Last week before my flight out to California I bought my first V8 juice. I paid $4.29 plus tax for it thanks to the lovely price gouging at JFK. It was a last ditch attempt to get some vegetables in a pretty lack luster airport dinner.
I’ve had the craptastic tomato juice airlines carry before. Once as a “hmm, let me try that out since everyone on a plane seems to love this stuff” and many other times in the form a bloody mary after the upgrade list on Delta’s gate screens loving displayed MAT/G (<—that’s me and that’s a beautiful sight). To be blunt, it’s disgusting. I have a strong hatred towards jarred/canned tomato sauces and to me, that’s exactly what that stuff tastes like. So I had high hopes for the V8.
Fast forward 3 hours later and somewhere over the plains of Kansas, I broke it open, asked for a glass of ice and tried it out. Not bad. It really is like drinking your vegetables, they don’t lie. But of course my immediate thought was “I can totally make this at home for a fraction of the cost and control the flavorings”.
So I did.
When you pile up all the vegetables that eventually end up being gulped down in a glass, it’s pretty impressive. Or weird, depending on how you look at it. Yeah, I drank a onion. What of it?
This is a little more involved than making a vegetable smoothie or running some vegetables through a juicer. You want to cook it, blend it, food mill it up and then blend again. No master’s degree required or anything (which is good because otherwise I couldn’t make my own recipe), just a few added steps to get a more juice like consistency that doesn’t lose any flavor (or nutrients!) at the same time. And if you’ve ever tried to go the easy route and just blend it up without the other steps, you’ll realize pretty quickly why the extra steps are worth it. Trust me. Chewing something that’s supposed to be a drink is just gross.
The end result is a perfect balance between tomatoes, other flavoring vegetables and spice. Rim it with some salt, throw it in a mason jar, squeeze some lemon on top and suddenly veggies become way cool.
Or, you’ve got one awesome base for a bloody mary. Either way works.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 beet, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 dash tabasco sauce
- 1 dash worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add everything except cucumbers and parsley to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cook on medium for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to help break down the vegetables.
- Season to taste with more salt, pepper, tabasco and worcestershire sauce as desired.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.
- Add parsley and 1 cucumber.
- Pulse 2-3 times just to break up the chunks of vegetables remaining. The consistency should be like a thick, chunk soup at this point.
- Transfer from blender to a food mill.
- Using the smallest holed plate, run mixture through the food mill.
- Transfer the mixture back to the blender, add the remaining cucumber and blend for about 1 minute on high to get a nice smooth, juice consistency. It will still be thicker than a normal juice, but not chewy.