Excalibur, I Love You
How’s your Sunday going? Mine has been productive and full of happy times with the fam, and happy times in the kitch. If you’re a regular reader you know that recently I bought a spiralizer and a mandolin. Both were less than $30 bucks on Amazon and if you can only swing one I would say purchase the spiralizer way before the mandolin. I think the spiralizer will leave you more satisfied on a day-to-day level with more real, day-in, day-out meal options. The mandolin makes pretty food but I think it’s a bit of a PITA to use whereas the spiralizer is fast-n-easy and more practical. This is just what I’ve been experiencing but I wanted to weigh in on for all of you who’ve written me wondering which to buy first.
You know I’ve been a sweet treat makin’ machine lately, including yesterday’s Vegan Maple Nut Chocolate Oaties. Thanks for everyone’s great comments on those and holla if you make ‘em. And before that there was the Raw Vegan Apple Crumble, and before that there were the Raw Vegan Chocolate-Coconut-Chia Treats and there’s no sign of slowdown because…
…Appliance Mania continues because I got an Excalibur Dehydrator!!!! I got the Excalibur 9 Tray with 26 Hour Timer. And let me tell you, I put this bad boy to good use the moment I got it outta the box!
Here’s what it looks like with the trays fanned out. One tray is pulled out because I was already using it. Let no grass grow under your dehydrator, peeps.
And here’s the controls…just 2 things: Temp & Timer. Goof & Blonde-Proof
Recently Kristin posted a recipe that I just had to try and knew this Black Magic Box was coming so I quickly got to work and sliced up 2 bananas. That’s just 2 nanners on that tray, but I sliced them very thin as recommended.
Then as long as I was gonna fire up the hot box, I sliced an apple and added a little agave and cinnamon to it.
Then, I was gonna stop there. But…
…I figured no, I’ve waited this long, let’s just bust out some Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies, and so, I did.
The recipe for my Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies is tweaked from Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw cookbook. Because I tweaked it considerably and made the recipe my own, totally omitting certain ingredients and adding others, as well as tweakin’ portion size, I’ll share with you what I did.
I took 2 c of dry Oats and ground it into oat flour (in 30 seconds flat in the VitaGrinder).
Poured the oat flour into a bowl and added:
1/4 c Cocoa Powder
3/4 c Maple Syrup
2 Tsp Vanilla Extact
1/8 c water
I mixed that up with a spoon but things were feelin’ a little dry and after yesterday’s Vegan Maple Chocolate Nut Oaties dry batter vibe, I decided that in raw baking, just listen to ya gut, and add a lil’ more liquid because if you overdo it, there’s always more dry cocoa powder to the rescue.
So in went about 2 Tbsp Agave. Ahhh, much more moist and perfect now. Along with about 1/2 c dark chocolate chips. The chips aren’t technically raw, but if you wanna make your own raw chocolate chips, Matthew gives a recipe for that right next to his cookie recipe.
Then, I formed little cookie shapes and put them on my dehydrator screen. I was a little unsure of how thin or thick, how big or small, to make them, but hey, I just winged it.
Notice I added some strategically placed extra choco chips on top of each of the 11 cookies I got out of my recipe. I’m so sneaky, aren’t I!
Closeups of the happy raw vegan cookies ’bout to go in for hibernation.
Then, I put the nanners, the cinnamon-agave apples, and raw vegan choco bombs into the Magic Box
And turned the heat to 118F, where everything rested for awhile…
3.5 Hours to be exact for the Cookies.
Cookie Verdict: Divine. This is what I have been waiting for; a way to bake and keep it raw and therefore keep my creativity and ingredient lists flowing exactly how I want! Excalibur, where have you been all my raw life? OMG I am in raw cooking nirvana. I remember after getting my VitaGod thinking, why I hadn’t just done it sooner? Well, I can tell things with the Excal could quickly be goin’ down that same path of why didn’t I do this sooner?
Back to the Trays that were hibernating. After 7 hours, I took out the fruits of my labors! No extra charge for my corny jokes.
And the Cinnamon-Agave Apples
And into a glass storage dish went the dehydrated fruit. Watch out nanners, I’m gonna make banana cookie dough bites outta you. Stay tuned for those soon but we gotta eat up some of this other goodness, first. Anyone want me to send ‘em anything?
Tip of the Day: Gratitude. I realize that no matter what kinda day I am having or whatever drama is going on around me, that I am blessed with a loving husband and a amazing daughter, I have a roof over my head, organic food on my table, the use of my body, legs, and arms to do as much yoga as I want and have been blessed with ample material possessions. And for all of this, I am deeply grateful.
Not to sound like Oprah with her Gratitude Journals, but I think it is so important to give gratitude and thanks and remember what you do have. Something I do is when I am feeling high on life, like with getting my dehydrator, is I try to take a mental snapshot of this moment, of how I feel, of the enthusiasm and zest for life that I have because I know it won’t always be like this. So then when the tide has turned and you’re goin’ through a rough patch, you can conjure up your mental snapshot of all the things you’re grateful for, and usually upon remembering that, I feel alot better ’bout the less than stellar days.
That was kinda a deep Tip of the Day but hopefully it made some sense and is helpful.
So, what are you grateful for? Big or small, I wanna hear what makes your list!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s weekend recap featuring some rockin’ un-pancakes, more rad eats and recipes…