Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade Gatorade

Last weekend my husband ran his second marathon. He came in at just over 3 hours and 6 minutes. I'm super proud! He spent the past spring and summer training, which meant he went through a lot of sports drink. Even when waiting for his drink to go on sale, we still spent a lot of money. In order to save, I started buying the powder that you mix with water yourself. It worked, but only comes in a few flavors. Husband likes grape. Grape was not a choice. I decided that I could make him grape flavored myself and save even more money. The folks at Gatoraid have spent a lot of time and money perfecting their electrolite formula. There are many variations all over the internet. The following is what I came up with based on what I've read. I started with one packet of grape flavored Kool-Aid.
Add 1/2 cup of sugar. I poured all of the dry ingredients into a clean waterbottle so I could easily shake them together at the end.
Here's where I split a few hairs. Some recipes called for salt for the sodium. Some called for salt substitute for the potasium. My grocery store had lite salt which had 10% of your daily potasium needs instead of 19% in the salt substitute. However, the salt substitute was almost $6 instead of $1.50 for the lite salt. I went for the lite salt, but used the same amount, 1/4 tsp.
Some recipes called the baking soda optional and some completely left it out. You can't taste it, and it is good for you, so I included it. This is 1/16 of a tsp eyeballed as I don't have a 1/16th tsp spoon. Do any of you have any measuring devices that small?
I shook the dry ingredients together and used a funnel to add the last ingredient, 2 tbsp lemon juic to my container. You could use a pitcher, but I had this glass milk jug that I liked.
Finally, add 8 cups of water.
It certainly looked like grape Gatoraid. I personally thought it tasted better that the Gatoraid. It tasted more like a drink and less like a cough syrup.
One final note: Electrolyte imbalance is serious. I will not be giving this to my husband the day of or the day before his next marathon. I'd much rather spend a few dollars buying him a professionally made drink that I know will provide him with exactly the kind of electrolites he needs instead of accidentally making a mistake with my measurements and sending him to the hospital. I WILL be sennding this with him to work when he's outside on hot days or when he's training and having his shorter runs. After this marathon he didn't even want a sports drink anyway. He went for the water and chocolate milk.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pretty Pictures

These are the pictures I took when it was raining and I was killing the battery in my camera.
My bird feeder and fall salad greens getting rained on. It just all of a sudden started pouring after not having any rain for weeks. It was short lived though.

And the cat who begged and begged to be let outside all afternoon. I have the best timing don't I? He hid under the overhang and then right as the last batch of cookies came out of the oven, decided to make a break for it and dashed under the deck where I had to retrieve him.

This is the view from my front door and also from my living room window. I wasn't too hot on these trees in my front yard until they turned these gorgeous shades of orange and red. They're perfect when the sun hits them in the afternoon.

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookies Experiment

Tea time. I've gotten really into tea time lately. Everyone deserves a touch of caffeine and a cookie in the middle of the afternoon. We all need a respite from whatever it is that we're working on at 3 pm. In that spirit I realized that I have 2 bananas left that are as black as Santa's soot. Peanut butter, banana, chocolate chip cookies anyone? Ladies and gentlemen, start your ovens (375 degrees)

I started this by reading through my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook peanut butter cookie recipe and making some adjustments. First off, Betty would have us use shortening. I don't ever use shortening. The transfats ya know? So instead I needed 1/2 cup of butter.

Yes, I know that's not a half cup of butter, I messed up the first few measurements by looking at the wrong side of the cookbook page. I adjusted and was able to get back on track.

Next, I went for a scant cup of brown sugar. Many cookie recipes call for half brown and half white sugar. I prefer to go with all brown most of the time. One: because brown sugar has molasses which I associate as a very fall flavor and two: because I like the chewiness from the brown sugar. Why a scant cup you may ask. Because I know two things about bananas, they're wet and sweet. I didn't think I'd need the whole cup with the sugar from the banana.

This is my awesome wet ingredient measuring cup that my mother-in-law gave me last year. She's awesome too. You need 1/2 cup of peanut butter. I used chunky because it's all we have in the house. Anything else would be sacrilege.

We're also going to throw in one egg. And of course, one banana. Mix on low to medium speed with your hand mixer until they are smooth.

Knowing that my banana was adding moisture to my dough (really, it's more of a batter) I decided to add an extra tablespoon to the amount of flour. Add one and 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon of ap flour, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. I mixed these dry ingredients most of the way in and then added the good stuff.

The good stuff being the chocolate chips. I mixed on low until everything was combined. Shouldn't take too much mixing at this point.

Into the 375 degree oven they went for 9 minutes. The batter/dough was the texture of whipped cream cheese or butter, and I was nervous that the 1 tablespoon of flour wasn't going to be enough.

But it was. They were beautiful and delicious. Just enough banana flavor to know it's there but not overwhelm. They have a cakier texture than most cookies, which I happen to think goes very well with a cup of afternoon tea. Or how about some ice cream. This recipe made 3 dozen plus 2 oversized cookies that my husband and I will enjoy with ice cream on top as we laze on the couch in front of the TV tonight. Because sometimes you've just gotta make Monday night special. And by the way, a full cup of the sugar would not have hurt anything. And I apologize for not having more pictures of the final result. My battery died from taking pictures of the rain as the cookies were in the oven.