn’t love free food? The kind folks over at ProBar have agreed to give one lucky Muffin Tin Mania reader a sampling of their flavors. So if you’re going to enjoy the great outdoors this summer you can pack a few to keep your energy levels up.

But free food must be earned. So the person who leaves a comment on this post that

Best outlines three different nutritional benefits of the recipe that follows AND
An outdoor activity that you would use ProBar to help fuel 

will have a box of tasty bars sent their way. I’ll announce the winner next Monday, so if you entered check back then.

Maple Pecan Energy Cups

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
A couple pinches of salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Add all of the ingredients except the maple syrup and peanut butter to a food processor container and process until oats and nuts are pulverized. Add maple syrup and peanut butter and blend until the mixture clumps together.

Divide mixture among 12 lightly greased standard sized muffin cups and press down to firmly pack contents. You don't need the grease if using silicon cups. Place tray in freezer for about 30 minutes to harden up.  Unmold and store in the fridge in an airtight container.


  1. These look delicious, Matt. I'm going to make them right now. Nutritionally they have Omega oils, fibre, and lots of natural energy, okay one more - they may help with cholesterol lowering too. I would use them while cycling or canoe tripping.
    Sue (from S.C.)

  2. All the nuts, seeds and oats provide vegan protein.The nuts and seeds are a good source of fiber, unsaturated fats, and plant sterols that naturally lower cholesterol by blocking it's absorption in the small intestine. The nuts and seeds in this recipe also contain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E to help prevent heart attacks by regulating rhythm and preventing arterial plaque. The natural sugars provided by the dates, raisins and maple syrup provide enough energy for a good hike.

  3. This is awesome. I've been looking for a recipe that mimics the probar, as well as a more dynamic approach to the simple dates, nuts, and fruit bar (although those are delicious).

    I enjoy adding freshly ground flax seeds to most things I consume because they contain the omega 3 essential fatty acids. Most of the oils in flax seeds are ALA or alpha linolenic acid, a precursor to EPA/DHA (the fatty acids found in salmon and other fish). Some studies have showed that our bodies can convert ALA into EPA/DHA, thus providing benefits of both. Good plant based source of omegas for those who are vegan/vegetarian.
    The hemp seeds are another source of omega 3 and 6! They are also an awesome raw, plant-based source of protein.

    When I look to purchase, or just simply eat, an energy bar I make sure that it is sweetened from unrefined, unprocessed sugars. The maple syrup and dates provide whole-food and naturally-sourced sweeteners.

    The rolled oats are a wonderful source of soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol levels as well as stabilize blood sugar.

    The fact of these being raw is awesome too because heat and/or processing can ruin each healthy ingredient that our bodies can benefit from. A few of these ingredients can become rancid at high temperatures, no good!

    I need to pick me up a variety of nuts and sunflower seeds and then I'll get to making these! I'll have to put this recipe on my blog. Adding in some raw cacao powder, chia seeds, and even some coffee granules would make a great koka moka probar probably!

    As for using these as fuel, I recently attended two music festivals with camping, waterfalls, hiking, and plenty of walking that I probably wouldn't have survived unless I stocked up on probars beforehand. I will definitely be using these as my staple energy source for the next festival I go to.

    Sorry this was long, I feel as if I could go on forever talking about these though. I am very picky with what I eat and when I discovered probar, it put a smile to my face. They even have a superfood option with wheatgrass and other lovely things I enjoy putting into my body that sometimes I can't when I'm on the road or out of town!

    Well thanks for posting this =)

  4. Some of the health benefits of these ingredients have already been touched upon so how about some random ones?

    Maple syrup contains manganese which is an antioxident and helps produce energy (the energy to go on a hike or eat waffles!).

    Peanut butter has fiber and protein (to give you energy on the trail and keep you "regular", I guess? ;)).

    Hemp seeds, in addition to be a great fatty acid boost, apparently can help keep your skin young if applied topically (the more you know!).

    As you could probably guess, I could use these great products on the trail, or warming up to eat waffles, either way!

  5. As the main health benefits of these ingredients have been touched on, how about some random ones?

    Maple syrup contains manganese which is a great antioxident and important to energy production (and we all need energy on the trail or when eating waffles!).

    Peanut butter has a bunch of protein and fiber (which will give you much needed energy on the trail, and keep you "regular" which I guess in a benefit ;)).

    Hemp seeds, in addition to a great source of fatty acids, helps keep you young if applied to the face topically (the more you know!)

    As you can guess by now, I would use these great Probrar products on the trail (or eating waffles, either way!).

  6. Wow, these look so good - I love grab & go snacks like these that are good, home made, and good for you. Especially as we go for hikes with our dogs out and about in the Poconos!

    I have also learned more about the health benefits by reading others comments (thanks guys), but the non-health-smart-me immediately was able to figure out that these are #1 high in good fats/proteins #2 low in sugar #3 all natural :-)

    Thanks for the great recipe and the education!

  7. Wow, so many awesome answers. I am going to name Bridget as the winner. With an answer that detailed, it's hard not too :)
    Bridget, just use the contact button above to send me an email with your shipping details.

  8. Those look perfect for packing up for a trip.

  9. I made these tonight after buying all the seeds I didn't have, and while they don't look as pretty as yours (mine are dark brown), they are delicious! Figured the caloric content of one cup to be about 300 calories. I will have to be careful not to eat too many ;)

  10. PS I forgot to ask, are you able to freeze these and they still be good?

  11. I think these would be a perfect candidate for freezing!


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.