If you were to ask me, what is the best drink in the world? I’d say a chilled glass of water. But if you ask again, I’d point towards the refreshing and wonderful world of fruit juices. There are so many to choose from, each with its own significance in a regular diet. My go-to, however, is pineapple juice.
This is not to say that I exclusively consume pineapple juice, but it surely holds a special place in my heart. Its taste is a perfect balance of sweet and sour, making it ideal for both consuming on its own and using it in many recipes. Now consider the health benefits of such a vitamin-rich beverage, and my decision to put pineapple juice on a pedestal becomes apparent.
Finding the Substitutes
My discovery of pineapple juice substitutes began a few days ago when I wanted to make some refreshing pina colada and just relax for a couple of hours. It turned out I was completely out of pineapple juice. I was tired and didn’t want to go to the store.
This combination of necessity and tiredness led me to find a substitute for pineapple juice in a pina colada. After a little bit of research, I had my magic ingredient (which I’ll tell you about later).
Finally, I had what I wanted, but my curiosity took over. I wanted to know about other pineapple juice substitutes. So, I began my research and soon found out that the world of pineapple juice substitutes has more residents than I ever thought it would have.
Now, before we get into alternatives for pineapple juice, we have to understand what makes this particular juice so special.
What are the benefits of pineapple juice?
Whether you drink it as is, or integrate it into a recipe, pineapple juice always delivers. The first and most obvious benefit is its taste. Pineapple in itself is a unique tasting fruit that goes with a lot of unexpected combos.
The most well-known of these unusual pairings being pineapple on a pizza (which I’m not particularly a fan of). The same is true for the juice. You can enjoy pineapple juice as is or mix it up with other ingredients to make even more delicious recipes.
The true benefits of pineapple juice, however, lie in the health section. All fruits are beneficial to our health in one way or another, and pineapple is no exception. Vitamin B6 and C and essential metals like iron and copper are responsible for regulating and enhancing a lot of our bodily functions. Therefore, taking pineapple juice to eliminate any deficiencies will result in better overall health.
The biggest benefit of consuming Pineapple juice that I found is it helps with inflammatory diseases. It even contains antioxidants that directly enhance our immune system. In addition, the vitamin C in the pineapple juice alone can help improve and empower eyesight.
The health benefits of pineapple juice are so many that I can write a complete book on them and still miss a few. So, let’s bring our focus back to the meat and potatoes of this article; the substitutes.
What are the requirements to qualify as a substitute for pineapple juice?
When doing research for these substitutes, I had to set some boundaries; otherwise, everything will qualify as a pineapple juice substitute. In the end, I settled on two factors. The first is that the substitute must have a nice fruity taste. A little bit of bitterness or sourness is not an issue. Secondly, the substitute must be just as, if not richer, with nutrients and specific vitamins.
9 Suitable Substitutes for Pineapple Juice
Keeping the above-mentioned requirements in mind, I easily found a lot of worthy alternatives. But, not all of these alternatives are created equally. So, here is the result of hours of research and experimentation in my kitchen for the best substitutes for pineapple juice that you should definitely give a try:
1. Orange juice
Let’s start with most of the citrus fruits, the orange. Orange juice on its own is widely popular among people around the globe, and I mean really popular. A lot of folks drink a glass of orange juice as a part of their daily breakfast. Some will even argue that orange juice is much more popular than pineapple, but that’s a debate for another day.
Orange juice has a bit of a sweet citric taste and is just as, if not richer, with powerful nutrients. It also makes a great addition to recipes that require fruit juice as the main ingredient. Even if you don’t need it as a substitute for pineapple juice, you should really look into orange juice for regular consumption.
2. Grapefruit Juice
Next in the line is the grapefruit juice. Grapefruit is also part of the citrus family, and its properties reflect that. Although it looks like just a very big orange, the taste tells a completely different story. It has a sweet citrus taste combined with a hint of bitterness.
Some people are reluctant to give grapefruit juice a try just because of this mild bitterness. I was one of these people until recently. The reality, however, is that the bitter taste is highly subtle and acts as a nice addition to the taste pallet of this pineapple substitute. Being a citrus fruit, it is also filled to the brim with healthy substances.
