Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thresher's Gatorade

We've just come through an extended period of above average temperatures, complete with below average rain. The trend (the heat part, not the rain part) finally broke last night, after thermometer readings on the farm of 104 deg. 

What to do during a heat wave like this? We can hardly hide in the A/C all day, though it sounds delightful. Our solution is to only call the farm crew for morning hours, when possible and take frequent water and shade breaks.  My problem is that I can only drink so much water before I start feeling like an overfilled water balloon but I am a little horrified at all of the garbage in Gatorade and related sports drinks. After several days of this dilemma, I remembered the research I had done when we first came to the farm on recipes for switchel. For those of you who don't read farm history literature, switchel is basically thresher's gatorade. It was drunk by the crews of hard-working, hard sweating farm-workers as a thirst quencher using the products available at the time.  I figure if it kept them from passing out back then, then it would probably do the same today.  There are lots of refrences and recipes online, so after much tweaking this is what I've been drinking:

Blue Gate Farm Switchel
1/2 gallon cold water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (use Bragg's or other "real" cider vinegar)
1/4 cup molasses, sorghum or honey (I like molasses or sorghum for the nutrients)
1-2 slices fresh or candied ginger

Combine and store in the fridge.
I find this to be far too concentrated to drink as is, so I cut it 1:4 with cool (not cold) water and find it very refreshing...especially when drunk out of a canning jar : )
Go ahead and give it a try!

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