It has begun. Days in the triple digits, or just under. Sweat pouring from every inch of your body when you are just standing there. Big sun hats, long-sleeves, and working in the garden early in the day.
The calendar may not agree, but here in central Texas summer seems to be upon us. We live off-grid so air conditioning is non-existent and fans are minimal. So we find old-fashioned ways of staying cool and hydrated.
I made this homemade gatorade the other day for a community gathering. After a 99 degree day spent working, it seemed like just the right thing to do.
It is incredibly important in this heat to maintain your electrolytes and not just drink water. We eat more unrefined sea salt, pay close attention to consuming potassium-rich foods like potatoes, zucchini, avocados, coconut water, and bananas. And now for the rest of this summer I’ll be making this slightly-sweetened homemade electrolyte drink regularly.
The dark color of this refreshing drink comes from the deep caramel color of the coconut sugar. Using white sugar would give it the look of common lemon-lime sports drinks.
Don’t worry about sticking too strictly to the juices here. When making it, I use what we have on hand. Sometimes that’s just lemon juice and a bit more sweetener. Always, always use the salt, though, for good hydration.
Homemade Gatorade (made with unrefined sweeteners)
Yield: 1 gallon
- 2 cups orange juice
- 3⁄4 cup coconut sugar or other sweetener of choice
- 3⁄4 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
- enough water to make one gallon
- Add coconut sugar and sea salt to a gallon-sized container. Heat up a couple of cups of water and add to sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Add orange juice and lemon juice and stir to combine. Top up the container with water to make one gallon.
- Serve chilled.