Yellow and orange fruits that taste like heaven delivering a fine combination of tart and sweet are a staple to many. Yes. We are talking about apricots. Apricots are high in carotene, Vitamins A and C, and fiber.
These tasty fruits pack a variety of health benefits including better digestion, cardiac health improvements, and they’re a healthy source of hydration.
In this article, we’ll be sharing everything that you need to know about apricots while listing all of the best substitutes for apricot nectar available.
Substitute For Apricot Nectar
Apricot nectar is pretty easy to make. All you need to do is blend apricots, sugar, water, and lemon juice. In most cases, the apricots are simmered and reduced down before adding lemon and sugar.
Once everything is mixed, canned apricot nectar can be stored for the entire winter season. We’ve got an exact method for making apricot nectar coming up for you to try.
Can I Substitute Apricot Pulp For Apricot Nectar?
Apricot nectar and pure apricot pulp are different in taste and consistency but remain interchangeable. The extra ingredients added to nectar modify the flavor, leaving it thick but drinkable.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own nectar, try substituting apricot pulp first before considering other alternatives.
How To Make Apricot Nectar
- 10 to 12 Pitted Apricots
- 1 Cup Sugar or Coconut Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 5 Cups Water
- Remove the pits of your apricots and chop them into quarters
- Put the chopped apricots and water into a large saucepan
- Reduce the mixture on a stovetop over medium heat
- Simmer for roughly half an hour, stirring constantly
- Once the apricots are soft and broken down, remove them from the stove
- Sieve the mixture, using a spoon to push through as much of the fruit into a puree as possible
- Keep pressing the softened apricots until puree begins to drop (stop at this point or your nectar will be discolored)
- Add the agave, your sugar, and the lemon juice to your blend
- Whisk well
- Allow to cool down before preserve (canning) or bottling
Properly preserved/bottled apricot nectar will store for six months if kept in a cool, dry place.
To preserve without contamination, fill a large pot with boiling water and submerge your jars or bottles. Boil for at least twenty minutes and your container is ready for the nectar.
The Best Apricot Nectar Substitutes
If you can’t get your hands on apricots, or feel like trying something different, read on! We’ve got the very best substitutes for apricot nectar listed so that you get similar health and flavor benefits.
1) Canned Peaches
If you just can’t seem to find apricot nectar, go for canned peaches without giving it a second thought. Canned peaches are high in nutrients and the flavor profile is very similar to the taste of peaches.
With the cell wall of the peaches opened when you buy them canned, the nutrient concentration multiplies exponentially.
It’s without a doubt the healthiest option around. Yet, it’s not just the health benefits that make peaches amazing.
There’s a strikingly similar balance of tart and sweetness which makes peaches one of the best apricot alternatives around. Even the texture of canned peaches comes out similar if you reduce them in a pan first.
2) Peach Nectar Or Puree
Well, if canned peaches are also out of stock, you can always buy fresh peaches and make a puree yourself. Peach puree is straightforward to make and safe for children of all ages – even toddlers love it.
With a similar taste and nutrient profile to apricots, peach nectar or puree is a good substitute as a drink or flavor-enhancing ingredient.
It even smells similar to apricots. Pureeing peaches is as easy as peeling, pitting, and blending them until smooth.
If you don’t want to go through this effort, you should be able to find either peach juice, peach nectar, or canned puree readily available at most grocery stores.
3) Dried Apricots
Dried apricots deliver a high nutrient level that’s equal to fresh apricots. The only thing that’s lacking is the moisture, with dried apricots coming chewy instead of juicy.
If you’ve decided to use dried apricots instead of nectar, we suggest making your own puree first. Soak the dried apricots in just enough water to cover them, and then blend or process until smooth.
Another technique is to reduce the dried apricots in a pan with water, sugar, and a little lemon juice before blending into a puree.
Once transformed into a thick juice, you’re guaranteed loads of flavor. If your blend is too sour, adjust by adding more sugar or combine another fruit juice to balance the flavor.
