Five Tangy Substitutes For Orange Juice

Orange juice is a staple in households around the world. Freshly squeezed oranges with eggs sunny side up are the perfect way to start your day. Packed with vitamin C, it protects the body from pollutants in the air, harmful Ultraviolet rays, and dangerous environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke, etc.

But orange juice is more than just a refreshing drink; its classic sweetness and acidity make it a great ingredient in cooking fruit cakes, marinades, and salad dressings. However, if you don’t have it on hand, you could always substitute it for orange juice! 


Orange Juice and its Qualities

Orange juice is made from extracting juice from fresh ripe oranges. It is also produced on an industrial level. However, packed orange juices are rarely organic, packed with artificial flavors and sweeteners, and consequently barely healthy. 

Cultivation of oranges traces its roots back to China, 4000 years ago, under the rule of the Xia Dynasty. It was then carried to the middle east, after which the Arabs brought it to Africa. Orange juice became a worldwide staple in the 1800s and was used to prevent scurvy tooth loss in American soldiers during world war II. 

Orange juice is sweet, citrusy, and bursting with aroma. People all around the world consume it with breakfast or as a refreshing drink.

Qualities of Orange Juice

✔️ Low in Saturated Fat
 ✔️ Cholesterol-Free
✔️ Gluten-Free
✔️ Sodium-Free
✔️ Low-Fat


Benefits of Orange Juice

  • Orange juice is rich in several essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
  • Studies indicate that orange juice helps decrease markers of inflammation, which in turn helps lower your risk of chronic disorders.
  • Orange juice increases the pH of the urine, which, as a result, reduces the chance of you developing kidney stones.
  • Orange juice is also rich in antioxidants that help increase antioxidant status, which aids in the prevention of numerous diseases.
  • Researchers have observed that orange juice helps inflate the level of “good” HDL cholesterol in our body while decreasing the total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, along with diastolic blood pressure.


Orange Juice Vs. Orange

Raw Orange Juice ( 250 ml ) Whole Navel Oranges ( 140 g )
Calories 145 KCAL 69 KCAL
Fiber 0.5 g 3 g
Sugar 25 g 12 g
Vitamin C 39.5 mg 83 mg


Five Tangy Substitutes For Orange Juice

There are many ingredients you can use to substitute for orange juice in a recipe. Some of my favorite ones are listed below.

1. Orange Concentrate

Your first option should always be an orange juice concentrate substitute. The concentrate is simply a more potent or concentrated form of juice, so you must dilute it with water as an alternative to orange juice.  Since concentrates are often sold and stored in a frozen state, they last for a long time.

When using orange juice concentrate substitute, you have to be very careful with reconstitution as the ratio of dry to wet ingredients means the success or failure of your recipe. So what is the right way to substitute orange juice?

  • For ¼ cup of orange juice: you need to use a tablespoon of concentrate with three tablespoons of water.
  • For ½ cup of orange juice: you should use two tablespoons of orange concentrate with ⅓ cup of water.
  • For one cup of orange juice: Use a quarter or ¼ cup of orange concentrate and ¾ th of a cup of water. 

Since some orange concentrates have added sugars, you will most likely have to decrease the amount in your dish by a couple of teaspoons. Nevertheless, this is the best substitute for orange juice in baking.


2. Fresh Squeezed Mandarins, Tangerines, or Clementines

If you don’t have oranges or some packed orange juice available on hand, then go for freshly squeezed mandarins, tangerines, or clementines. These alternatives to orange juice will work as an excellent 1:1 substitution.

Moreover, there’s a high chance local stores around you will carry already-squeezed juices at the store.

The best among these is clementine juice. It makes for the perfect alternative to orange juice in several recipes. However, it is the best substitute for orange juice in baking, as using it will lend your final product the perfect fluffy and airy texture we admire in baked goods. 

All three juices have only a slight variation in taste; the difference is almost imperceptible that even a discerning tongue might not notice. The best thing about these substitutes for orange juice is that they all have similar acidity and sweetness, so you don’t have to change the recipe at all or waste time in adoption. 

These juices work for all recipes that call for orange juice, whether you are baking, cooking soup, sauces, meat marinades, smoothies, or even salad dressing.


3. Orange Liqueur

There is a variety of orange liqueur that you may find in the market. Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, and Cointreau are the best substitutes for orange juice. However, it honestly doesn’t make a difference whichever brand you use.

