I remember unpacking my lunch in elementary school and being somewhat embarrassed by the V8 juice my mom would lovingly pack. She wasn't too keen on soda, so this was a nice option. However all of my fellow students thought it was weird, disgusting and downright scary. I recall pretending I didn't like it as much as I really did - making it seem like I was forced to drink it. Now, many years later, I realize it wasn't me or my beverage choice, but it was those kids who were weird, disgusting and downright scary. I have no problems with letting everyone know I love the salty, vegetable goodness. However, now that I'm all grown-up I like to purchase fewer processed foods, so instead of drinking V8 as often, I try to whip up my own batch when possible. For a homemade "V8" recipe,
I like mine spicy, but you can omit the jalapenos if you'd prefer.
8 quarts water
4 pounds homegrown tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
8 green jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 cup vinegar
3 bay leaves
2 Tbs oregano
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, pressed
4 Tbs salt
4 Tbs sugar
- In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the sugar, bring to a boil, and cook at a steady boil for 2 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain through a relatively fine mesh, making sure to express all the liquid you can.
- Discard the pulp, return the liquid to the pot, and boil for another couple of hours, or until the liquid is reduced to roughly three quarts. Add four tablespoons of sugar, remove from heat, stir, and let cool.