Straight from the garden Bloody Mary

24 Sep

If you’ve been following WholeGreenLove this past month or so, you can probably tell that the Collins household is overrun with tomatoes. We have six tomato plants growing in the garden which is way more than we can keep up with, even when we give bags and bags of tomatoes away. So we’ve reorganized our chest freezer (and made room for my obsessive compulsive habit of stocking up breast milk) to accommodate pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, and now Blood Mary ingredients. I know what you’re thinking. If we would just learn how to can all of this food, we wouldn’t have to be limited by our chest freezer space. I’m just not ready to tackle the whole canning process yet. Maybe next year…

I went on yet another search for a recipe so we could use up ample amounts of tomatoes. Seriously, there are only so many BLT’s and tomato mozzarella salads this woman can handle! I found a great recipe for Homemade Tomato Juice (click here to check it out). I made a double batch of this recipe to use up about 6 pounds of our mounting tomatoes and the recipe produced delicious juice! Just the right amount of saltiness and the perfect hint of spice. I thought a teaspoon of salt for every 32 ounces of juice, wasn’t too bad either in the sodium department. And because I didn’t feel like the juice was lacking at all in saltiness, you could probably scale it back a bit too if sodium is a concern for you.

Tomato juice is a wonderful drink in and of itself, but who doesn’t love a great Bloody Mary? Feel free to enjoy the juice from the recipe above on its own, but if you are looking to spice things up a bit, click here for a wonderful recipe for Homemade Bloody Mary Mix from Former Chef. I’m not known to always stick with recipes and the ingredients and measurements called for, but in this case I did. This mix has incredible flavor and was super simple to throw together. The only thing I didn’t have in my fridge or pantry already was the prepared horseradish. And you know I love recipes for things that I already have the ingredients for. It makes me feel like I’m making something from nothing…like free food! The only thing I would consider adding would be some minced garlic. I love garlic!

Tomatoes are loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including lycopene (a powerful antioxidant), lutein (great for eye health), and vitamin C. Be sure to eat your tomatoes with some fat (why not add a cheese whip to your Bloody Mary?!) so that your bod absorbs the carotenoids, which are fat soluble nutrients found in tomatoes. Carotenoids are known for their anti-cancer properties, so it’s best to load your body up often! Tomatoes that are cooked, as they are in the Homemade Tomato Juice recipe, are even higher in lycopene than raw tomatoes. Sweet!

Homemade tomato juice with Bloody Mary Mix is a great treat to bring with you to a party or gathering of family and friends. It’s an unexpected beverage contribution when it’s something homemade and straight from your garden. I brought a batch of the juice and mix to my sister’s birthday party and it was a definite hit! We found that a 5 to 1 tomato juice to mix ratio was perfect. Top it off with a pickle, beef stick, stalk of celery, pickled mushroom, or homemade dilly bean and you are ready to rock.

What’s your favorite Bloody Mary garnish? My vote is for pickled mushrooms!

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