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Orange Juice Substitute: 9 Options To Choose From


Whether you’re looking for an orange juice substitute, we’ve got you covered. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives that you can incorporate into your recipes. Check our article and pick the one that works better for you!

Glass filled with orange juice and sliced orange next to it.

What Orange Juice Does In Recipes

Orange juice adds flavor, acidity, and sweetness to recipes. In baking, people often use it in cake, muffin, and bread recipes to add moisture and a hint of citrus flavor.

You may also use orange juice in marinades, dressings, and sauces to add a tangy and bright flavor.

Fresh squeezed orange juice makes your dishes nutritious because it has health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

When using substitutes for orange juice in recipes, it’s important to consider its acidity and sweetness.

Depending on the recipe, you may need to adjust the amount of other ingredients.

Best Orange Juice Substitutes

Here is a list of the ingredients you can use instead of orange juice.

1. Orange Zest

Orange zest is the outer layer of the orange peel. It offers an intense orange flavor. Orange zest is perfect for recipes that need an orange taste but do not need moisture.

Note that orange zest is bitter and tangier than its juice; you can use it if you don’t want a sweet-tasting swap.

Add it to salad dressings, baked goods, marinades, and sauces.

Use a 2:1 ratio of orange zest to orange juice for substitution. To get the orange zest, use a zester or a box grater.

2. Orange Marmalade

Orange Marmalade has a thick consistency and sweet taste. For this reason, it is among the best orange juice alternatives. This swap especially works when making marinades or sauces.

You may also use it as a glaze for meats and vegetables. Doing so will give you a delectable savory-sweet flavor.

Its consistency does not make it an ideal baking alternative. Still, you can add it as a topping for baked goods such as biscuits and croissants.

Since marmalade is intensely sweet, you must use it sparingly.

Adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice also compensates for its intense sweetness.

Use a 2:1 ratio of orange juice to marmalade, adding extra liquid if necessary.

3. Orange Extract

Orange extract is a highly concentrated liquid. It consists of water, alcohol, and oil from the orange rind. That said, it provides a much stronger citrus flavor than regular orange juice.

Still, you can use it as an orange juice substitute if you dilute 1 part with 4 parts water. After dilution, you can use the orange extract mixture as a 1:1 swap.

It is a great ingredient for marinades, sauces, dressings, and baking.

Note that orange extract does not offer the same acidity. If your recipe calls for an acidic ingredient, add a squeeze of lemon.

And if you choose not to dilute it, use it sparingly. Just a few drops of the orange extract can significantly enhance the flavor of your dish.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a versatile substitute for orange juice. You can use it in cooking and baking applications.

If the ordinary lemon is too tart for you, you may use Meyer lemons instead. A Meyer lemon is a hybrid fruit with a sweeter taste and a hint of floral flavor.

As a substitute, lemon works well in marinades as it adds flavor and helps make the meat tender. You can also use this as an orange juice swap in salad dressings and grilled recipes.

In baked goods, lemon juice provides the acidity you need to make your cakes rise.

Similarly, you may also need to dilute the lemon juice with some water to mellow its sourness. You can add honey, simple syrup, or sugar to offset its tart flavor.

5. Lime Juice

You can use lime juice as a substitute for orange juice in the same way as lemon juice. Lime juice is sweet, thin, and acidic, which fits the bill.

It’s a versatile ingredient that works well as a marinade while making the meat tender. Lime juice can also add a zesty flavor to salad dressings and sauces.

It is always best to use fresh limes and squeeze out the juice. After all, lime juice may be challenging to find in stores.

As with lemon juice, you can balance the tartness of lime juice by adding some honey.

6. Pineapple Juice

For sweet recipes, pineapple juice is an excellent substitute for orange juice. This fruit juice offers a sweet and tangy flavor that can enhance the depth of your baked goods.

Its high acidity will also help you get fluffier cakes and desserts. On top of that, it works great in cocktails and drinks, too.

You can substitute orange juice with pineapple juice in savory dishes as well.

Pineapple juice has a slightly thicker and creamy consistency.

If you need something thicker than orange juice, then this is perfect.

You may need to add water to bring it closer to orange juice consistency. Also, you may need to adjust the sweetener in some recipes to get your desired flavor, though.

7. Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit juice is another good swap for orange juice. Like oranges, grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, but they also have a distinct tanginess that sets them apart.

Grapefruit juice can be enjoyed alone or mixed with other juices to create a unique flavor profile.

It has a similar acidity, so it works in marinades by providing flavor and making the meat tender.

Grapefruit can also replace orange juice in smoothies and cocktails.

It does have a slightly bitter taste, so you may want to add a sweet element to your recipe to make it work. This addition is especially welcome if you make sweet baked goods and sauces.

In dressings, though, you may not add sugar if you don’t mind some bitter aftertaste in your salads.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a creative orange juice substitute you can use. This vinegar offers a unique blend of acidity and sweetness with a fruity and tangy flavor.

