This is not a post about how United Airline stupidly removed Tomato Juice from their menu. What on earth were ya’ll thinking? Do you not know the needs of stressed out travelers hunting for their lycopene fix? We demand our tomato juice! And we demand it now!
Last night I went out and got pretty damn festive with my fellow MFA classmates. We must be really happy this semester is over. But the following morning, I was definitely feeling the effects of one too many tequila shots. I woke up with the most intense craving for a Bloody Mary. Like, give me a Bloody Mary IV drip level intense.
But apparently, a “hair of the dog” post binge drink is NOT what the body needs to recover. Damn you Google for dispelling this myth. I decided to ditch the vodka and try my hand making a virgin tomato based drink, because honestly, all I really wanted was that tomato spicy goodness in my belly.
I found a recipe for one of my favorite tomato based drinks (the venerable Sangrita), put on a pair of sunglasses, slipped into a pair of flip flops with a dingy sweatshirt, and trudged to the grocery store. I walked through the aisles bobbing my head to “Ain’t It Funny” by J.Lo looking like an out-of-work actress, which is also the look of an out-of-work producer. But when I came upon the bright red gallon sized jug of tomato juice, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. I mean, how can I be a snob about my fresh pressed OJ and then turn around drink tomato juice from concentrate. The blasphemy.
A thought crossed my mind. What if I made my own tomato juice? How hard could it possibly be? I’m not working right now. I’ve got time! Endless, endless time to make tomato juice. Less than .3 seconds later I had found a few tomato juice recipes online and felt I could hack together my own recipe, no problemo. And as luck would have it, my grocery store had just received a shipment of beautifully ripe tomatoes on the vine and selling them for the wonderful price of 99c/lb.
Making tomato juice is no thang at all if you have a high speed blender. You just chop the tomatoes, toss them into the cup with the smallest amount of water and then blend until pink and smooth.
Working in batches, you’ll end up with about 30 – 40 ounces of juice and pulp. It will remain a kind of weird pink color UNTIL you heat it up, so don’t worry about that. Once it’s nice and hot and has simmered for some time, the juice will start to turn bright red. Then you can strain out the pulp and use that for all sorts of recipes like bruschetta, pesto, a sandwich spread, or a pizza topping.
Folks – listen up. Making homemade tomato juice is so fucking easy, like stupid easy, like if you’re buying bottled tomato juice I’m totally judging you. Get it together people.
The Easiest Tomato Juice Recipe In The World
Yield 16 ounces
This is hands down, the easiest, simplest, most straightforward tomato juice recipe you'll find on line. I've stripped out any additional veggies to focus on pure tomato-y joy. But this recipe is totally maleable. Make it your own. If you're up to it - go ahead and add onions, garlic, carrots or celery to make a hearty tomato based veggie juice.
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- Roughly chop tomatoes. put in a high speed blender with 1/3 cup water. Purée till smooth. I suggest working in batches and using a little of the puréed tomato instead of water in the subsequent batches. You don’t want your juice to be watered down.
- Pour puréed tomatoes into a non-reactive pan. I used my new non-stick and eco friendly pan!
- Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir frequently to preventing the pulp from sticking and burning. The mixture will start to turn bright red with a pinkish foam on top.
- Remove from heat and strain. I used my large mesh strainer, pressing the juice through with a spoon. Save the pulp! Make a pizza! Spoon it into a soup! Make tomato bread! Whatever you do, don’t throw it away!
- Return the remaining tomato juice to the pan. Stir in the sugar, little by little until you it tastes just right to you. When the sugar is all dissolved, you can remove the pan from heat.
- Bottle your juice and chill in the fridge. Your fresh made tomato juice will have a shelf life of about 5-7 Days in the fridge.