Good Monday morning!
I have a recipe today for breakfast date bars that is amazingly delicious and super healthy. I’ve posted a similar recipe before, date rolls, but I like this one more. They have slightly different ingredients and this one is easier to make. It think it’s also easier to eat–especially for kids.
The nutritional highlight: no sugar (or any other sweetener), made with whole wheat, 100% fruit, spices, and olive oil.
It’s a Middle Eastern recipe I learned from my aunt, it’s called “ma’rootah.” It’s usually not served as breakfast, instead with coffee or tea in the afternoon. But my son kept asking for it saying “cookie…cookie” in the morning and I was comfortable and pleased with giving him this kind of cookie. (isn’t it amazing that he’s not even 2 and he knows how to say cookies, cake, and ice cream???)
Looking for a cereal or energy bar to grab on your way out the door? Wrap one or two. I haven’t done the nutrition analysis for this recipe, but if you want me to, write me a comment and will do it for you.
To the recipe…
- 3 cups while whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
- 1/4 cup semolina
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp ground fennel
- 2 tbsp ground anise
- 1 tbsp anise seeds
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp rose water
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature (I used 1% milk)
- 1.5 package pressed dates (found in Middle Eastern ethnic stores). If you can’t find those, use soft pitted dates and press/knead with your hands.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
To make the dough, mix all dry ingredients (up to the anise seeds) in a medium size bowl. Add the egg and the vanilla and try to incorporate. You might want to use your fingertips to do that.
Add the oil and rose water and continue to incorporate with your fingertips. Pour in the milk and knead until you have a uniform dough ball. Divide in half.
To prepare the filling, place the pressed dates in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle the cinnamon. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until soft. Then knead until all three ingredients are well blended together.
Brush a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Take one half of the dough and flatten it on your kitchen counter until it’s big enough to cover the dish. Now flatten all of the dates and place on top of the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough and place on top of the date layer. Use a roller and parchment paper, especially for the dates or else they will stick on your counter.
Cut the bars now. I cut them diagonally but you can do any other size/shape you prefer.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Broil on low for few minutes until golden.
Serve hot, warm, or cold. Yum!