For most chefs, orange juice is more than a refreshing juice as it’s useful in various baking recipes and a range of tasty dishes.
However, you may be allergic to orange juice, which might require you to use substitutes when making recipes that call for this juice.
Even if you are not allergic, sometimes you may not have the ingredient ready in your pantry. In this case, you don’t have to make a special trip to the grocery just to get orange juice.
You can always leverage orange juice substitutes as most of them still deliver reliable results. Some substitutes could even be way cheaper than orange juice.
In this article, we’ll show you the best substitute for orange juice that work well with most recipes.
Substitutes for Orange Juice
The orange concentrate is one of the best ways to substitute orange juice in a recipe as it provides similar results.
This pasteurized concentrate is usually made by removing most of the water in orange juice, and it comes while frozen.
To use orange concentrate as an orange juice substitute, you just need to dilute it. The ratio should be ¾ cup of water for a ¼ cup of orange concentrate.
Most chefs prefer using the orange concentrate to other orange juice alternatives since it’s made from high-quality oranges. It works magic when used for baking and making cocktails.
Lemon juice is an excellent orange juice substitute as it contains a hint of citrus flavor that won’t overpower the flavor of your meal.
With a low pH, lemon juice will add the acidity needed in a recipe. However, you may want to add a sweetener such as honey or sugar syrup to match the sweetness you get with orange juice.
Moreover, lemon juice is slightly sourer than orange juice, so you need to mix it with water. Ideally, a 50/50 ratio of lemon juice and water will be okay.
The best thing about lemon juice is that it’s available in most local stores and groceries, and you can easily make your own at home.
Orange extract is another orange juice substitute that will add a strong citrus flavor to the dishes that need it.
When used for making desserts and drinks, orange extract works the same as orange juice since they have similar flavors.
However, the orange extract has a stronger flavor than orange juice, which means you’ll have to add water before using it in your recipes.
You can use diluted orange juice extract when baking bread and cake. It also works well in marinades, sauces, liqueurs, and salad dressing.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another effective orange juice substitute is apple cider vinegar. You can use it when baking or making a marinade or a dip.
When using apple cider vinegar as a substitute for orange juice, you’ll want to ensure that it has a ‘with the mother’ label to get the best results.
This label means that the apple cider vinegar is unrefined and has bacteria, yeast, and proteins that deliver valuable health benefits.
The apple cider vinegar’s acidity will make your food tangy and delicious, just as you would get with freshly squeezed orange juice.
Nonetheless, apple cider vinegar can be too acidic and overpower the taste of your meal, especially when used in high amounts.
The best way to reduce the acidity is by adding some water and honey or sugar until you achieve the desired sweetness.
Meyer Lemon Juice
Meyer lemons are tasty citrus fruits obtained from a hybrid of mandarins and lemons. They are not as sweet as oranges but still make a good substitute for various recipes.
You can use Meyer lemon juice when making sauces, salad dressings, soups, and even baking. Its sweet flavor will make your meal taste great.
If you want this juice to work the same as orange juice, you can zest your Meyer lemons as the peel has the most intense flavor.
This is another useful orange juice substitute that you can use on any recipe if you just want some acidity but don’t enjoy the orange flavor.
Like orange juice, citric acid works well for baked foods that need to rise, such as muffins, cookies, banana bread, and cakes.
When using citric acid in other foods, you should add it to the meal when it has finished cooking to preserve it. But for baking, you can mix it with other ingredients to blend well.
Orange Flavored Liqueurs
If your recipe requires orange juice, but you don’t have it, you can use any orange-flavored liqueur present in your pantry.
Orange flavored liqueurs like Grand Marnier will deliver excellent results on desserts, chicken, stews, marinades, and sauces.
The alcohol content in these liqueurs shouldn’t worry you as it evaporates faster as your meal cooks.
However, you should remember that most orange-flavored liqueurs are less intense than fresh orange juice. So, you’ll need to increase the quantity if you want a strong orange flavor.
Coca-cola may sound wierd when choosing the best orange substitute since it’s a carbonated drink.
But the truth is, coca-cola is one of the perfect ways to achieve fluffy and moist baked goods like cakes. Its bubbling airs help your cake to rise nicely as orange juice would.
It’s easy to substitute coca-cola for orange juice since both ingredients are sweet. So, you can use a similar amount, but be careful not to add too much sugar to the recipe.
The only downside of using coca-cola as an orange juice alternative is that it won’t give you the acidity you are looking for. But it will work magic if all you want is a sweet and fluffy cake.
Orange juice is a perfect way to add a rich and refreshing taste to your meals, especially if you love the acidic yet sweet flavor it offers.
You can use it on various dishes, including baked goods, soups, salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.
If you don’t have orange juice in your pantry to use right away, you can always use any of the above substitutes as they’ll still deliver excellent results.
After choosing a substitute, it’s important to keep tasting your meal in-between until you achieve the desired flavor, as some are sweeter or tangier than orange juice.