Recipe: How To Make Your Own V8 Juice (Easy Homemade Vegetable Tomato Juice) (2024)

Cooking with Less Fuss, More Flavor

Recipe: How To Make Your Own V8 Juice (Easy Homemade Vegetable Tomato Juice) (2)

Bye bye, V8 juice! This healthy, homemade V4 version will blow you away.

Would you rather have your refreshing summer vegetables raw? Check out my quick and easy gazpacho recipe. Is your garden full of green tomatoes that won't have time to ripen? Turn them into my super simple, super popular salsa-like green tomato relish. Or learn how to ripen green tomatoes indoors the really easy way.

I have a sheep farmer friend who recently told me that she swears by Campbell's V8 juice when working out in the heat. She says it's more rejuvenating than drinking water or Gatorade and literally makes the difference between wanting to keel over and being able to keep going for hours.

This is the kind of stuff I need to know—especially during haying season.

But Campbell's V8 juice is mostly made from water and tomato paste, plus a frightening amount of salt. (Since you lose so much sodium while sweating, this may be part of the reason for its revitalizing abilities.) So what would be better than V8? Homemade V8!

Technically my version is only V4, but you can add more vegetables if you like. Either way, this healthy, easy to make vegetable tomato juice will blow that V8 away.

To make it, all you do is chop everything up and toss it into a pot, simmer until soupy, then put it through a food mill (I have this one and love it). It's a great way to use up overripe, imperfect, or just plain ugly tomatoes, which you can sometimes find for a deal at farmers' markets. The first time I made it I used a bunch of tomatoes from my kitchen garden that had all cracked after a recent rainstorm and needed to be dealt with immediately.

As I started putting the cooked mixture through my food mill, it seemed like an awful lot of it was being left behind, so I whizzed it up in the blender first and then put it back through the food mill. The two cups of leftover pulp were happily gobbled up by our always ravenous chickens.

The unblended version is smooth and delicate and, if possible, tastes more like fresh tomatoes than fresh tomatoes actually do. It would be the perfect thing to serve at a Sunday brunch.

The blended version is thicker and richer and has more celery and parsley flavor. It's also better for you since you're drinking more of the vegetable goodness. Both versions are refreshing and delicious—and miles above anything you'll find at the store.

You can halve this recipe, but after the first sip you'll probably be sorry you did. As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Want to preserve your homemade juice in glass jars? See the canning instructions at the end of the recipe.

Recipe: How To Make Your Own V8 Juice (Easy Homemade Vegetable Tomato Juice) (3)

This juice makes great Bloody or Virgin Marys, too.

Gardener's Delight Tomato Vegetable Juice
Makes about 6 cups (48 oz)—Adapted from Gourmet via Simply Recipes

**Click here to print this recipe**

I doubled Elise's version on Simply Recipes and then applied my More, More, More philosophy, which included upping the onions and tossing in some fresh parsley.

You can also add even more vegetable goodness. Campbell's V8 juice also contains beet juice concentrate, along with celery, carrot, lettuce, parsley, watercress, and spinach juice concentrates. Since I can't bear to eat my beets any other way than caramelized with garlic I'm thinking about tossing in some carrots or Swiss chard (which is so easy to grow, even in containers!) or perhaps even some sweet red peppers.

If I'm going to be drinking this while picking up hay or otherwise sweating profusely, I double the amount of salt.

6 pounds of vine-ripened, organic tomatoes (preferably heirlooms), coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped organic white or yellow onion
2½ cups chopped organic celery
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
(stems are fine)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
6 drops hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha

Splash or two of Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a large stainless steel pot. Bring them to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until very soupy, about 40 minutes.

If a thicker juice is desired, first carefully blend the vegetable mixture in batches in a counter top blender, then put it through a food mill. For a smoother and more delicate juice, go straight to the food mill.

A sieve might work but it would probably take forever. Next time I'll try using my hand blender instead of the counter top blender. Update: The hand blender worked really well.

Chill for at least several hours before adding more salt or other seasonings. This juice will keep for at least a week in the fridge. I tried freezing some in a small plastic freezer container, but haven't defrosted it yet. I'll let you know how it comes out when I do.

Update: When I defrosted the frozen tomato juice it had separated some, so that you could see teeny bits of tomato. It tasted okay but looked a little odd. I put it in the blender, and that made it all bubbly and sort of orange, though after sitting in the fridge for a while it settled down.

For long term storage, this juice would probably fare better if canned in glass jars using the instructions below. If you use the frozen juice in a recipe, I'm sure it would work fine.

To preserve your juice in glass jars: Heat juice 5 minutes at 190°F (I love my digital kitchen thermometer). Do not boil. Add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar. Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint jar. Ladle hot juice into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 40 minutes and quarts 45 minutes in a water-bath canner.

Got a bumper crop? More Farmgirl Fare tomato recipes:

Greek Salad Pitas with Baby Spinach and Quick Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Greek Style Panzanella Salad with Pan-Fried Olive Oil Croutons

Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw (and Tacos) with High Kickin' Creamy Tomato Dressing

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad (Fattoush)

Savory Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Pie with an Easy Cheesy Biscuit Crust

(refreshing chilled tomato vegetable soup)

Saving the Harvest with No Sugar Green Tomato Relish

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, the juicy foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and there can never be too many tomatoes.

Recipe: How To Make Your Own V8 Juice (Easy Homemade Vegetable Tomato Juice) (2024)
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