For this reason, it’s an excellent option for salad dressings, giving your greens a hint of fruitiness.

Beyond salads, you can use apple cider vinegar in marinades, chutneys, soups, and sauces. It will add complex flavor and aroma, brightening up any dish.

But still, it is vinegar, so it tastes much stronger than orange juice. You’d have to dilute it with equal parts of water before use.

And to balance out the sour taste, add a sprinkle of sugar or sweetener. After diluting, use it in a 1:1 ratio.

9. Citric Acid

In recipes where only a tart taste is necessary, you can also opt for citric acid to replace orange juice. It comes in powder form.

Note that this swap has no distinct orange flavor, sweetness, or aroma. But it can add a tart taste and aid in the rising of muffins and cakes.

That said, it is the perfect alternative for those who dislike the taste of oranges.

As a bonus, citric acid also acts as a preservative, extending the shelf life of your dishes.

To use it, you must dissolve the powder in water according to the package instructions.

How To Pick The Best Orange Juice Substitute

You must consider some factors when picking the best substitute for orange juice. Here are some of the things you have to look at:

Purpose

Why are you looking for an orange juice replacement? Are you tired of the same old breakfast routine of orange juice and simply want to switch things up? In this case, choose cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, carrot juice, or try a green smoothie.

Coconut water is another option for those seeking a healthier orange juice replacement. Rich in electrolytes, coconut water is a great choice for post-workout hydration or as a refreshing alternative to sugary sports drinks. While it does not contain as much vitamin C as orange juice, it is still a great source of hydration and has a subtly sweet flavor that many find appealing.

For a more exotic taste, guava juice is an excellent alternative to orange juice. Guavas are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, and their sweet and slightly tangy flavor is a great addition to a morning meal.

Acidity

Regarding acidity, the best alternatives to orange juice are lemon and lime juice. They have the same acidity level as orange juice, so your recipes will not lack that element. In a pinch, you can also choose to use vinegar.

On the other hand, if you are looking to tone down acidity, use diluted orange extract. The water will reduce its acidic taste, but the ingredient will still give you the desired flavor.

Sweetness

Pineapple juice is the best orange juice alternative in terms of sweetness. It is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy, so it works in most recipes.

Other options include apple juice and mango juice. These ingredients will work best in cocktails and smoothies.

If you are avoiding sugar, though, lime juice and citric acid are top choices.

Flavor

When it comes to flavor, orange juice concentrate and orange extract are your best bets. They come from the same fruit, so they have the same taste as fresh orange juice.

Availability

It would be best if you also considered the availability of your chosen substitute. For instance, other fruit juices are a handy swap because you can make them at home. On the other hand, citric acid is not a common household item, so it will not work if you are in a hurry.

What Can I Substitute For Orange Juice?

You can substitute orange juice with lemon, lime, and grapefruit juice. Apple cider vinegar and citric acid are also great options. Other alternatives are cranberry juice, orange liqueur (Grand Marnier), and orange concentrate.

What Is The Best Substitute For Orange Juice In Baking?

One of the best substitutes for orange juice in baking is lemon juice. Like orange juice, lemon juice is acidic and can add a bright and tangy flavor to baked goods. Lemon juice is particularly useful in recipes that call for orange juice as an acid ingredient, such as in cake or muffin recipes that use baking soda or baking powder. In general, you can substitute lemon juice for orange juice in a 1:1 ratio, though you may need to adjust the sweetness of the recipe accordingly.

What Is A Healthy Alternative To Orange Juice?

A healthy alternative to orange juice is grapefruit juice, lemon juice, or lime juice. Pineapple juice is another healthy alternative. These juices all boast vitamins and minerals. After all, they are natural ingredients that come from fruits.

What Is A Non-Citrus Substitute For Orange Juice?

If you’re looking for a non-citrus substitute for orange juice, you may want to consider using buttermilk. Buttermilk can provide a tangy flavor to baked goods, and it can also help to activate baking soda and baking powder in recipes. To substitute buttermilk for orange juice, use a 1:1 ratio and adjust the sweetness of the recipe accordingly.

How Do I Substitute Apple Cider Vinegar For Orange Juice?

Substitute apple cider vinegar for orange juice by mixing it with equal parts water. After this step, you can use the diluted mixture in a 1:1 ratio. Note that this swap lacks sweetness, so add sugar or other sweeteners to get a closer flavor match.

Summary

Orange juice is a delicious ingredient that can be high in sugar. Luckily, there are many orange juice substitutes you can use. These alternatives include orange zest, orange marmalade, lemon juice, and pineapple juice.

Depending on the recipe, you may need to adjust the amount of other sweeteners. Doing this will help you avoid having an overly sweet dish. Choose your swap and enjoy your favorite recipes, even if you don’t have orange juice.

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Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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