Very commonly in Ramadan, you may find yourself surrounded by traditional sweets such as baklava, qatayif (stuffed walnut or cheese pancakes), and countless other treats. Iftar parties and gatherings with family and friends results in a buffet of various mouthwatering desserts.
As ecstatic as you may feel with the tradition, and seasonal mood around, these sweets may not be the best choice for both your energy, and long-term health. Many of these sweets are not only loaded with refined added sugar, but are also deep fried in inflammatory-promoting oils. Consuming genetically engineered oils, such as canola, soy, corn, or vegetable oil increase internal inflammation, are toxic to your liver, and increase your risk of cardiovascular health conditions as well. It’s highly recommended that you eliminate these oils from your kitchen and diet alike.
In a Blessed Month in which you may aspire to maximize your acts of worship, it’s vital that you comprehend how much the food you eat impacts your energy. Consuming lots of deep-fried food, sweets, and heavy meals will leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. These date bars are loaded with healthy fats, natural sweeteners, and various minerals and vitamins that will replenish your body at a time in which you need it most.
This special recipe is my mother’s traditional treat passed on from my grandmother. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and crunchy, and leaves every taste bud satisfied. Give this recipe a try this Ramadan, and you’ll not only be incorporating two incredibly healthy Sunnah Superfoods, but also striving to enhance your energy for the sake of worship.
3 organic pasture-raised eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (alcohol-free)
½ cup organic cane sugar or organic coconut palm sugar
1 cup organic virgin coconut oil or cold-pressed avocado oil
3 tablespoon whole anise seeds
3 teaspoon anise powder
3 tablespoons whole black seeds
2 ½ cups unbleached organic flour
3 teaspoons baking powder (I only use aluminum-free)
1 pack of pitted dates (about 2 cups date puree)
1 ½ cups freshly squeeze orange juice (I squeeze fresh oranges)
Crumble: ½ cup pecans or walnuts, ¼ cup additional sugar and ¼ cup additional flour
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place orange juice and the dates in a small pot on low-medium heat. Allow them to sit, and stir occasionally. Once dates melt, set aside.
Mix eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add the flour, baking powder, anise seed, anise powder, and black seeds, mix well.
Set aside 1/2 cup of the dough.
Pat the remaining dough in a 13 by 9 glass square baking pan. Top with the date mixture.
Add the additional sugar, and flour to the reserved dough. Crumble with your hands until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle with the nuts of your choice.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool before serving.
Enjoy for suhoor or with iftar!
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.