Who knows why it took me so long to realize I could make V8 juice myself. The original recipe calls for eight vegetables: tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, watercress, parsley, celery, and beet. Yes, please. This homemade version is delicious, wholesome, and surprisingly versatile.
The Secrets of Homemade V8 Juice
The key to the smooth, rich flavor of V8 juice is steaming or simmering the vegetables before blending. I tried this juice raw and it made for a questionable vegetable smoothie.
The other secret is Worcestershire sauce. Without it, the recipe was either too bland or way too salty (I'm talking tablespoons of salt), but the Worcestershire adds the perfect touch of complexity.
A Simpler V8
In the end, I achieved the same taste of V8 with just five vegetables, and since I don't have a garden in my backyard, the smaller amount of vegetables means I'm that much more likely to make it. So, technically, this is V5 juice, but your taste buds won't know.
Homemade V8 Juice
4 cups tomato, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
Small sliver of beet (mostly for color)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup water, divided
1/4 cup spinach
1 tablespoon parsley
Combine the tomatoes, carrots, beet, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the spinach and parsley and simmer for another five minutes, keeping the pan covered. Remove from heat and let cool for ten minutes. Pour in blender, add remaining 1/2 cup of water, and purée until smooth — about two minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and serve chilled. (Makes about 10 ounces.)
- This recipe is really versatile — play with it! Try adding other vegetables, particularly greens or herbs. My two favorite add-ins (separately) were cayenne and mint. The cayenne adds the perfect kick, and mint put a fresh, light spin on traditional V8.
- Recipe keeps for about a week, refrigerated. It will separate, so shake well before serving!
(Image credits: Michaela Cisney)