Lately, more and more, I've become obsessed with cooking from scratch and that includes finding real food clean eating recipes for my favorite packaged processed foods. Take V-8 for example. I love it. Plain tomato juice is boring to me but V-8 is complex and satisfying, not to mention gives me that "I've done something good for my body" high.
However, what I don't like is reading the can that lists the fake flavors, "modifiers", high sodium level, and what-nots in the ingredient list, as well as, the lack of fiber. With a little research I was able to create my own version
My version is a little less tomato-y because I used more of an equivalency amongst the vegetables instead of the 85% tomato juice base of V-8 with the other veggies serving more as taste garnishes. My version is also thicker, more of a veggie smoothie than a juice since I made it in the blender instead of a juicer. No offense to those who juice, but I've always had a small problem with all the fiber that gets thrown away with the juicing process. It seems sort of....bass ackwards to eating clean and healthy foods.
I've also found that my V-8 Vegetable Smoothie isn't just for drinking with breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Simmered on the stove for about 20 minutes, it became a perfect marinara over pasta. It also gave the chili I made the other night a nicely rounded complexity when it replaced the 2 cups of tomatoes or salsa I usually add. Served in a soup bowl with a dollop of sour cream? Gazpacho. This freezes well too, simply pour extras into a freezer baggie to be used (best cooked after frozen)) as marinara or recipe add-ins later. The possibilities are endless.
Glenna's V-8 -style Vegetable Smoothie
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
- 4 med to lrg tomatoes, cored (seedless optional)
- 4 leaves of leaf lettuce, torn
- 1 handful baby spinach, stems removed and torn, or 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
- 2 ribs celery, strings removed (see below) and chunked
- 6-8 baby carrots, chunked
- 1 med beet, peeled and chunked
- 2 Tbsp onion, chunked
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, stems removed, or 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Dash each of salt and pepper
- 1-5 drops of Tabasco or Siracha sauce (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp honey, preferrably from local hives (bolsters the immune system) such as Matt's honey at The Amish Country Store on Gretna Road in Branson (and he has the bee stings to prove it's local).
Cook's notes: The honey is added, not so much for sweetness, but to balance the flavors.
Place all ingredients in 8-10 cup heavy blender and process by pulsing until chunks have started to blend together. You may have to start with the tomatoes and then add the additional vegetables as the blending creates more space in the blender jar. When bulk of vegetables are combined, change to "puree" setting and blend for approximately 1 full minute, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, worcestershire as needed.
Chill for 2 hours to allow flavors to combine properly.
Makes 6 cups.
Nutrition per 3/4 cup (6 oz juice glass): Calories: 35; Protein: 1.2; Carbs:7; Fat: 0.6; Fiber: 3; Weight Watchers Points: 1