Excalibur, I Love You


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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.

Excalibur Dehydrator with trays fanned out

Excalibur Dehydrator with tray pulled out
Logo of Excalibur Food Dehydator

And here’s the controls…just 2 things:  Temp & Timer. Goof & Blonde-Proof

Food Dehydrator controls

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.

Sliced bananas on dehydrator tray

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.

Sliced apples with agave and cinnamon on dehydrator tray

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

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies mixture in bowl over cookbook

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.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies batter in bowl

So in went about 2 Tbsp AgaveAhhh, 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.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies in bowl with chocolate chips

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.

Batter formed into cookie shapes and placed on dehydrator tray

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!

Batter formed into cookie shapes and placed on dehydrator tray

Closeups of the happy raw vegan cookies ’bout to go in for hibernation.

Close up of Batter formed into cookie shapes and placed on dehydrator tray
Close up of Batter formed into cookie shapes and placed on dehydrator tray

Then, I put the nanners, the cinnamon-agave apples, and raw vegan choco bombs into the Magic Box

Cookies and sliced bananas in dehydrator

And turned the heat to 118F, where everything rested for awhile…

Heat control showing 118 degrees F

3.5 Hours to be exact for the Cookies.

Finished Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies on dehydrator tray
Finished Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies on dehydrator tray
Finished Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies on dehydrator tray
Close up of finished Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies on dehydrator tray
Finished Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies stacked in clear container

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 wantExcalibur, 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.

Finished dehydrated banana slices on dehydrator tray
Finished dehydrated banana slices on dehydrator tray

And the Cinnamon-Agave Apples

Finished Cinnamon-Agave Apples on dehydrator tray
Close up finished Cinnamon-Agave Apples on dehydrator tray

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?

In the meantime, here was today’s yoga.  Eka pada (one-footed) Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel)
Or here’s another backbend.

Woman doing Eka pada Urdhva Dhanurasana yoga pose

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…

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. i wanted to change my name forever as a kid. I actually just wanted to use my middle name, but couldn't get everyone to switch…now I am ok with my name

  2. Glad to hear the name change went smoothly.

    Thanks for the shout-out. Everyone keeps bashing raw sweeteners, so it is nice to have someone on my side. I figure you have to live a little. Who wants to give up everything?

  3. OK classic Averie quote of the day: Never waste a good schlong! :-D HEe hee!

    Love your name change- that's huge. Of course I'm dying to know what your "old" name was but I know you'll never tell :-)

    I went from "Debbie" (which sounded rather dumb and juvenile at the time) to "Deb" a few years ago. But really I'm fine with both. I like Deb b/c it sounds more familiar & friendly.

    Agreed about making things taste better even if it costs a few cals. I've been doing that more and more lately and I'm happier for it! :-)

    I WRECKED the kale chips. Too painful to go into detail. Just suffice it to say that ACV and kale have no place in bed together.

  4. Look at you Miss .com! I wish mine hadn't been taken already or I would have done that long ago!

    Delicious dressing, so making that!

    I had a friend who changed her whole name too as well as her husband and daughter. She is a very free spirit and I haven't had any problem calling her by her new name. Way to go Averie : )

  5. Sahara thank you so much for telling me you and Gardenia made the chia pudding…that's awesome that I am an inspiration! I had no idea you guys were regularly reading :) As for your name, just do it girl. I love your "new" names as discussed and I can't wait til you take the plunge as it is so freeing! xoxo

    FitnessFreak-Thank you mama, that sounds so close to what I did and will be saved for future ref!

    Shannon, Nic, ABB, JEss, One More, thank you on the name props, I appreciate your kind words and support :)

    Hayley-yes I will and get that cut n paste goin' girl on the dressing recipes. LOL Thanks for your email and we'll chatty soon. Promise :) I will try to reply to ya tonite but it's already late. Yawn. And mommy duty continues yet for a bit….

    See you all in the a.m. I love you guys!!!!!!

  6. I see your background fine here. I've been transitioning to the name first and last (my legal middle) that we once talked about. I would like to make it legal like you really soon. You inspire me Averie! You also inspired both me and Gardenia to make some Chia Pudding! Went over well with both families. Its a great food for kids and was good for my ailing grandma as well. I used coconut milk and water for the liquid, Gardenia used raw whole milk. We loved it! Thanks for all the foodie inspiration, friend! :)

  7. Oh dear God you've done it again!! I am frantically "copying & pasting" into your Word folder. That dressing sounds DELICIOUS!! I was thinking of making a new one soon anyhow. I feel like it's been weeks since I read your blog even though it's only been about a day. I need my Averie fix! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your new name! It suits you to a tea. Averie is so pretty and I've always loved Harmony.