4) Pear Puree
Pear juice and pear puree is a reliable substitute for apricot nectar that won’t fail you. Buying pear juice or pear puree typically provides you a product made from ripe pears.
If you’re making your puree, ripe pears grant sweet-tasting juice and full flavor. Unripened pears puree into a much milder taste that’s lower in sweetness as well.
You know that your pears are ripe and ready when they’re firm but soft toward the top where the stem joins the fruit.
If the flesh gives a little instead of staying firm when gently pressing your finger into this section, your pears are ready for juicing or pureeing.
Half, core, and peel your pears. Chop them up and add them to a pan with a few tablespoons of water. Reduce until soft and blend until smooth.
Otherwise, you should be able to find pear puree readily available in most grocery stores.
5) Apple Juice
Everyone must have heard by now how an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Similarly, just one glass of apple juice keeps you from having to give up on your recipe, serving as a fantastic substitute for apricot nectar.
Despite being different in their main flavor profile, apple juice, apple puree, and applesauce give a balance of tart and sweetness that’s quite close to apricots.
Apples are also just as healthy and extremely hydrating, just like apricot nectar. Apple juice can take the place of apricot nectar in just about any recipe, whether food or drink.
Add a dash of lemon juice to increase the tartness, bringing your dish or drink even closer to the original.
Mangos bring a flavor combination that rewards with a great balance of sweet and sour highlights. Mango nectar, mango puree, and all varieties of mango juice are excellent substitutes for apricot nectar.
The digestive and antioxidant properties offer similar benefits as well. Depending on what type of mango product you’re using, one may need to adjust the sweetness, sourness, or tartness.
We suggest combining mango juice with extra sugar if needed, additional lemon juice whenever substituting,
and consider combining mango with other juices like apple, pear, or even pineapple to get the taste just right for your recipe.
Nectarines would place higher on this list given greater availability. This being said, nectarines, nectarine juice, and nectarine puree are all outstanding apricot nectar alternatives.
These yellow-red stone fruits deliver a flavor that’s best described as a fusion of peach and something slightly sourer like a plum or apricot.
The tastiest nectarines will have a golden undertone with absolutely no greenish hue. If they’re yellow or white, early harvesting tainted the full flavor.
Nectarines perfect for eating have a strong aroma that you’ll be able to smell immediately upon handling.
We suggest reducing fresh nectarines down in a saucepan with water and sugar after peeling and pitting, before blending them into a tasty juice to use as a substitute for apricot nectar.
8) Cranberry Juice
Substituting cranberry juice for apricot nectar works wonderfully when you don’t need a thick consistency.
If you do and still want to stick to antioxidant-rich cranberries, reduce the juice in a saucepan with added sugar. Keep adding sugar gradually until the cranberry juice thickens to a paste.
This will also bring the sweetness up to a similar level to apricot juice.
Dried cranberries work just as well, and actually give a tartness that’s closer to what you’re looking for from apricots but you’ll definitely need to soften, reduce and blend them into a puree first.
As another sweet-sour stone fruit, plums are a reliable substitute for apricot nectar. Either buy premade plum puree which is normally found as a baking ingredient or baby food, or make your own.
Peel and pit your plums and then blend them with as much water as you need to reach the consistency that you want. If you’re mashing using a potato masher, cook them up in a saucepan until well-softened before mashing.
Persimmons are not as readily available as other substitutes for apricot juice, but the sweet flavor profile makes them a good option if you can get your hands on any.
Keep in mind that these fruits that look like apricots have a much milder flavor. Many compare the taste to honey. You’ll need to turn your persimmons into a puree or juice.
The juice itself is the easiest to make. Otherwise, juice your persimmons and reduce them with sugar and lemon juice and the consistency thickens.
The Bottom Line- Which Is The Best Apricot Nectar Substitute?
There’s a huge variety of apricot nectar alternatives available. Pick the one that suits your personal taste and wallet the best from our list – you can’t go wrong.
Each of our substitutes for apricot nectar will leave your drink or meal coming out tasting great. Who knows, you may just find an ingredient that becomes your new favorite.