Tropical fruits are always the trademark of refreshing and healthy fruits. One of the main stars among these fruits is the pineapple.
And one of the most popular forms of pineapple is pineapple juice.
This juice can be enjoyed alone, but also incorporated into cocktails, smoothies, sauces, marinades, and various types of dishes.
On top of that, it is very nutritious, with high levels of vitamins B6 and C, folate, manganese, and copper (1).
Unfortunately, there are people who are allergic to pineapple and also a few people who don’t like its sweet and sour flavors, as well as those who just don’t have any on hand at the moment.
For that reason, I provide you with a list of 10 pineapple juice substitutes.
Let’s take a look.
1. Orange Juice
It is one of the most versatile beverages out there, has a high nutritional value, and has an amazing flavor profile that few can resist. It is a juice made from and everybody loves it.
Orange juice is one of the best alternatives to pineapple juice and you probably have some at home.
• Versatility: Oranges, especially orange juices, are one of the most versatile ingredients out there. It can be enjoyed on its own, added to various cocktails, mixed with other juices, and added to various dishes, including sauces and marinades.
• Availability: There almost isn’t a grocery store or supermarket where you can not find oranges or orange juice.
• Affordable: Orange juice can be found for quite affordable prices and is, in most cases, less expensive than pineapple juice.
• Nutritional Value: Both types of juice are nutritional powerhouses. However, orange juice is slightly higher in certain vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as most B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, and the folate form of vitamin B9) (2).
• Flavor: While both juices have a combination of sweet and tart flavors, as well as acidic undertones, I have to emphasize that pineapple juice is a bit sweeter due to the higher sugar content.
Also, pineapple juice is less acidic and doesn’t have those specific citrus notes, the trademark of oranges and orange juices.
• Texture: Orange juice is thinner and more watery than pineapple juice, which has a thicker and more syrupy consistency. This can affect the texture of the dish to some extent.
• Aroma: While orange juice has a fresh, citrusy aroma, pineapple juice has a more pronounced tropical aroma that can be quite fragrant.
How To Use It As A Substitute:
You can make orange juice at home from fresh oranges or you can buy it at the grocery store.
My advice is to make your own because it is healthier due to the absence of added sugars and preservatives.
Aside from enjoying it on its own, you can use it in some recipes as well.
• Marinades: Use it in marinades for meat and fish since it will provide a similar level of acidity and sweetness and it will tenderize your meat perfectly.
• Salad Dressing: Orange juice will add a bright citrusy flavor to your salad and pair well with other fruits and greens.
• Baked Dishes: In some baking recipes like cakes, muffins, or quick bread, you can use orange juice to achieve a similar flavor profile.
You can freely use it in a 1:1 ratio when substituting.
Pro Tip: Take note that orange juice is a bit more watery than pineapple juice, so you will have to adjust the amount of liquid when adding it to your recipe.
2. Lemon Juice
Even more versatile than orange juice, a juice made from the fruit that starts with l is one of the most popular beverages in the world.
You can find it almost anywhere or make it at home. Although many people first think of lemonade when they hear lemon juice, it is not limited at all since it can be added to numerous types of dishes.
• Versatility: Just like orange juice, lemon juice can be used in so many different ways.
Thus, it is even more versatile and can be used as a flavor enhancer in soups, sauces, dressings, and marinades, in baking, drinks, and salads, and even as a preservative.
• Availability: You can find lemons and lemon juices at almost any grocery store, supermarket, or health shop. You can also buy some fresh lemons and make some lemon juice at home.
• Huge Nutrition Value: All fruits, including pineapple, are healthy and nutritious. However, lemons and lemon juice are something special.
Lemon juice is exceptionally high in vitamin C and it also has a fair amount of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, as well as various antioxidants and plant compounds (3).
• Lower Amount Of Sugar: Since it is proven that high amounts of sugar (even from fruits) are not very good for human health, the fact that lemon juice contains 4 times less sugar than pineapple juice, is definitely an advantage.
• Flavor: Lemon juice has a bright and tangy flavor with strong acidity, while the dominant flavor of pineapple juice is sweet with slightly tart undertones.
So, it might be a problem to use lemon juice as a substitute in dishes where a flavor of pineapple is essential.
• Texture And Consistency: Pineapple’s texture is thicker and more viscous when compared with that of lemon juice.
On the other hand, lemon juice is thinner and more watery and has a smooth and silky texture.
• pH Value: Lemon juice’s pH is around 2, which means that it is highly acidic.
Pineapple juice ranges from pH 3.5 to pH 4.0 which is more neutral than acidic.
This can be a problem in some types of dishes where high levels of acidity are not desirable. Also, some people who suffer from acid reflux may find too much lemon juice unappealing.
How To Use It As A Substitute:
Aside from making a glass of refreshing lemonade, lemon juice can also be used in some recipes as a substitute for pineapple juice.
• Marinades And Sauces: Lemon juice can be a great pineapple juice alternative in marinades and sauces because it can add some extra acidity.
• Beverages And Drinks: You can use lemon juice in teas, cocktails, and smoothies to add acidity and citrusy flavor to the drink.
• Baking: You can also use it in baking recipes to help balance the sweetness of other ingredients.
