What it is: “Some people have said it’s a clean-tasting tomato juice,” said Kevin Lucey of Happy Valley Farm, a mile west of Black Earth. The farm has produced some 3,500 quart jars of tomato juice in the two years they’ve been producing it.
How it’s used: Can be consumed straight as a juice, or in a bloody Mary, or heated for tomato soup.
How it’s made: Happy Valley Farm’s tomato juice is prepared at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point using just the farm’s organic tomatoes, lemon juice and salt.
Innovation Kitchen chops the tomatoes and then runs them through a machine called a Hobart chopper, which separates the seeds and the pulp from the juice. Then the tomato juice is simmered with lemon juice and a little bit of salt. Once the product is put in jars, it goes in a hot water bath where all the jars are immersed in water. That seals the lid. It is sold in a 32-ounce jar with a plain label.
Employees at Innovation Kitchen produced the juice over a period of about three weeks from August until early September, Lucey said. It was made from roughly 11,000 pounds of tomatoes.
Happy Valley Farm also makes a tomato basil sauce.
How long it keeps: To be on the safe side, Lucey said he tells people two years.
Nutrition: Tomatoes are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, folate, and potassium.
Where to find: Willy Street Co-op East and West, both Metcalfe’s Market locations, Miller & Sons in Verona and Mount Horeb, and Trillium Natural Foods Co-op in Mount Horeb. Happy Valley Farm’s tomato juice is also served at the Old Fashioned on the Capitol Square, Crossroads Coffeehouse in Cross Plains, and Rookies Food & Spirits in Mazomanie.
Sources: Kevin Lucey of Happy Valley Farm; Mayo Clinic.