A simple method on how to make your own V8 juice at home. Homemade V8 juice costs a fraction of the price and is loaded with nutrients from all the fresh vegetables. You control the flavors and the salt!
Last week before a 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 lackluster airport dinner.
I’ve had the tomato juice airlines carry before. Once, as a “hmm, let me try that out since everyone on a plane seems to love this stuff” kind of whim and many other times in the form of a Bloody Mary after a lucky upgrade to first class here and there.
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 I purchased.
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.
First thought — hmm, not bad at all. A bit earthy but I guess that’s the point.
It really is like drinking your vegetables, their marketing is on point. Of course my immediate thought was — I totally need to try making this at home and tweaking it to my flavor/spice liking.
So, I made homemade V8 juice.
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.
It’s hard to deny that drinking an entire onion isn’t a bit odd.
The original V8 juice recipe
V8 juice, whether it comes in a can or a bottle, includes 8 ingredients: tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, watercress, parsley, celery and beet.
It’s pretty balanced in flavor and can be used for many things besides just drinking. V8 juice can be frozen into cubes and added to smoothies for a nutritional boost or used in soups, stews and even chilis to replace tomato sauce.
Ingredients for homemade V8 juice
When creating this copycat V8 juice to make at home, I decided to simplify things a bit and include just 6 vegetables. So while you may not technically be able to call it V8 any more, the taste is on par with the commercial stuff and it’s a bit more accessible to the average person to create.
Vegetables used in this homemade V8 juice recipe:
Then there are some other ingredients included for both flavor and freshness:
- Worcestershire sauce
- fresh parsley
These flavoring agents are not something to skip. Original store-bought V8 has a salty taste to it that is very distinct. The use of Worcestershire sauce in this homemade version is imperative to recreate that flavor.
The secrets to making your own V8 juice
The thing about making your own V8 juice is that there’s more to it than just blending a bunch of vegetables together. Trust me, that’s not a smoothie you want to drink.
This is a little more involved than making a vegetable smoothie (but if you want something like that try this detox green smoothie or a blueberry beet smoothie, you can’t go wrong with either of those) or running some vegetables through a juicer. This guide to juicing will tell you everything you need to know about that though.
The key step to making V8 juice at home is cooking the vegetables.
In fact, the whole process includes cooking, blending, processing the vegetables for the copycat V8 juice through a food mill (my mom always used this appliance to make tomato sauce – it brings such nostalgia every time I take it out of the cabinet) and then blending again.
It’s not rocket science by any means, just a few added steps to get a more juice-like consistency and develop a flavor that you’ll actually want to drink. This method also preserves all the nutrients of the vegetables at the same time.
This is one time where I will encourage you not to take any shortcuts and try blending 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.
How to make this homemade V8 juice recipe
Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add all the ingredients except for the cucumbers and parsley to the pot and bring to a simmer.
Cook the vegetables on a low simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break down the vegetables.
Season to taste as needed with more salt, pepper, Worcestershire and tabasco. Add the parsley and cucumber and turn off the heat.
Transfer to a high-power blender and give a quick blend to break up the big chunks of vegetables but it doesn’t have to be completely smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of a chunky, thick soup.
I'm partial to my Vitamix, I've had this blender for 10 years and it's still kicking. It gets almost daily use with my breakfast smoothies and there's pretty much nothing it can't blend. Seriously, it once pulverized a rogue stone in my coffee beans.
Pour the contents into a food mill and using the smallest hole plate available, run the entire mixture through the food mill over a large bowl working in batches as needed.
Pour the mixture back into the blender and blend on high until completely smooth. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add up to one cup of filtered water to the blender to dilute it a bit.
Can I make this without a food mill?
If you don’t have access to a food mill in your kitchen, you can still make this V8 juice!
Blend the mixture until smooth straight from the pot (adding water if desired to dilute) then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. It will take some batch work and a little more time than a food mill but still result in a delicious tasting V8 copycat.
What does the homemade version taste like?
The end result of homemade V8 juice is a perfect balance between the tomatoes as the main ingredient with the supporting vegetables and spices.
I personally love rimming a chilled glass with some coarse salt, squeezing a bit of lemon juice on top and enjoying a nice cold glass of this. Suddenly, veggies become way cool.
*Pro Tips and Tricks
• Try this recipe as a base for a homemade Bloody Mary.
• Adjust the amount of tabasco to your preference for spice.
• Looking for more natural salt flavor? Add some celery to the recipe.
• Add leafy greens if desired. Use mild flavored options like lettuce or spinach.
If you like making homemade recipes like this, try these as well:
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Love tangy things? Fermenting vegetables is not only a delicious way to enjoy some zippy kick to salads and sandwiches, it’s highly nutritious too with naturally occurring probiotics.
How to roast chickpeas will teach you a great method for a great healthy snack. These can be made sweet or savory and are way better than grabbing for a bag of chips.
How to make the perfect healthy smoothie details in a helpful visual guide how to think about creating smoothie recipes from choosing a base, adding flavor and experimenting with fun add-ins.
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If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.
How To Make Your Own V8 Juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 medium-large tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 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 cucumbers.
- 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 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. You may add up to 1 cup of filtered water to dilute the juice if desired.
- Chill before serving.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.