8 of the Best Substitutes for Orange Juice in Smoothies 

Have you ever been in the middle of whipping up a smoothie and realized you are out of your favorite ingredient, orange juice? Orange juice has many benefits, though it is a bit high in sugars and calories. Orange juice provides many minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients such as Vitamin C and B9, potassium, and folate. 

One cup of orange juice can give you twice the needed daily amount. You could use this nutrient-packed juice, commonly drank at breakfast, in recipes, smoothies, or sauces. You may need to substitute because you are watching your weight or are allergic to oranges. In any case, there are several substitutes that you can use in place of orange juice. In any case, you have options for orange juice substitutes. 

How to substitute for orange juice in smoothies

Cooking and baking are all about science, with measurements and reactions between components. You commonly use orange juice in baking or cooking recipes; you may drink it! 

Orange juice can boost the flavor of both sweet and savory dishes. Since it is highly acidic, it will create a reaction between the orange juice and other recipe ingredients. Due to its acidity levels, orange juice’s tangy flavor makes it great for all dishes, from savory to sweet. 

Most people like orange, making it one of the more popular juices. Orange juice can be the best for adding moisture to baked goods and flavor to your smoothie. Orange juice can also be a meat tenderizer by breaking down the cell walls of meat; this makes it perfect for marinades. 

What can you use if you run out of or cannot drink orange juice? 

1. Apple juice

One of the better substitutes for orange juice in smoothies is apple juice. Though the flavor will be the same as orange juice, it comes close. 

You can still expect to get the sweet taste that you could expect from orange juice. The best part about using apple juice as a substitute is that it is a reliable source of Vitamin C, as is orange juice. 

You can use the same amount of apple juice with similar flavors and health benefits as you would orange juice. Using apple juice will not affect the health benefits of your smoothie, which is ideal if you are watching your weight. 

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2. Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is your fittest substitute for orange juice in your smoothie. Cranberry juice is a perfect substitution, though it may be more bitter than orange juice. Take the bitterness of cranberry juice into consideration when using cranberry juice as a substitute for orange juice. 

Cranberry juice does differ a bit in nutrients from orange juice. Cranberry juice does not have much, if any, added sugar. It is also a great source of Vitamin K, which helps your blood naturally clot. Vitamin E is a nutrient of cranberry juice, which is great for your skin. 

With a one-to-one ratio, you can use cranberry juice just as you would orange juice. 

3. Fresh Squeezed Mandarins, Tangerines, or Clementines

You can use this freshly squeezed juice as a one-to-one substitute. One substitute almost identical to orange juice is fresh mandarin, tangerine, or clementine juice. There is not much difference between the two regarding acidity and sweetness; there is no need to adapt the juice without sweeteners or dilution. 

Only the most defined palettes can tell the difference between the two juices; this juice will give you the most similar taste. It will minorly impact the flavor of your final dish. You could squeeze your juice at home, though some grocery stores will have pre-squeezed tangerine, clementine, or mandarin juice. 

Most grocery stores will carry sparkling clementine juice, one of the best orange juice alternatives.

4. Lemon Juice

Another alternative to orange juice is lemon juice. Lemon juice is much more tart and sour than orange juice. However, orange and lemon have slightly different flavor profiles, so you must keep that in mind. 

Use lemon juice and dilute it with water for the best results. So if you need 1 cup of orange juice, you should use 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water. Lemon juice is not the best substitute as it is much more acidic, which could alter your final product.

Lemon is not nearly as sweet as orange juice, so you may have to add a bit of sweetener or sugar to balance the bitterness. 

Lemon juice can make a suitable substitute for orange juice with its tangy taste. It even has less sugar than orange juice, though if you want the sweetness of the orange juice, you must add sugar when using lemon juice.

Lemon Juice is More Sour and Acidic Than Orange Juice

One thing you want to consider when substituting orange juice for lemon juice is that lemon is much more sour and acidic than orange juice. Knowing what acid can affect is essential when baking. 

Baking and cooking are a science in that all the ingredients combine in a particular way to form the final product. Without certain elements, you may not get the reaction you are hoping for, which could cause your baked goods to fall flat when rising. Though, you need not worry too much about your smoothie as the acidity will likely not affect your smoothie’s texture. You may want to dilute your lemon juice with a 1:1 ratio of water. 

