Apple juice is a delicious and healthy addition to any recipe. This versatile ingredient finds its way into diverse recipes including food and beverages and sweet and savory treats. But there are also some apple juice substitutes that can serve the same purpose in your recipes. Have a look at some of the best options below.
Best Apple Juice Substitutes
Apple juice has a fresh and crisp ambiance. It has a tarty flavor with hints of sweetness. You can use it as a flavoring agent as well as the main ingredient while cooking.
Use these alternatives to get the same results as apple juice.
1. Apple Cider
It’s best to replace apple juice with another apple product. Also, it is easily available.
Apple cider will give you the same sweet-tart flavor in your recipes. It has hints of bitterness too. Juice is filtered so it lacks that bitter taste. Apple cider is more acidic so it is apt for marinating ribs and other types of meat.
The exact intensity of its flavor depends on the concentration of apples in it. But usually, apple cider has a milder flavor. Most apple cider available in the market is pasteurized. It comes with and without alcohol. You can use either in cooking and beverages. Include this ingredient in stews, soups, meat recipes, and desserts like cupcakes and cookies.
Although it has a milder taste, use it in equal amounts as apple juice.
2. Pear Juice
Pears have a very similar taste to apples. So you can easily replace apple juice with pear juice.
There are also fermented forms of pear juice, called perry, available in the market. This is the best choice when making jams, jellies, muffins, or cupcakes. Note that pear juice has high fructose content. So it is not ideal for people who suffer from fructose intolerance.
If you can’t get pear juice, you can use canned or dried pears as well. Pears are rich in vitamins C and K, and potassium.
3. White Grape Juice
If your recipe requires a fresh and crispy aroma, use white grape juice. It is obtained by mashing and blending white grapes. The juice has a nice sweet and tarty flavor. Depending on the type of grape used, the intensity of the flavors can vary. However, grape juice is always milder than apple juice in taste.
The pH of grape juice is higher than apple juice. And due to its less acidic nature, it is not ideal for marinating purposes. However, you can use it in meat-based recipes to elevate the flavor. Due to its mild taste, white grape juice fits well in both sweet and savory dishes.
Include this ingredient when making turkey, tofu, or beverages. This juice also adds a nice tarty twist to desserts like cakes and ice-creams.
4. Orange Juice
Oranges and apples are worlds apart in terms of flavor. But when it comes to cooking, they are interchangeable, conditionally.
While apple juice has a tarty flavor, orange juice has a striking citrusy taste. Orange juice is a lot more acidic, so it is ideal for marinating ribs. It also aids in tenderizing the meat and enhancing its taste. You can also use a few drops of this juice in sweet recipes like cakes, muffins, and smoothies.
Use half the amount of orange juice in place of apple juice. This is because the citrusy flavor and acidic nature can overpower the food. Pay special attention when working with dishes that have mild flavors.
Use orange juice in sauce, desserts, salad dressings, and toppings. This juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and folate. It is also known to promote skin health.
5. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an accessible substitute. This alternative has a sharp tangy flavor that can be easily overpowering in a recipe. Lemon juice can be used for marinating. But when adding it as a flavoring agent, use ⅓ times the amount of apple juice you’d use.
The fresh, tangy, and tarty taste of lemon juice works wonders in a dessert. Just a couple of drops can add a nice tangy touch to the sweet. You can also employ lemon juice in soups, beverages, and salad dressings. But remember, if you’re working on a mild-flavored recipe, only a few drops are needed.
6. Red Wine Vinegar
It is obtained by the fermentation of red wine which is then strained and bottled. Red wine vinegar slightly differs from apple juice in its taste. It has an eminent flavor and aroma. However, when used in cooking, it works similarly to apple juice.
Red wine vinegar is also acidic. So it can be employed for marinating purposes. You can also use it in stews, soups, meat recipes, and other savory treats.
Do note that red wine vinegar is striking red. So it will affect the color of your dish. Use 1 tablespoon of this alternative for every 2 spoons of apple juice.
This would be an unexpected inclusion. But if nothing else works for you at the moment, you can settle for soda. This carbonated water comes with different added flavors. When substituting it for apple juice, opt for the one that uses citric acid as the flavoring agent.
Soda works well in marinating and tenderizing meat. However, remember that soda has high sugar content. So it fits well in sweet recipes. Employ it when making cake, cookies, or muffins. It can be used in savory recipes too. However, to make up for the sweetness, add some orange or lemon zest. Use it in beverages, toppings, and salad dressings.
8. White Wine Or Cooking Wine
The fruity tones of wine provide an excellent cover for apple juice in cooking. You could as easily use cooking wine for this aspect. However, if you’re using cooking wine, remember that it has salt content and that will need to be adjusted elsewhere in the recipe.
While cooking wines find favor with some chefs, I’m not much for their taste. If you’re going to pick a wine, go with white wine. It’s useful for a drink and adds good taste to recipes. Something like Sauternes could do, but remember that it is sweet (much like apple juice).
The conventional substitution ratio is to use two spoons of wine for each spoon of apple juice.
9. Apple Syrup
Apple syrup seems like a good option, especially when you need a substitute in something sweet. The syrup is more concentrated, flavorful, and much sweeter than the juice. Syrup is also thicker and more viscous.
When using it in a recipe, dilute a small amount of the syrup with water to get the same amount as the juice required. This will keep the general texture and taste of the recipe intact. The sweetness of the concentrate varies by batch and brand, so some trials may be necessary in deciding how much water to add.
How To Use Apple Juice While Cooking
Apple juice is made by processing the cored pulp of apples. You can use it as the main ingredient or a flavoring agent in beverages.
It is widely popular for its use in making ribs. As a marinade, apple juice adds its typical sweet-tart flavor to the meat. You can use it as a spritzer as well. A few teaspoons of this juice can add a nice touch to your savory meals. In desserts, use it only to add the tarty hint. Adding large amounts of it can overpower the recipe.
Apart from being delicious, apple juice is very healthy. It contains zero fats and calories and is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Choose The Right Alternative To Apple Juice
The options we discussed above vary in their flavors and pH levels. If you’re working on a meat recipe, an acidic pH is important. And while preparing a dessert, you need to make sure that the flavor isn’t too overpowering. Similarly, determine what features your recipe asks for. Considering that, you can choose which apple juice substitute would work best for you.