Tomato Juice

09/05/2013

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Along with banana peppers, we also canned tomato juice at my inlaws in Southern Illinois this past weekend. Their garden is currently flush with tomatoes–Celebrities, to be exact–so we got out the juicer to squeeze the goodness out of them.

To make juice, all you need is a bowl full of ripe tomatoes, any kind will do, and a juicer. The amount of juice you make depends on the quantity of tomatoes. If you have a bunch of tomatoes, grab a bunch of quart jars, canning salt, and a juicer, and go to town.

To start, wash and cut your tomatoes.

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Put the cut tomatoes in the juicer’s funnel and juice them to death.

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As you can see, the tomatoes go in the funnel, the juice comes out into the square pan, and the guts come out the other side. We ran the guts through again just to get any remaining juice as well.

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From there, bring the juice to a boil on the stove. Boil for ten minutes. At the same time, boil quart jars and lids for ten minutes. When the jars are finished boiling, take them out of the water bath and add one teaspoon of canning salt to each jar.

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Ladle the hot tomato juice into each jar, and screw on the lids tightly. Put the jars in a bath of boiling water for 10 minutes; the water should be up to the neck of the jar. After the ten minutes is up, take the jars out of the water bath and make sure the lids are on tight. As with anything canned, the seal of the cap should be vacuumed. Tomato juice is one of the few things that you can can without using a lot of salt or sugar; the acid in the tomatoes inhibit bacteria growth.

I use this tomato juice in all my tomato based soups in the winter: chili, gumbo, vegetable beef, ect. It makes a mean Bloody Mary, too.

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