It is a commonly known fact that most fruits and veggies are beneficial for health. So, including them in diet is always advisable. One such vegetable that is highly valued for its health benefits and flavor is tomato (often referred to as a vegetable due to the nature of its culinary uses, even though it is a fruit scientifically). This juicy vegetable is an indispensable part of a myriad of food recipes that belong to the regional cuisines from across the globe. You may also consume it raw or in the form of juice.
Tomato juice is also an ingredient in various recipes including cocktails like Bloody Mary. While it is easy to prepare tomato juice at home, you may also opt for store-bought ones that are available in various versions. However, homemade ones are always preferred to their commercial counterparts, both in flavor as well as nutrition.
Homemade Tomato Juice
Preparing tomato juice is not a difficult task, if you know the right methods. Apart from being less expensive than the store-bought ones, homemade juice will be devoid of preservatives and additives. If you have a good stock of tomatoes, then you can prepare and store them in the juice form. Tomato juice can also be prepared from its puree or even tomato sauce.
How to Make Tomato Juice from Fresh Tomatoes
If you have a large stock of fresh tomatoes at home, you may think of preparing its juice. In order to prepare juice of fresh tomatoes, choose the ripe ones. The following are some easy steps to prepare tomato juice at home.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the stalks and black spots. If you want to peel the tomatoes beforehand, put them in boiling water for a minute or two, till the skin cracks.
- Remove their skin as the tomatoes cool. If you don't want to peel them, roughly chop the tomatoes and cook them over medium heat for around thirty minutes.
- If you want a slightly different flavor, add some sautéed onions and celery stalks to the chopped tomatoes, while cooking. In case you want thicker juice, extend the cooking time by ten to fifteen minutes.
- Once the tomatoes get cool, use a food mill, sieve or a food strainer to extract the juice. If you are using a food mill, use the insert with small holes.
- Transfer the juice to a clean pot and let it boil for a few minutes. You may either chill and use it or can it for further use. If you don't want to can the tomato juice, you may refrigerate it for around three days.
- If you want to can the juice, pour them into sterilized jars. But, make sure you leave half an inch of space from the rim, while filling the jars with the juice. Once done, secure the lids tightly.
- If you are using pint canning jars, then process the juice for around ten minutes in a water bath canner. In case of quart canning jars, fifteen minutes of processing will be needed.
As mentioned above, tomato juice can be prepared from tomato paste or sauce. If you want to make juice using tomato sauce, all you have to do is to mix equal amounts of water and sauce. Tomato paste can also be used for this purpose. Take out the contents from a can of tomato paste. Transfer that thick paste to a tall pitcher and add water (4 times that of the paste). If you have a cup of tomato paste, add four cups of water and combine them well to make juice.
You can add the necessary spices and other additives, before chilling the juice. You may also use canned tomatoes for preparing tomato juice as per the method used for fresh tomatoes. If you are searching for an easy method, then go for a juicer to make tomato juice. All you have to do is to run the juicer with cored and chopped tomatoes. In this case, seeds can be removed beforehand. You may also use additives of your choice, before or after juicing.
You may try the above said recipes for making this homemade drink. This is one of the best ways for reaping the health benefits of this vegetable.