For many people, apple juice reminds them of their favorite childhood drink. For some, however, it is a common choice for cooking. It is a great ingredient for experimental dishes that need a complex flavor with a combination of sweet and tart notes.
If apple juice isn’t available, do not fret! You can achieve the same mouthwatering flavor by using the best substitutes for apple juice. Read on and we’ll share some of the top ingredients to consider.
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Using Apple Juice in Your Recipes
First, let’s talk about how to use apple juice in cooking. Apple juice is a clear liquid that people use for flavoring meats, especially as a marinade. It is slightly acidic, which makes it great in terms of making your meat not only flavorful but also easy to chew.
Aside from marinades, you can also use apple juice in sauces. This juice can add a hint of sweetness and sourness in your sauce. Alternatively, you can also use it for dressings, which will add life to your healthy salad.
You can also use apple juice in smoothies and desserts. It is a must for healthy and refreshing drinks, or even summer cocktails. At the same time, apple juice adds complex flavors to cakes, pastries, and other sweet treats.
The 8 Best Apple Juice Substitutes for 2022
Below are some of the alternatives that should be on your radar when you cannot get your hands in an apple juice.
1. Rice Wine Vinegar
If you love experimenting and cooking different dishes, rice wine vinegar is probably a staple in your kitchen. It uses starch from rice and goes through a fermentation process. It has a low alcohol content. Compared to regular rice vinegar, it is sweeter.
As for the flavor, rice wine vinegar is stronger but will make an excellent alternative when the latter is unavailable. It is a common option for marinades and sauces. You can use it for a sald dressing. It is also a base vinegar for pickling ginger, radish, and plum.
2. White Wine
Wine lovers probably have a supply of white wine in their homes. This will make another great substitute for apple juice in your recipes. You do not need an expensive white wine. Even the cheapest will suffice and can deliver great results.
White wine is versatile, which is why it is a pantry staple for seasoned cooks. No need to worry about alcohol. When you use it in cooking, the alcohol content should not matter. It won’t make you drunk.
There are many ways to use wine when cooking. For instance, it makes a great addition for braises and stews. Pan sauces will also taste better when you add white wine. More so, you can use it in marinades.
3. Lemon Juice
While lemon juice has a more pronounced sour flavor compared to apple, it is still a great substitute when apple juice is unavailable. This citrus fruit adds sweet, savory, and tart flavors in different recipes. Be careful not to use too much as it can be overpowering.
Among others, one of the most popular ways to use lemon juice is in sauces, especially when you are looking for something that can complement poultry or fish. Alternatively, you can use it for marinades. The acidity is effective in breaking down meat.
You can also use it in baked goods, which will balance the sweetness. It is one of the secrets to making better batter. Mixing it with baking powder or baking soda is the secret to making fluffy baked treats.
4. Apple Cider
This is one of the best substitutes for apple juice. While an apple cider uses a different production process than apple juice, since they are from the same fruit, you can expect the flavor to be similar.
Apple cider is basically apple juice, except that it is unsweetened and unfiltered. This makes its taste more similar to apples since it has not been through too much processing and has minimal additives.
The sky’s the limit when you are cooking apple cider. Among others, you can use it as a marinade or an addition to sauces. It is also great for stews and slow-cooked dishes that will require an acidic ingredient.
5. Pear Juice
Like apple, pears are slightly acidic. It is not overly sweet and slightly tart, so you can taste almost the same flavors in an apple. It is also conveniently available in commercial packages, so it is easy to use when you are cooking.
If you will use pear juice in the kitchen, moderation is crucial. Using more than what the recipe requires can end up in a disaster. It has a robust flavor, which can overpower the dish and make it too sour.
6. White Grapes
Grapes and apple taste alike, so you can use each other as a substitute when one is unavailable.
Most people will use grapes when they are preparing something sweet, such as cakes, pies, and even sorbets.
You can use grapes on many recipes, including those that supposedly require apple juice. From red snapper to pork, cauliflower to lamb chops, the options are endless when it comes to cooking with white grapes.
For those who love carbonated drinks, sodas are fixtures in the fridge. If you have one at home, then you can use it when apple juice is unavailable. The carbonation in soda will make a unique addition to your recipe. The flavor profile, meanwhile, will depend on the specific soda you will use.
As a sugary drink, soda will make a good pick if you want to add sweetness to whatever it is that you are cooking. You can use it as a braising liquid, savory marinade, or juicy glaze. It especially does well when combined with aromatics and spices that make the dish more complex.
8. Apple Syrup
Last but not the least, apple syrup will also make a great substitute when there is no apple juice. It is especially a great option if you are looking for something more consistent instead of a liquid, such as when you are making sauces.
The best thing about apple syrup is that you can make it at home. Aside from fresh apples, you will need cornstarch, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Al that you have to do is to juice the apples, simmer, and add the ingredients. It will make a consistent and sweet paste.