Introduction: Vegetable Juice and Tomato Sauce
The end of the gardening season is a great time to make and can vegetable juice and tomato sauce from everything left in the garden. The juice is mostly tomato but other produce adds flavors that make the juice a winter favorite. The leftovers from the juicing are used to create a thick, rich tomato sauce.
This is a good friends and neighbors project. Shared equipment, shared vegetables, shared work, shared rewards.
Food processor or chopper (optional)
Assorted knives, rubber spatulas, bowls, bread pans,cookie sheet, etc.
Victorio or other food strainer
Canning jars, rings. and lids
15-18# ripe tomatoes (wash & remove stem)
1 large green bell pepper (core & seeds removed)
3 large ribs celery
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
2 cups broccoli
Step 1: Getting Started
Set up the steam juicer per manufacturer's instructions.
Wash all vegetables. Quarter the tomatoes and fill the steamer basket almost all the way.
Mince the rest of the vegetables finely or chop in a food processor. We use a small electric food chopper. It only holds about 3 cups and, at less than $10, does a great job. Add the minced/chopped vegetables to the steamer basket. Cover and begin steaming. Remember to close the drain tube.
Set up the Victorio or other strainer.
Put the clean jars into the oven at 200o F to heat while juicer does its job. Put the lids into a pan with enough water to cover them and heat on low.
Let the juicer steam for about 20 minutes. Remove a quart of juice from the juicer through the drain tube and pour it back over the vegetables in the basket.
Step 2: Canning the Juice
The steam will remove the juice from the vegetables so don't bother smashing the steamed vegetables. This will help keep the juice clear. Carefully remove a hot jar from the oven and place it under the drain tube. We set the jar on an inverted stack of buckets (we do have lots of them). Fill the jar to within 1/2" of the top and add a hot lid. Screw on the ring to secure the lid. Set the jar aside to cool. Continue filling jars until all the juice is drained off. You may need a second person to tilt the top juicer sections to get all the hot juice out. Yield depends mainly on the tomatoes but estimate 6 quarts of juice.
If the jar lid doesn't "ping" to indicate that it sealed, enjoy the juice now.
Step 3: Making the Sauce
Transfer the steamed vegetables to the Victorio hopper. Be careful since they are HOT. The pressing process will be done in batches.
With the containers for the sauce and the seeds/skin in place, start cranking the Victorio to remove the sauce and to send the seeds and skins out the end of the screen tube.
When all the vegetables have been squeezed, send the seeds and skins through once more. The sauce is already fairly thick but can be cooked down even more in a stock pot. Add whatever seasonings you like. Try making pizza sauce and use some tonight and put some into single use plastic containers or zip-lock freezer bags and freeze it for later.
When winter's cold sets in, open a jar of juice and heat it. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy from a cup.
The ingredients listed are a starting point. If you like other tastes or seasonings, give them a try. Late Summer or early Fall tomatoes are just too good to add to the compost. Put them to good use.