For those of us who garden and grow tomatoes, there often comes a point in the summer tomato growing season in which the bounty greatly exceeds one's ability to consume it, in its regular tomato form.
If you find yourself in this position, and you love tomato juice, V8, Bloody or Virgin Marys, I highly recommend making your own tomato juice.
My father announced the other day that he was going to make some tomato juice with some of the garden tomatoes that were overflowing our kitchen counter and I thought nothing of it.
But after one taste, wow! This is how V8 should taste.
Freezing Tomato Juice
Some of our readers make this and freeze it in quart zip-top freezer bags for up to 1 year. That way, if you want to scale this up for tomato juice to enjoy all year long, there's a handy way to store it.
Canning This Recipe
This recipe is not made for home canning in a water bath, as there's not enough acidity. To scale this recipe up and adapt it for safe home canning in a water bath, follow this advice from the National Center for Home Food Preservation: "To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product."
Between sea level and 1,000 feet elevation, process quart jars in a water bath canner for 40 minutes, and pint jars for 35 minutes. See this chart for processing times for other altitudes.
Homemade Tomato Juice
Some tomatoes are sweeter than others, depending on their ripeness and the variety of tomato. Use the ripest tomatoes you can. Added sugar will balance the natural acidity of the tomatoes, use more or less to taste. Tabasco hot sauce is also to taste, depending on your desired level of spiciness.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine, who got it from Chef Brill Williams of The Inn at Sawmill Farm in West Dover, Vermont.
3 pounds very ripe garden tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
A couple shakes Tabasco sauce, about 6 to 8 drops (to taste)
- Sieve, chinoise, or food mill
Cook the tomatoes, vegetables, and seasonings:
Put all of the ingredients into a large non-reactive pot (use stainless steel, not aluminum). Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until mixture is completely soupy, about 25 minutes.
Force the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, chinoise, or food mill. Cool completely.
If you like, save the solids left in the strainer. Puree them with a little water and to add to recipes for a tomato-y boost.
Store covered and chilled. Will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||1%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 25mg||127%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|