    GREAT yoga pose as always – I think maybe I might be able to sort of do that one. :)

    Will you be around on Sunday? All the fam will be gone in the morning that day!

  8. First off I love the name Averie. I've actually said that if I have ever have a daughter that's what I'd name her. I have a long story about name change and will try and keep it brief.

    My parents called me Danielle, my middle name until I was 6. When I went into the first gread I started going by my first name. The reason for the change was because I constantly threw fits over the fact that I couldn't change my name. My mother told me that I couldn't change my name until I turned 18 and that I had two names and had to go by either of those for now. Since I didn't like Danielle, I demanded to start being called Jess or Jessica. To this day, some 27 years later I have family members that refuse to call me Jess.

    Congrats on being bold and changing your name to one that feels like home!

  9. Wow Averie, changing your name, that's huge and so inspiring. I admire your commitment to the relationship you have with yourself. It's an incredibly hard and courageous thing to do.

  10. Sweet name change!!! It must be incredible to have that at last :D How official and exciting.

    I think I may do some heart opening or other chakra centering yoga tonight!

    And I agree with you, if you know it's going to taste better with a little sweetness.. just do it! Food should taste good, not feared. Unless it makes you fart or is rancid hahah

    Take care!


  11. can i just say how much i love reading your daily experiments and creations, and your lust for life?? i am grateful for you, reminding me that it's the little things we overlook that bring us so much joy!

    sorry i haven't been by, but i've got a bad cold and fuzzy head. as soon as my taste buds come back, i'll try that zevia :)

  12. So glad the name change is going well, I like Averie Harmony… awesome.

    I just started going by nic, I'm not use to introducing myself that way, growing up I never had a nickname to introduce myself as… so I'm still getting use to it, and probably wouldn't know they were talking to me if they used it, haha.

    But there is something about picking a name that fits you, that is so personal and self gratifying. Congratulations on the name change!

  13. Glad the salad dressing is turning into an early hit!

    And muchas gracias 'bout the name change kudos :)

    One reader just wrote me privately to tell me she couldn't see my background layout when she clicks thru to my new URL http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/ like you all have done to leave this comment. The brownish/fall leaves background is still there in my browser. Can you all still see it? Or did it go white?

    I'm hoping this isn't a universal glitch…fingers crossed…holla back peeps!

  14. i am glad the switch went well! but i think you should make it so your comment box is a pop up box so i can comment as i read ;) that is the only downfall of blogspot. well that and i don't know if you can pull up the google search terms people typed in to get to your blog. those CRACK me up!

    anyway, i love trips to the dentist, true story! am i a freak? haha

    zuke schlong comment=lmao

    the goddess dressing is the winner of this post in my eyes!

    loving that photo of you, you're ripped! aside from yoga do you do weight lifting?

    that is cool about the name change! i would never have guessed. mind sharing what your name was before? i love the name averie. i HATE my name, really i do, it is so hard to have.. but i have never thought about changing it because while it sucks to have, it is a name people only know one of. you say janetha and they immediately know who you are talking about haha. it is nice in that sense.

    dude my comments to you are SO long. and i never remember to check back to see answers to my Qs so i am glad you told me about the chia seeds on my blog, did you ever mention anything about a vegan cheeecake recipe?

    ok sorry to talk your ear off! love to you! xo

  15. I LOVE a good salad and I am always up for a delicious new salad dressing recipe. And no day would be complete without scrumptious dark chocolate! Camel pose is one of my favorite, I feel the love!

    Congrats on your name change, that is very courageous. As for what I wish I had done sooner, well, that is easy: GO VEGAN! It took me till I was 23 to have the vegan lightning bolt hit my heart, and now I can't believe I ever lived any other way.

  16. WOW you are so brave to change your name, I really admire you for it! I love the name Averie and it really suits you. Averie Harmony – just beautiful!

    I have all the ingredients for that Herbalicious dressing, I should go get my cashews soaking now!

  17. Congrats on changing your name to something YOU enjoy! my son isn't thrilled with his middle name and I have always encouraged him to change it..it's HIS name!

    Thanks for the yoga help…I had a nice am session!

  18. Oh my goodness, girl! If you hadn't told us, I'd have never guessed Averie isn't your real name–it fits you perfectly! I think you look like "an Averie" and I LOVE Harmony as the middle name! You chose well for yourself! :-D

    Love those recipes you've been sharing, too! YUM!!!


  19. Great dressing! YUM!

    I love the whole idea of changing your name because it doesn't "fit" you! Awesome, rock on girlie!

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