Unsweetened apple juice is enjoyed as a drink and as an ingredient in cuisine. It is fairly sweet already without any sugar being added. Sugar-free apple juice can be found in the beverages section of your local grocery store.
If you’re in the middle of a recipe that requires unsweetened apple juice and you discover you don’t have any, there’s no need to despair. True, you can’t waste the ingredients by abandoning your recipe, and the recipe will be ruined if you leave the apple juice out.
Luckily, there are a number of good substitutes for unsweetened apple juice. You can try any one of the alternative options for apple juice we mention here, with some of the products even being known for their medicinal properties.
Substitutes for Unsweetened Apple Juice
So if you run out of apple juice in the middle of making a recipe, these substitutes will do an adequate job of standing in for the absent ingredient.
- Rice Wine Vinegar
This is a super replacement for unsweetened apple juice. It’s vinegar made from fermented rice. Rice wine vinegar is made when rice starches and sugar are fermented and then turned to alcohol and then acetic acid. Acetic acid has moderate amounts of sugar.
Rice wine vinegar has an acidic, sweet flavor similar to apple juice. It’s also referred to as just plain rice vinegar. This rice vinegar comes in two kinds: unseasoned and seasoned, and it is commonly used to add acidity to many dishes such as sushi, pickled foods, and stir fries.
Most people have lemons in their kitchens. They use the juice in small quantities to give flavor to different foods. From a health point of view, they’re also a good source of vitamin C.
Lemons are able to give a tangy flavor to baked goods, salad dressings, smoothies, desserts, and drinks. The thing with lemon juice is to get the right quantity. You can’t say one tablespoon of unsweetened apple juice will be equal to one tablespoon of lemon juice.
This is because lemon juice is far more acidic than apple juice, so you only need to add a small amount of lemon juice if you don’t have sugarless apple juice on hand.
White wine is another worthwhile apple juice replacement. It is made from white grapes that have been fermented into alcohol. You always have to be careful with any recipes you have in mind where children will also be partaking.
In terms of measurement, you can put two tablespoons of white wine in your recipe as opposed to a tablespoon of unsweetened apple juice. Some white wines have fruity tones but they still contain alcohol, so be wary of those adults too, trying to avoid alcohol.
There are white wines that don’t have much of a sweet flavor and which make a great substitute for apple juice with no sugar.
- Red wine vinegar
The acidity level in apple juice and red wine vinegar is almost exactly the same. People who have already used red wine vinegar instead of unsweetened apple juice say you will be pleasantly surprised. The red wine vinegar gives a wonderful tangy taste to the dish being prepared.
Another bonus when using red wine vinegar is that it contains healthy antioxidants. Red wine vinegar is prepared by fermenting red wine with acidic bacteria and a starter culture.
The alcohol is converted to acetic acid during the fermentation process, which is the main ingredient in vinegar. It’s a good substitute for apple juice, but you have to use it in smaller quantities than apple juice.
So you would add one tablespoon of red wine vinegar in place of the two tablespoons of apple juice you would normally use.
- ACV – Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Apart from being used in cuisine, it has also been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Apple cider vinegar comes from fermenting apples. The sugar in the apples turns to ethanol.
Ethanol is a flammable liquid produced by the natural fermentation of sugars and is an active ingredient in alcoholic drinks. From becoming ethanol, it then becomes acetic acid.
If you’re making something sweet and you’re going to use apple juice in the recipe, you can add a little sugar to your apple cider vinegar. This is because apple cider vinegar has a much more pungent flavor.
- Carbonated soda
Carbonated sodas or fizzy drinks contain carbonated water, which is water with dissolved carbon dioxide, a sweetener, and flavoring. People love drinking soda because of the bubbly sensation brought about by the carbonic acid.
It has other uses too – a replacement for unsweetened apple juice. As with any substitute you use for unsweetened apple juice, it is important to take note of portion sizes.
You can use apple-flavored soda, ginger ale, or sprite, and the portion you use will be much the same as your unflavored apple juice.
- White wine vinegar
You can make do with white wine vinegar when you’re out of unsweetened apple juice. It’s made from fermenting white wine and is found among the vinegars in your local grocery store. The acidic level of white wine vinegar is much the same as apple juice.
You need to be careful of the quantity of white wine vinegar you use because it has a stronger flavor than apple juice. So, where you would use 1 tablespoon of unsweetened apple juice in your recipe, you use ½ tbsp of white wine vinegar.
- Lime Juice
It’s the citric acid in lime juice that makes it so good for tenderizing meat. Lime juice is a good choice when you’re looking for a great alternative to apple juice. You can trust lime in any recipe that requires apple juice.
One reason it makes such a worthy substitute for apple juice is that it has a 1-to-1 ratio of acidity to sweetness. Lime juice is also high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Those who love to make marinades use apple juice, but if there is none, lime juice is the perfect apple juice substitute.
White grape juice is also a replacement for apple juice, as are other liquids such as orange juice. There are so many mouthwatering treats that include unsweetened apple juice and that are easy to prepare and incredibly delicious.
If you run out of apple juice, there is no reason to call off your baking ideas. You can still up your cooking and baking repertoire with great unsweetened apple juice substitutes.
With these 8 of the best apple juice alternatives, with these feisty alternatives, you can safely mix and match to your heart’s content and trust your recipe to turn out as it should.