3. Apple Juice
Apple is not only similar in name but is also an excellent substitute for pineapple juice. Although the fruits themselves are quite different in appearance and texture, the flavor is closer than you might think. Apple juice is sweet while also having a personality of its own. You can never mistake apple juice for something else.
On the health side of things, apple juice is linked to lowering the chances of cancer, as well as an enhancement to bone health. Some studies even show apple juice reduces the toxin levels in your body, which further improves your overall health. There are some recipes that might not accept apple juice as a substitute for pineapple juice, but it’s great for the most part.
4. Lime Juice
Lime juice is known as one of the most refreshing beverages in the world (debatable). A chilled glass of delicious lime juice can refresh in the middle of Sahara, but that’s not all. It is also an excellent alternative to pineapple juice.
For me personally, the taste of lime juice on its own is a bit too sour. To alleviate this problem, I can mix it with something like orange juice to create my very own fruity cocktail. One area where lime juice is extra effective as a pineapple juice substitute is its use in recipes. It behaves in almost the same way, and the final result is if done correctly, indistinguishable.
5. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is one of those substitutes that you don’t think will work until you try. On the surface, pomegranate juice looks and tastes nothing like pineapple juice. But it is still an amazing replacement, thanks to its wonderful health benefits.
6. Papaya Juice
Juice is not the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks about papaya, but its juice is delightful and healthy. The taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness, but the sweetness is the primary flavor without being overwhelming, which I very much appreciate.
The true comparison between papaya and pineapple juice lies in its health-related properties. The anti-inflammatory and toxin-reducing functions of papaya are extremely similar to pineapple, making it a perfect substitute. So, if your reason for using pineapple juice is geared more towards health, then I highly recommend this substitute.
Papaya juice is also used for various medicinal purposes around the world. It was even said to be the cure for dengue fever. But its effectiveness against these diseases is still up for debate.
7. Guava juice
Staying on the topic of unusual fruits for making juice, guava is a surprisingly good contender for a substitute for pineapple juice. I was surprised by how good it was. Just blending the guava and filtering the seeds will give you a nice healthy drink, but it won’t taste amazing. Not bad, but nothing to write home about either. To add a bit of a flyover, blend the fruit with some white sugar. The amount of sugar is completely up to your liking.
Just like pineapple juice, guava juice contains a lot of vitamin C as well as antitoxin compounds. The real power of guava juice, however, lies in its effectiveness against an acidic stomach and other stomach-related issues. You should eat a guava or two whenever your stomach gets upset.
8. Mango juice
Do you want nutrition-filled juice that is not bitter or sour? Is sweet your favorite taste? If yes, then mango juice is the a-tier pineapple substitute you are looking for. Mangos, in general, are extremely flavorful but extract them in juice form, and you’ve got yourself a glass full of joy, a sweet, really sweet glass of joy.
Mango juice contains nutrients similar to pineapples, like vitamins and iron. However, this isn’t the reason why so many athletes prefer drinking mango juice over anything else. That is simply due to its high concentration of potassium. This potassium helps with muscle recovery after an intense exercise session. So hit a glass of mango juice after hitting the gym for maximum gains.
You might be thinking, “Honey isn’t a juice,” and you would be correct. What it is, however, is a nutrient-filled liquid that is completely natural and is often touted as the tastiest thing in the world. Yes, you read that correctly, “the tastiest thing,” and I would have to agree.
Honey is sweet, but it is a different kind of sweet. A spoon full of white sugar will make your tastebuds go bitter after a few minutes. This isn’t the case with honey. It retains its sweetness no matter what. This, in turn, makes it excellent for recipes that require pineapple juice.
Not to mention the immense health benefits that you get from consuming honey. Its benefits start in the throat by easing it and removing any soreness. Then it helps regulate your digestive system as well as provide immunity to several infections and diseases. A spoonful of honey is never a bad idea. Unless your doctor says so, then stay away from it.
So, we made it to the end of the list. These, however, are just the pineapple juice substitutes that I found. This list is also by no means complete. God knows how many excellent substitutes I completely missed. But this isn’t a bad thing, as now it is your turn. Look for new alternatives, mix and match the ones from this list, and just experiment. Who knows, you might find your most favorite drink in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
With that out of the way, here are some commonly asked questions about pineapple juice substitutes and the answer you’ve been waiting for (the substitute for pina colada).