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Suppose you need 2 cups of orange juice. You could use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of lemon juice. Using lemon juice in cooking your smoothie is not as precise as it will not affect the texture or ingredients combined. Remember that with using lemon juice, less is more. 

5. Lemonade 

An excellent substitute for orange juice is lemonade. Lemonade and orange juice are similar in nutrients and packed with Vitamin C, so this is an excellent alternative to orange juice. You can use lemonade as a 1-to-1 ratio. With already diluted from the water and sugar, there is no need to alter the lemonade before using it in place of orange juice. 

The best part is that lemonade usually contains about half the calories that orange juice does. You will get a close depiction of orange juice using lemonade. If you are unsure if lemonade works in your baking recipe, you can google lemonade and the other ingredients in your recipe. 

Google can tell you whether lemonade works with your ingredients. 

6. Pineapple Juice 

The following substitute for orange juice in smoothies is pineapple juice. Pineapple juice can be the ideal smoothie alternative thanks to its similar sweetness and acidity. With its similar tropical flavor, you will not miss out on your smoothie’s tropical flavor. You can use pineapple juice as you would orange juice, 1:1 ratio. 

Though pineapple juice is perfect in smoothies, cocktails and mixed drinks may not be ideal. Some people say that the pineapple is too heavy and overpowering. You will barely notice the difference in using pineapple juice instead of orange juice with its naturally sweet and acidic flavor. 

Alternatively, you could use pineapple juice to replace orange juice in marinades, baking, sauces, or cooking recipes to add flavor. Again if you are trying to decide whether to use pineapple juice in a recipe, a quick google search never hurt anybody.

7. Sweetened Grapefruit Juice

Sweetened grapefruit juice is a perfect substitute for orange juice in your smoothie. Grapefruits are known to taste more bitter than oranges, even though sweetened grapefruit juice will not be as bitter. 

Though sweetened grapefruit juice can add the perfect citrusy and fresh flavor to your smoothie. You can always add more sugar or sweetener if you want more sweetness. Sweetened grapefruit juice can be perfect in not only smoothies but baked goods and sauces as well. 

8. Grapefruit Juice

You could use plain grapefruit juice as well as sweetened. Either one can be a great substitute. Ultimately, it depends on the recipe you plan to use and the goal. 

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Suppose you use grapefruit juice in a smoothie; you may want to add a bit of sweetener to give it that sweet taste that orange juice would. Although, if you are watching your weight, you may opt for regular grapefruit juice as there is less sugar. 

In any case, grapefruit as a whole can be a perfect replacement for orange juice in many recipes. 


Do you still have questions? You should refer to the frequently asked questions to gain clarity. 

Can you substitute water for orange juice?

Depending on the recipe, consider using something instead of water, like fruit juice. Water will not add any flavor; it will only add moisture. Moisture is vital in most recipes, so if your goal is to add moisture, yes, you can use water instead of orange juice. Although if you want the depth and flavor that orange juice brings, consider using something with flavor like apple juice.

When using water instead of orange juice, you want to keep it to minimal amounts and add a bit of lemon juice to flavor your smoothie or dish. However, you want to keep it under half a cup of water. 

What is a healthy alternative to orange juice?

There are several substitutes for orange juice in a recipe, though are any of them healthy? Yes, there are healthy alternatives to orange juice that can be lower in calories or sugars but keep that depth of flavor. One of the best healthy alternatives is cranberry juice. Cranberry juice has less sugar, vitamins K and E, and can be great for your skin and blood. Another healthy alternative would be tomato juice, which has the same vitamin C as orange juice but has lower carbohydrates and calories. 

Should I put orange juice in my smoothie?

Ultimately it is up to you if you want to put orange juice in your smoothie or not. Orange juice can be high in sugar and calories, which is not ideal for those watching their weight or blood sugars. 

Consider using a more nutritious alternative, like tomato or cranberry juice, for a healthy smoothie. If you are looking strictly for flavor, use orange juice to give you the best taste. 


In conclusion, you can use several alternatives to orange juice in your smoothies or other recipes. Many substitutes have similar flavors but more healthy uses. They work well in dishes without taking away nutrients, whether you want to use apple juice or grapefruit juice.