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Water is awesome, but sometimes on those extra hot days when you’re working extra hard, you need something extra. Powerade and Gatorade are mostly water, of course, but they also provide some carbs, sugar, and minerals to aid your system.
Unfortunately, the sugar that Powerade provides is mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Gatorade doesn’t have HFCS, but it doesn’t have as many vitamins and minerals as Powerade does. It would appear to be a toss up between the two–that is, unless you make my awesome recipe for “Gingerade.”
Eric and I were at the grocery store, trying to decide on what type of Gatorade to buy. They were on sale, but still, Eric would’ve finished off a few bottles in no time. Eric suggested that I make an alternative drink instead, and a memory lept into my brain of an odd but strangely alluring beverage that I tasted when I was young.
The drink was from The Little House Cookbook by Barbara Walker, inspired from the recipes mentioned by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her books. We cooked through every single recipe with Mom. (If there were blogs back then, that would’ve made a good one. And perhaps a movie…?)
When we got home from the store, I found the recipe, researched its “health benefits” and made my own version. I was excited to learn that the ingredients in my recipe contain ALL of the benefits of Powerade and Gatorade, plus much more.
Gingerade contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium (all touted by Powerade) as well as multiple B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, a few carbs, protein, amino acids, antioxidants, and enzymes. In addition, the honey it’s made with has a mild effect on blood sugar, so no worries like you’d have with the HFCS.
Making Gingerade involves three main steps:
1. Coaxing out the optimal flavour of the ginger
2. Mixing with other ingredients
3. Chilling thoroughly
1 inch fresh ginger root (Or more. Feel free to be brave)
1/4- 1/2 cup raw honey
1. Cut off an inch of ginger, mince, and dump it into a saucepan along with a few cups of filtered water. Bring it to a boil, then simmer or turn off. Let it steep for about ten minutes, or as long as you like.
2. Pour the ginger water through a strainer over a half-gallon pitcher. Stir in 1/4 c of honey until dissolved. Add 1/4 c of vinegar and fill the pitcher almost to the top with filtered water (pouring through the strainer). Taste, cautiously. (You might hate it). Add more vinegar and honey if you desire a stronger drink. Press the ginger solids to release the liquid; reserve solids for other kitchen uses. Grate more ginger into the brew if you want, but keep in mind that the ginger taste will deepen as the drink chills, which leads us to step three:
3. Chill. And enjoy (like I’m doing now).
Pa told Laura to drink first but not too much. Nothing was ever so good as that cool wetness going down her throat. At the taste of it she stopped in surprise and Carrie clapped her hands and cried out, laughing, ‘Don’t tell, Laura, don’t tell till Pa tastes it!’ Ma had sent them ginger-water. She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink till they were not thirsty. Ginger-water would not make them sick, as plain cold water would when they were so hot. Such a treat made that ordinary day into a special day, the first day that Laura helped in the haying.” (The Long Winter)