Farmers market juice is a vegetable-packed drink that tastes like the best of summer. Loaded with tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber, and celery, it’s blissfully mild. Vegan & gluten-free.
If you really want to lean into that savory flavor, juice a clove of garlic as well for an extra kick.
Every year on May 1st we go. Opening day.
Still in long sleeves and jackets, a cold wind forcing its way across the stalls, we visit the farmer’s market.
On the tables there are no fresh-off-the-vine summer tomatoes, no puckering sweet cherries. Even the asparagus isn’t quite ready to let go of its grip to the ground and make its spring debut.
But we go.
Because in a place that makes no promises that a calendar date will give window to sun-drenched afternoons drinking strawberry lemonade… And in fact, there may still be shoveling to do one more time before the month gasps its last, in this place the farmer’s market is a promise.
Summer will be here.
The shovels will make room in the garage for the bicycle. The coat closet will be used for baseball caps and sun hats and even umbrellas, but not gloves and warm coats and snow boots.
Locals mill about excitedly – not necessarily for the plants for sale or catnip mice to buy – but because with every week, there will be more.
And with that bounty, that ridiculous summer bounty, there will be the bounty that exists in grill outs, and pool parties, and long, lazy road trips.
The farmer’s market is a promise, as much as we get one, that the days you remember when it’s frigid and twenty degrees, when summer is so far away you can’t see it with any amount of squinting or praying or forcing under your breath as you heft a waterlogged foot of snow…
The farmer’s market is a promise that the best days of the year that you keep under your stocking cap to revive you on the harder days… They are coming.
And then they are here.
With canvas bags at the ready, we pack them tight with every fruit, vegetable, and moment they can carry. Laden and heavy with the burden of blessings, we take them home to drink it in, parched from a long winter’s thirst.
In sandals and a t-shirt, with a freshly scrubbed makeup-less face, I push the stars of summer through the juicer, one by one, squeezing every last drop that I can. I hold it to my mouth and gulp it down and savor every sip.
Because it’s summer. And that’s the way it’s done.
Vegetable juice with tomatoes
This juice was inspired by a trip to Ecopolitan, a raw vegan restaurant in Minneapolis that has since closed its doors.
They served a savory beverage called Grandma’s Garden juice, which was tomato-based with a kick of garlic.
My take on Grandma’s Garden juice is filled with the kinds of things that load up the farmer’s market stalls in the summer months – tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, celery, and even a clove of garlic if you’re feeling like an extra hit of savory goodness.
Of course, if you’re not a garlic enthusiast, feel free to omit it altogether.
Farmers market juice is mildly sweet without being cloying and easy to gulp down.
What are the best vegetables to juice?
I chose the vegetables I did for this juice, because they all juice particularly well without a lot of wasted food behind.
I enjoy kale and other leafy greens in my juice as much as the next person. But with a juicer in the $100 range, a lot of those leafy greens go to waste.
You really need a masticating juicer for greens (which is considerably more expensive), so that it can slowly squeeze out the juice from inside. With a centrifugal juicer like I have, often the kale just winds up in the catch basket of the juicer.
So instead of using a lot of leafy greens for little reward, I chose vegetables that are naturally juicy. You get a lot of beverage for your buck with cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and celery.
Plus, they all have a natural mildness about them that makes them an easier sell to vegetable juice novices.
How to make this recipe
It’s super easy to make farmers market juice! Simply wash the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, celery, and garlic (if using). Remove the peel from the garlic & stem from the bell pepper.
If the chute of your juicer is on the small side, you may need to cut the vegetables down to a manageable size.
For mine, I simply cut the bell pepper in half, but everything else stayed whole. I find that it juices a lot better if things stay as large as possible, as opposed to cutting into smaller chunks first.
Run the vegetables through the juicer, pour over ice into two glasses, and serve!
Farmers market juice with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, and celery
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 medium red bell pepper or yellow or orange, stem removed
- 1 clove garlic peeled (Optional)
- Process the tomatoes, celery, cucumber, and bell pepper through the juicer.
- If you like garlic and want an extra savory kick, add the optional clove of garlic as well.
- Pour over ice into two glasses.
Originally posted June 2013. Content updated June 2019.