Making Fresh Tomato Juice at Home
There are 2 methods for making homemade tomato juice. One method takes a lot more time and involves cooking the tomatoes, the other is super simple – juicing the raw tomatoes! Since cooking kills some nutrients I almost always prefer juicing raw fruits and veggies for making juice.
How to Choose Tomatoes?
First, check the outer appearance of the tomato. It should be free from blemishes, bruises and be a beautiful deep, bright red. A pale or dull tomato is going to lackluster. Avoid discolorations, a little black spot could indicate rot on the inside.
As with many fruits, tomatoes are often picked when they are still green to make it through transportation time. This makes them less tasty. Often they will ripen during transit, yet some tomatoes are spray treated with ethylene gas to speed ripening. This artificial ripening produces bland tomatoes. Thus to get the best tomatoes at the store, look for the term “vine-ripened” or alternatively visit a local farmer’s market.Second, feel the tomato. How is its weight? How much does give when squeezed? A healthy tomato can resist pressure, but is not so hard that it does not react to the touch. Check for soft areas, soft spots mean that there tomato will soon spoil.
Lastly, smell the tomato near the stem. If it’s good it should have a sweet, strong earthy odor. The greater the fragrance, the more flavor the tomato will possess. Keep clear of tomatoes with no smell.
Needless to say, organic AND local tomatoes are the healthiest options for a variety of reasons.
Making Tomato Juice
- With a juice machine, making tomatoes is as simple as it gets!
- If you tomatoes are not organic, then makes sure to wash them thoroughly to remove as many pesticides as possible.
- Make sure the tomatoes are ripe, and not green. Non-ripe tomatoes yield less juice, and are not as tasty. There is more natural sugars in a ripened tomato, making the juice sweeter and less sour.
- Whether you need to chop your tomatoes into smaller pieces before juicing them totally depends on your style of juice extractor. Most centrifugal juice machines can take whole tomatoes no problem.
- If you using a masticating juice machine, then you will most likely need to cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces so that they fit inthe chute. While masticating juicers up prep time, they do extract more juice and nutrients from fruits and veggies than centrifugal machines. Read more about this in my post What is the Best Juicer Machine.
- If you’re not going to consume the tomato juice immediately, then it’s best to store it inside an air tight container, this limits oxidative damage. The longer your tomato juice is exposed to air, the more antioxidants that are lost, including vitamin C, which is both an antioxidant and a vitamin.