My life is about to drastically change in 118 days.
(Yes, I counted.)
On August 10th, Brett and I will be moving to CHINA!
We just booked our one-way plane tickets this weekend and we’re preeeeeetty excited. The fact that we know the exact date we’ll be moving has made it all the more real. Soon I’ll be living in a country where I’ll stand out like a sore thumb, be unable to read signs or ingredient labels (let alone communicate with people), have no assurance of western toilets, have to make my own milk, and be unsuccessful at finding pre-made hummus at the grocery store. Some people might think that scenario sounds down-right awful, but I couldn’t be more pumped to take on the challenge. Traveling and being in different cultures is when I thrive.
BUT I would be dishonest if I didn’t share some of the thoughts, questions, and emotions I have swirling around in my head. What should we bring with us? What will we regret bringing with us? How many months or years will I go without seeing my family members? Do they sell cup measurers or tampons there? Will I pick up Chinese quickly? Will China ever feel like home? How long will I be there before I have a major meltdown and ask, “What the heck were we thinking moving to a foreign country!?”
I don’t know what the answers are to most of those questions, but if you keep reading along on this little space of mine, I’ll share with you what I find out…along with (hopefully) lots of yummy authentic and plant-based Chinese food:) Many of you might not know this, but our move to China is one of the reasons I started this blog. I knew that I would need to learn how to make a lot of food from scratch if we wanted to still enjoy things like non-dairy milk, fig newtons, natural almond butter, hummus, clif bars, and healthier sweets such as peanut butter cups and almond joys. I figured starting a blog would be a fun way of documenting my progress. And as you can see from some of my older posts, I’ve come a long way, not only in my blogging and photography, but also in my cooking skills, which is encouraging!
One super helpful website that I heard about is Taobao, which is basically the Amazon of China. I can practically find anything I need on there. Praises! So far Brett and I don’t plan on bringing much with us except for essentials such as clothes, certain kitchenware items that we know are hard to find in China, and a few sentimental things like pictures of our family and trinkets from our dating/married life so far.
If any of you have moved or lived overseas I would love to hear any words of advice you have! Brett and I have some friends and contacts who live in China that we bombarding with specific, practical questions, and it’s been so helpful to hear what worked or didn’t work for them. I’m all ears y’all.
I don’t exactly know how to segue to these Easy Homemade Oatmeal Date Granola Bars, but I can say that I’ll be making these in China for sure. I’ll have access to all of the ingredients in my new home (except for the almond butter which I’ll make from scratch) and I know Brett and I will be doing a lot of walking around, during which we’ll need easy grab-and-go snacks. These recipe makes 16 large or 32 small-sized granola bars so you can easily halve the recipe if you don’t need as many. However, I wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and they last for a long time in the fridge. They’re sweet and chewy and full of whole-food fiber and protein. I’ve shared them with a lot of my friends already and everyone gives them two thumbs up.
I hope you enjoy these lil’ bites of goodness! Happy Monday!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder* (optional)
- ½ cup almond butter
- 2½ cups packed, pitted Medjool dates (about 30)**
- 1-2 tablespoons water (or more if necessary)
- In a food processor, pulse the oats, coconut and cacao powder a few times until combined.
- Add in the almond butter and pitted dates and process until everything is incorporated and is the same consistency. Add in water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to make everything sticky (I needed 2 tablespoons). The dough should stick together when pressed together between your fingers.
- Press the mixture firmly into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish until flat. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into rectangles or squares.
**I have only tried these bars with sticky Medjool dates!
I love to wrap my bars in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for easy grab-and-go snacks. They'll last for quite some time in the fridge!