Countless times, orange juice has proven to be more than just a classical refreshing beverage in the kitchen.
It has a well-balanced acidity and sweetness high in antioxidants and micronutrients like vitamin C, folate, and potassium that are useful in fruit cakes, meat marinades, smoothies, and salad dressings.
However, there are many substitutes for orange juice that offer similar benefits that doesn’t mess with your recipe too much – if the situation calls for one.
Of course, no ingredient will knock out orange in the orange-flavor contest. But you can come closer to something preferable, especially if you’re using any of these substitutes, such as apple cider vinegar, orange liqueur, orange marmalade, lemon juice, pineapple juice, etc.
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Best Substitutes for Orange Juice
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you are out of oranges, this is a wonderful orange juice alternative you can use, especially for your fruits baking, salad, marinades, vinaigrettes, and dips.
It adds acidity to your recipe, but you will lose out on the orange flavor.
There are numerous types of vinegar available at your local grocery store. Perhaps instead of opting for the regular vinegar, it’s always preferable to go for the apple cider vinegar type.
The reason is that it has more nutrients that offer numerous health benefits and this distinct sweetish-tart taste that is useful in sweeter pickles, salad dressings, and cooking – especially if you get the one that has “with the mother” labeled on it.
Despite that, the acidic taste of apple cider vinegar could be strong and difficult to ignore. But no worries.
Mix the vinegar with water, little by little, until you reach the desired amount. Alternatively, you can add some sugar or honey to loosen up the acidity. It would replenish the acid, together with the sweetness.
2. Orange Marmalade
Save yourself from going to the store just to get a box of orange juice after a long trip, and use the jam (Orange Marmalade) as a backup option.
It’s one of my favorite go-to ingredients for making a barbecue sauce and marinade. And it works just fine.
Sadly, it isn’t a good option for baking.
The flavor is quite sweet. Hence, if you don’t need too much sweetness, simply reduce the quantity used. Or squeeze a little bit of lemon just to add some acidity to counter the sweet flavor so the dish isn’t overwhelmed.
Read Also: Best Substitutes For Lime Marmalade
3. Orange Liqueur
There are tons of orange liqueur like Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, and Cointreau in the market.
And it doesn’t matter the brand you’re going for, to be frank.
You will always taste its tanginess and sweetness, plus the wonderful aroma of the oranges that are relatively strong – slightly different from that of orange juice.
They are ideal for sauces, soups, and marinades recipes despite their various intensity. So be mindful of the contents you’re using.
A shot of orange liqueur will can be used to substitute for a cup of orange juice.
Besides, you don’t have to worry about the alcohol content burning off during the cooking process. Although it may still have a slightly boozy taste.
4. Orange Extract or concentrate
This is arguably one of the best orange juice substitutes, especially if your recipe calls for an orange flavor dessert.
Although Orange extract is purely the oils in the peel from an orange, its flavor is quite concentrated – which is why it is advisable to dilute it with water before using it.
On the other hand, the added advantage of using this substitute is that a few drops will not only go a long way but also make delectable dishes.
Aside from baking, it’s a wonder for cocktail drinks, used in marinades for meats or fishes to take out the funkiness, Sauces, salad dressings, as well as smoothies.
5. Orange Extract Plus Water
Orange extract is a flavoring that adds a strong citrus flavor and sweet, orange taste in drinks and cooking desserts.
However, it won’t have that sugar found in orange juice, so you will want to add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, honey, or maple syrup to balance it out.
Or measure about 1.5 teaspoons of extract to half a cup of orange juice.
Read Also: Best White Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes
6. Pineapple Juice
Yes, pineapple juice can also serve in orange-based recipes without making any noticeable changes, regardless of its distinctive flavor.
The reason is that Pineapple juice is naturally sweet and a little acidic.
Unfortunately, it won’t work for all recipes. But I’m certain it will add a delicious flavor profile to any baked goods.
It tastes delicious in sauces and makes an excellent meat marinade thanks to its acidity and enzymes that help soften the meat.
7. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another excellent substitute for every orange juice recipe. However, there are few things you should put into perceptive when using them.
First, Lemon Juice is More Sour and Acidic than Orange Juice.
And since baking requires all the ingredients to come together in a specific way to create the proper rise and texture, the harsh acidity of this juice will be affecting the baking powder.
Hence, you will want to cut your lemon juice in half and add some water to balance it out. Or better still, just add a teaspoon of honey to mellow down.
But if you’re using it for cooking recipes like marinades or salad dressings, there is no need for such strict measurements. So go ahead and add it directly.
8. Meyer Lemons
Meyer Lemons is a delicious citrus fruit – a hybrid of lemons and mandarins.
They are not as acidic as lemons and not as sweet as mandarins or oranges either. But their flavor is appetizing and complements most meals compatible with orange juice.
If you are using more than a tablespoon of Meyer lemon, you might want to cut it down with some water and sweetener to balance out the flavor.
So here is the catch: use 2/3 of a cup of the Meyer lemon juice, plus 1/3 cup of water, and about a tablespoon of sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
Aside from that, if you plan on upping the flavor in your dish, try zesting the Meyer lemon.
You might not see this one coming, but YES, Zesting citrus fruits is a great way to strengthen the flavor without adding extra moisture to your dish.
It will puff up the flavor in any salad dressings, sauces, soups, and baked goods and won’t affect the chemical structure of the final product.
Read Also: Best Substitutes For Worcestershire Sauce
9. Cola Flavored Beverages
I know cola seems unacceptable, but hear me out.
Cola drinks are carbonated, which means they can give airiness, fluffiness, and moist texture to baked goods like cookies and cakes.
Cola is a soda drink packed with sugar. Therefore, if you want to swap it for orange flavor, try adding a drop of orange extract for some acidity – else, it will only be sweet.
Or you can choose to decrease the amount of sugar used in the rest of your recipe.
It has about 23 grams of sugar per cup, which is a bit more than orange juice, so take note.
I’d recommend removing 1 tablespoon of sugar for every half cup of cola you use in your baking to keep things from becoming overwhelmingly sweet.
10. Sweetened Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice may not be your favorite substitution because drinking this juice might make you pucker up.
Agreed! It isn’t as sweet as orange juice nor as sour as lemon juice. But somewhere in between since it is slightly bitter.
Besides, a lot of avid cooks find the citrus flavor so fresh and delicious that it works remarkably well in sauces, salad dressing, baking, including smoothies.
The quickest and easiest way to improve the taste of any grapefruit juice in your meal is to add a sweetener.
There are other natural sweeteners, such as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, but they all change both the flavor and the color, except for white sugar.
So whenever there is a pressing need for oranges juice in the kitchen, yet there seem not to be any within your grasp, or the taste isn’t to your liking, these substitutes for orange juice will come to your rescue.
However, if you need some personal recommendable, phew! I’d say Lemon juice, orange extract, Apple cider vinegar, orange marmalade, orange liqueur, or orange water.
Their Citric acid is a suitable replacement if you don’t enjoy the taste of citrus fruit but need the acidity in your baking.
While they won’t taste exactly like orange juice, they can grace your everyday soups, pasta, and salads with a similar flavor.
Hence, as per the availability and your taste preferences, you can use any of the above to make your meals incredibly flavorful.
Read Also: Lemon Zest Vs Lemon Juice