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Recipe: Whole Wheat Date Bars for Breakfast or On-the-Go

This post has delicious, sugar-free date bar recipe, also called ma’roota or makroota. It’s amazing and aromatic with a cup of coffee or tea. And if you have kids, it’s a low-sugar cookie and a snack that you feel good giving your child.

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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.

Date Bar (Ma’roota) Recipe


Whole Wheat Date Bars (Ma’roota)
Recipe Type: Snack, dessert, bar
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Nour Zibdeh
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 40
  • 3 cups while whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp ground anise
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 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
  • 1 lbs dates (pitted, or baking dates)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Brush a large cookie sheet with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375.
  2. To make the dough, mix the flour, semolina, baking soda, baking powder, and fennel and anise seeds and powders in a medium size bowl.
  3. Mix in the egg and the vanilla.
  4. Add the oil and rose water and incorporate with your fingertips. Pour in the milk and knead until you have a uniform dough ball. If the dough is too moist and sticky, add a little bit of flour until it easily comes off your fingers. Let it rest for few minutes while you prepare the dates.
  5. To prepare the date filling, process the dates, olive oil, and cinnamon in a food processor. If you’re starting with baking dates, combine all 3 ingredients well. If the dates are too hard, microwave for 30-60 seconds to soften.
  6. Divide the dough in half. On a clean counter or wax paper, roll one half until it’s a 10×16 rectangle. Place in the baking sheet. Now roll all the dates to the same size and place on top of the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough and place on top of the date layer. You may use a second wax paper between the rolling pin and dates/dough if they start to stick.
  7. Cut the bars before baking them, either into squares or diagonally.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the bottom is slightly golden. You can broil on low for few minutes until golden if desired.


Pressed baking dates
Look at the ingredients. No added sugars or preservatives.

Nour’s guidance and expertise was the key to dramatically halting our son’s [Crohn’s] disease progression! His pediatric gastroenterologist is now in agreement of our choice to treat solely with diet and supplements. All his labs have improved and his inflammatory markers are so low they are practically nonexistent.

Before working with Nour, I experienced intestinal pain off and on for for 54 years with minimal success on medications. I have benefited 100% from Nour’s program as I am now pain free!

A lot of time and money was wasted on foods that I thought would help my digestive struggles [diarrhea, bloating, hunger], but in fact I was making it worse. The main benefit is getting a handle on what negatively affects my digestive symptom. Doing a total 180 to my eating habits has been pretty amazing.


8 thoughts on “Recipe: Whole Wheat Date Bars for Breakfast or On-the-Go”

  1. Nour El-Zibdeh, RD

    Emily: you might be able to use a different fruit. I’ve always made with dates though. You want to be able to spread the fruit and I’m not sure how to make a past out of prunes or figs. Try it, and please write me a comment and let me know how it goes.

    Sajeela: here’s the nutrition info:
    For the whole recipe:

    Calories: 4198, total fat: 129 g, saturated fat 18 g, cholesterol 221 mg, sodium 1324 mg, carbs 692 g, fiber 86 g, sugars 390 g, and protein 73 g.
    If you cut it into 20 bars, each bar will have:
    210 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 66 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 20 g sugars, and 4 g protein.

  2. Just happened across this recipe. Trying to eat a training diet for optimal performance and have a sweet tooth, so this may be perfect for me 🙂 Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Date Nut Bar (gluten, dairy, and grain-free)

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