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What Is A Good Substitute For Lemon Juice?

What Is A Good Substitute For Lemon JuiceShutterstock

Lime is one of the best substitutes for lemon juice. It’s a citrus fruit and has a very similar taste and acidity level to lemon.

If you’re looking for a preserving substitute for lemon juice, then lime juice once again is a suitable option because of its similar pH level. Other alternatives, like vinegar, are not as acidic and won’t preserve tinned or canned for as long.

Another citrus fruit that’s a good substitute for lemon juice is orange juice. It’s slightly less acidic than lemon juice and does have a different flavor profile, so tread lightly—adding it to certain recipes can change it completely.

Orange juice works particularly well as a substitute for lemon juice in dessert recipes, since it still has a citrus flavor but also adds more sweetness (as well as a pleasant aroma) to the recipe. 

When it comes to cooking or baking, vinegar makes a great substitute for lemon juice in recipes. It holds the same tartness and acidity as lemon. Vinegar is very strong, so you’ll only need to use a small amount when adding it to your food. Overwise, it can overpower your dish.

If a recipe just needs a touch of sharp flavor, then vinegar could be a go-to substitute. But if you’re looking for a replacement ingredient in a recipe where lemon will be an integral part of the flavoring, then you may want to avoid using vinegar (and opt for citrus fruit instead).

If you’ve got citric acid lying around in your cupboard, then you can use that as a substitute for lemon juice in your recipes. Be sure to adjust the ratio, and you’ll probably need to add some water to your recipe. Otherwise the dry to wet ingredients ratio may be unbalanced—and your recipe could come out wrong. 

Lemon zest is an excellent replacement for lemon juice. It holds all the same flavoring and acidity. You can buy dried lemon zest powder in stores but one of the cheapest ways is to make it yourself.

One thing I like to do is to keep lemon zest in a tiny food storage container in my freezer. It’s really handy whenever I forget to buy lemons at the store, yet need them for a recipe:

Lemon zest fresh out of my freezer

So store your dried lemon zest in an airtight container and then you can add it to any recipe you want to achieve a lemon flavor without having to have fresh lemons around. 

Before chucking out your lemons after you’ve squeezed all the juice out, you should grate the zest of them and then put the powder onto parchment paper on a baking tray and put it in an oven on a very low heat for 5-10 minutes, checking back occasionally to make sure they don’t burn. 

If you’re looking for a substitute for lemon juice that’ll be used to deglaze your cooking pan or to add a slight hint of acidity to your recipe and to bring out other flavors of the ingredients, then white wine may be a good choice.

It’s normally best to use this substitute in cooking savory dishes as most of the alcohol content in the wine will reduce down and it won’t be too overwhelming. 

If you’re into baking then you may have already considered lemon extract to be used as a substitute for lemon juice in recipes. You’ll need to be careful as lemon extracted is a lot more concentrated and you’ll only need to add a tiny amount to achieve a tart lemon flavor. 

Can I Substitute Apple Cider Vinegar for Lemon Juice?

Yes, if you just need to add a touch of acidity to a sweet or savory recipe then you can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for lemon juice.

However, if lemon is the main ingredient in a dish, such as a lemon cheesecake, then you should not use apple cider vinegar as a substitute as it’ll taste completely different from what it’s supposed to. 

If you’re going to substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice then you’ll need to adjust the ratio that you’re adding it. Apple cider vinegar is very pungent and can quickly overpower a recipe even when adding only small amounts

Can I Substitute Lemon Juice for Fresh Lemon?

Yes, you can substitute lemon juice for fresh lemon. Fresh lemons have a brighter and stronger lemon flavor than bottled lemon juice, so they’ll be more prominent in your recipes.

If you’re cooking and a recipe calls for the juice of two tablespoons of lemon juice then you should just try to use the juice from just one lemon as a substitute to achieve the same flavoring. 

Is Lemon Extract the Same as Lemon Juice?

No, lemon extract is not the same as lemon juice, although they do have the same lemon flavoring.

Lemon extract is a good substitute for lemon juice in lemon-flavored cakes, biscuits, and other baked goods, however, if you need a substitute for lemon juice to add a bit of tartness to a recipe then you should not go for lemon extract as your first choice as it mainly produces the flavor of the whole fruit and doesn’t contain the same acidity levels. 

You should avoid using lemon extract to make lemonade and other citrus drinks as it won’t work properly as it doesn’t have the same tartness as lemon juice and it may also taste a lot sweeter than it should do. 

Lemon extract also contains oil, alcohol, and water whereas lemon juice is just the liquid that comes out of squeezed lemons. Lemon juice also contains more water content than lemon extract. 

Can Lemonade Be Substituted for Lemon Juice?

Lemonade is not generally recommended to be a substitute for lemon juices; it contains a lot more sugar than lemon juice and will taste sweeter in recipes and less tart.

Lemonade will be better used as a substitute in baked goods as they tend to be sweeter in flavoring anyway. 

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