Coming up with an excellent recipe for spicy tomato juice this International Hot and Spicy Food Day (January 16) can be tricky. One has to consider nutrition, calories, and content— elements beyond taste that determine whether or not a recipe is good.
So, when we found a perfect balance of flavors and nourishment, we were excited to share this drink. It’s a tomato-jalapeño mix that can help boost your vision and weight loss journey using fruits and vegetables.
Read on to learn how it can contribute to your health and how to make your own tomato beverage.
Is Tomato a Fruit?
It depends on how you look at it. Whether scientifically, nutritionally, or from a culinary perspective, all have reasons for defining tomato as either a fruit or vegetable.
We believe the tomato is a fruit.
According to botanists (scientists who study plants), a fruit is the fleshy substance that develops from fertilization of a flower’s ovary and contains seeds. In short, the product of an impregnated flower.
Taking a look at the tomato’s plump texture and seeded center, this description fits that of a botanical fruit. Other examples are cucumbers, eggplants, and obvious ones like mangoes.
We also considered nutritional and culinary definitions that group fruits as sweet or high-fructose produce only. These naturally rule out tomatoes because of their low fructose and savory nature.
Although not wrong, these definitions are botanically incorrect. Under strict scientific description, and for the sake of amity, most can agree that the tomato is a fruit.
Is This Spicy Tomato Juice Good for You?
Juggling this recipe to nail the taste and nutrition includes putting generous amounts of beneficial ingredients while restricting others. After careful experimentation, here’s a summary of the most significant benefits you’ll get from our homemade spicy tomato juice:
1. For Weight Loss
Over 70% of this drink draws from freshly-squeezed tomato juice. Today, most of us know tomato juice as an airplane remedy for its pungent smack that delivers robust, acidic flavors.
Although this bitterness owes to malic, ascorbic, and citric acids, it is lycopene that largely distinguishes tomato’s nutrient content. Lycopene is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body.
One 2015 experiment administered tomato juice to healthy women daily for 2 months. As a result, their levels of pro-inflammatory factors reduced, along with their waist circumferences and cholesterol levels.
So, you can both feel and look good with the help of tomato juice’s lycopene.
As a precaution, if you are prone to heartburn, ingest only small amounts of tomato juice. Or, avoid it altogether to prevent triggering acid reflux.
2. For Eye Health
We’ve also incorporated carrot juice to temper tomato juice’s sharp taste. Though it can boost vision, consuming copious amounts of carrot juice is not the way to achieve 20/20 vision.
It does, however, contribute to a decreased risk of blindness and eye cataracts. In this recipe, we have it in considerable amounts to help promote your eye health.
3. Moderate Sugar
To tie the flavors together, we’ve added 1.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving— enough to create an appreciative sweet and sour contrast.
The beauty with homemade juices, however, is you can add more sugar without going overboard. Ours is within the daily limit, meaning you can add at least one more teaspoon to achieve your desired taste.
How to Make
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional v8 tomato juice for a convenient drink. But there’s no way to adjust health-risk elements like added sugar.
More importantly, this spicy tomato juice wholly depends on fresh ingredients for an ultra-refreshing finish that v8 won’t achieve.
Start with fresh tomatoes, carrots, celery, ginger, and jalapeño peppers. Wash them and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Then, cut all the produce into chunks and run them through a juicer. Collect the juice in a pitcher and, if you prefer a smooth mix, strain it to remove any lumps.
Otherwise, skip the above step for a chunky, more nutritious drink.
In a pitcher, combine the remaining lemon juice, sugar, Tabasco sauce, and paprika with the tomato juice mix. Stir to combine, then serve at room temperature.
Take care not to leave it out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Instead, you can safely store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Our spicy tomato juice can last from 48 hours to 3 days in the refrigerator. Unlike store-bought juices, homemade fruit beverages do not have a long shelf life.
They lack preservatives, so your best chance of safely storing them is to limit air, light, and heat exposure.
To do this, transfer the drink into an airtight container like a mason jar or Ziploc bag. Keep it tucked away in the refrigerator, only exposing it to light when necessary.
When ready to use, taste it to ensure it’s still fresh before serving.
Our spicy tomato juice contains 70 calories per each 6.5-oz serving— less than a similar serving of milk. Though it doesn’t quite compete for protein, it provides a small amount that makes up the total calories.
Neola Muhambi is a food and travel writer and SEO outreach specialist. Her African heritage and travels across various countries in Asia have given her a keen appreciation for cultural diversity and a sensitivity to the unique characteristics of various cuisines. Her experiences also sharpened her communication skills, which are helpful in her tasks to establish organic connections among websites.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
Flavor is good but more spices would kick it up a notch.