While most athletes think of training food as things like vegetables, protein powders, nuts, and fruit, I think of doughnuts. And I blame it on my mother. And the 70s. And too much chlorine.
Back when I was a competitive swimmer, I used to train many hours per day – weights, dry land, swim practice morning and evening. And I was always starving (I also had green hair, but we’ll save that for another post). After practice, we’d usually stop to get a snack. What was easier, and more clamored after, than doughnuts? Nothing, I tell you. They were easy, not super messy so they could be eaten in the car on the way home, and they were universally beloved (Just ask the poor kid whose mother tried to get us to eat apples one day after practice. I’m guessing he’s still in therapy over that debacle.). We went nuts for doughnuts.
I even ate them before every swim meet. My mom and I would stop at Winchell’s on the way to the meet and I’d get two frosted cake doughnuts with sprinkles and a carton of milk. That is what I ate before I competed for nine years! Who knew about bonking? Who cared? I swam because I loved it and left the “specifics” up to my mom and my coach. It was madness, I tell you!
Well, I’d like to say that I’ve gotten smarter about it all, but the truth is I’m still a doughnut junkie (like y’all hadn’t already figured that out). And while I do eat fairly healthily day to day, I don’t spend a lot of energy paying much attention to sports nutrition or what is the “latest fitness food trend”. I eat what I like, what my body seems to be craving, and what sounds good before, during and after I train and race.
And I crave doughnuts. So this weekend, after a 155 mile week, I made a big batch of doughnuts and promptly snarfed down a couple (or three). While I’m typing this, I’m eating another. But before you get all up in my business, just know that I’m downing it with a bottle of beet juice. So there.
But I love y’all for trying to make me a better person.
adapted from Food.com
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
4 1/2 cups flour
oil for frying (I use peanut)
In the large bowl of your stand mixer, mix sugar, baking powder and nutmeg (if using vanilla instead, hold off until you beat in the eggs).
Add eggs, milk and butter. Beat well.
Add 3 cups of the flour and beat until well blended (a dough hook works really well here). Add one more cup of flour and beat. Check dough – it should be firm, but soft. If it is too sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a least an hour so that it can be rolled out, if desired.
After it’s chilled, if you choose to roll it out, do so on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness (thicker doughnuts will not cook in the center). Use a doughnut cutter or a large glass. I used the cap of a bottle of vinegar (after I rinsed it off) to cut out the centers.
If you choose not to roll the dough out, simply pinch off pieces and roll into balls. This will give you beignet-style doughnuts.
Heat oil to 360 degrees.
Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil. Flip over doughnuts after about 45 seconds, once they have started to puff up and brown. Repeat with the other side. Flip each doughnut fully one more time, about a 3 minute total cooking time.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sift powdered sugar over the tops.
Plate on your favorite 70s dishes. Eat before and after you run while listening to ABBA and Blue Swede.