You can pick an orange liqueur of your choice to use in cooking recipes such as sauces, marinades, and soups; they work in all!

But, many people fret over their alcohol content, so let me assure you that most of it will evaporate during cooking, so you will only taste the tanginess and sweetness of the liqueur, along with a strong aroma of oranges. However, there may be a slight boozy undertone in your recipe depending upon the spices and recipe you used it for, so be mindful of the content you put it in. 

But since liqueurs are not as strong as orange juice in flavor, you might have to tip in a bit extra to procure the same results. 

Moreover, due to their subtlety, orange liqueurs are widely used to substitute for orange juice in baking. For one cup of orange juice, a shot of orange liqueur will do great. However, I always add a tiny splash of lemon juice (a teaspoon per half-cup works the best) to increase its acidity.


4. Orange Extract

This orange juice substitute is slightly different as its flavor comes directly from the oils in the peel instead of the juice. The oil gives it a bright, robust flavor and aroma that is also pretty strong or potent. Thus, you must always dilute it with a bit of water before use. 

You can use the diluted orange extract as a substitute for orange juice in a large array of recipes. However, when using it as an orange juice substitute in cake, make sure to use it like vanilla extract. Hence, if you are cooking a recipe that calls for an orange flavor dessert, such as orange crush cake or glazed orange rolls, this orange juice substitute is your best bet. Moreover, you can also use it to substitute for orange juice in recipes like citrus fruit salads, cranberry orange pudding, orange dream bars, and cocktails of all kinds!

However, note that using it to substitute for orange juice in a cake will demand a slight acidity to help your batter rise, so make sure to squeeze in some lemon juice since it’s an essential step to achieving ideal results. 

Along with dilution, you would also have to add about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten it. But, unlike orange juice, it is sugar-free.


5. Lemon Juice

Most recipes only use orange juice to sweeten the dish. Therefore, if you plan to substitute orange juice with lemon juice, you might want to take a couple of things into account.

     A. Lemon Juice is more sour and acidic than orange juice

Baking is a science since all its ingredients and constituents come together in a specific manner to yield a particular texture and rise. Therefore, lemon juice’s acidity is essential when you substitute it for orange juice in baking. 

So to make sure it doesn’t have a negative effect on the basic ingredients in the batter like baking powder. It is better to reduce your lemon juice content by half or add a bit of water to dilute it. 

For instance, if your dish calls for two tablespoons of orange juice, you must use one tablespoon of lemon juice plus one tablespoon of water.

However, cooking doesn’t require as much precision as baking, so be at ease since cooking is an art and the saucepan is your canvas. Therefore, you don’t have to be extremely precise to get a successful result.

     B. Lemon Juice Has Less Sugar Than Orange Juice

Orange juice is sweeter than lemon juice. So, therefore, if you are using it in a large amount, think half a cup, then you’ll have to add some sort of sweetener like honey along with water to mellow it down, so it tastes more like orange juice.

For this purpose, you may either use liquid or crystal sugar depending on what is easily accessible and which dish you plan to use it in. So, if you decide to use dry or powdered sugar, make sure it dissolves completely. 

So how can you substitute for orange juice in a recipe? All you have to do is:

  • Take one-quarter (¼ ) cup of lemon juice
  • And one-quarter (¼ ) cup of water
  • Almost two tablespoons of any sweetener like sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • Mix all the ingredients until everything is completely dissolved.

Lemons have more tart than oranges and a different flavor too. But, it doesn’t affect the taste of your recipe when you substitute it for orange juice in a marinade or salad dressings, as these recipes demand a potent citrusy flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute apple cider for orange juice?
Yes! If you are out of orange juice, apple cider vinegar is one of the best substitutes for orange juice that you can opt for. It is exceptionally great for salad vinaigrettes, sauces, meat or fish marinades, and even baking. Just make sure you add a little bit of sugar to sweeten the dressing.
What does orange juice do in baking?
When you use orange juice in your baking mix instead of milk or water, you will notice a robust and aromatic quality emanating from your dish. Therefore, if you are tired of the same old mellowy cakes and bread, try adding orange juice to enhance the flavor.
Can you substitute orange juice for pineapple juice?
Absolutely! Orange juice is a perfectly suitable substitute for pineapple juice in a variety of recipes. It possesses the same qualities as grapefruit and has a well-balanced flavor too.

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