Pro Tip: Just go easy when using lemon juice as a substitute because you don’t want to make your drink or dish too tart. Add it a little less than what the recipe calls for. You can also add a bit more sugar or some other sweet juice to add some sweetness.
3. Lime Juice
Lime is a cousin of lemon, with a slightly different flavor and more acidity. Since lemon juice can be a great substitute for pineapple juice, it is quite obvious that lime juice can be used for that purpose as well.
• Similar Flavor: Both lime juice and pineapple juice have a combination of sweet and tangy flavors, making them interchangeable in many types of dishes.
• Versatility: Like lemon juice, a juice made from lime can be used in many different ways and that makes it a quite versatile ingredient.
• Nutrition Profile: One nutrient in lime that stands out is definitely vitamin C. One lime can provide you with 32% of the vitamin C needed in a day. Aside from that, it is also full of various antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. (4)
• Higher Acidity: Although similar in terms of flavor profile, lime juice is a very acidic ingredient with a pH level ranging from 2 to 3, which means it is 2% to 3% acid. (5)
• Texture: The texture of lime juice is thinner and less viscous, which means that using it as a substitute for pineapple juice can affect the texture of your dish.
• Color: Finally, the color of lime juice is somewhat greenish-yellow, while pineapple juice has a strong yellow color.
So, if you are using it as a substitute in some drinks like cocktails, or dishes where the color is important, that might be a problem.
How To Use It As A Substitute:
Experts say that, in most cases, you can use the same amount of lime juice as you would use pineapple juice in the recipe because both have a combination of sweet and tangy flavors. But let’s see what those dishes are and how to use lime juice.
• Marinades And Sauces: This previous statement is especially true when it comes to marinades and sauces where the acidity of lime juice can come in handy. Namely, acidic compounds will help tenderize meat proteins.
• Salad Dressings: Lime juice is a perfect pineapple substitute in salad dressings because it will add a tangy, citrusy flavor that pairs well with greens, nuts, and other fruits.
• Baking: Similar to lemon juice, pineapple juice used in baked dishes can provide them with a similar level of acidity.
Pro Tip: If you plan to add it to sweet dishes instead of pineapple juice, you’ll have to be careful with the amount you add because lime juice lacks sweetness. In that case, you can add less lime juice with the addition of certain sweeteners like honey or brown sugar.
4. Mango Juice
Mango, a popular tropical fruit just like pineapple, is a perfect ingredient to make a sweet and refreshing juice. These two types of juices are also interchangeable, but there are a few things to consider before making a substitute.
• Flavor Profile: Just like pineapple juice, mango juice has a sweet, tropical flavor that can mimic the flavor profile of pineapple juice in your recipes quite well.
• Availability: Mango juice can be found in many grocery stores and supermarkets in the US and it is more available than pineapple juice.
• Nutritional Value: Just like is the case with most tropical fruits, and fruits in general, mango, as well as mango juice, contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
• Texture And Consistency: Although both types of juice have a slightly thick consistency, mango juice is slightly thicker. So, the texture of the dish in which mango juice is used as a substitute might be slightly different.
• Sugar Content: Both types of fruits contain natural sugars and are quite sweet. However, mango juice is slightly sweeter with about 12.5g of sugar per 100 grams, while pineapple juice has 10g of sugar.
• Acidity Level: Mango is, just like pineapple, considered acidic to some extent, but pineapple juice is slightly more acidic (pH 3.5 to pH 4.0) when compared to mango juice which is closer to neutral (pH 6.8 to pH 6.9).
How To Use It As A Substitute:
You can freely use it in a 1:1 ratio when substituting, and here, I will show you what types of dishes are suitable for this substitution.
• Marinades: Similar to previous substitutes, mango juice can also be used in marinades for meat and fish because it will provide it with acidity and add some extra sweetness for a richer flavor profile.
• Cold Salad: Mango juice can be a great alternative in some cold salads like coleslaw. However, you will have to mix it with some apple cider to adjust the acidity.
You will also have to consider the consistency because mango juice is slightly thicker, so you may have to adjust the other ingredients to get the desired consistency of the dish.
• Cocktails: Mango juice can also be a great addition to cocktails because it can provide them with some extra sweetness and specific fruity, tropical flavors.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that mango juice is less acidic than pineapple juice, so you will have to add some acidic ingredients to balance the sweetness, especially in marinades where you can use lemon juice to solve that problem.
Finally, mango juice is a great alternative if you have stomach problems because pineapples can be a bit harsh on the stomach.
5. Grapefruit Juice
A juice made from sweet and tart grapefruit can be a great alternative to pineapple juice in some recipes, but not in all. So let’s see what it is all about.
• Flavor Profile: The flavor profile of grapefruit juice is also a combination of sweet and tart flavors, just like is the case with pineapple juice. That makes it a decent substitute in some recipes.
• Nutritional Profile: Grapefruit juice is also an excellent source of vitamin C and other important nutrients, plant compounds, and antioxidants.
• Availability: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are available throughout the year and they can be found at most grocery stores in the US. However, if you want the freshest version, know that its peak lasts from winter to early spring.
• Higher Acidity: Although both types of juices are acidic to some extent, grapefruit juice is more acidic, with the pH level ranging from pH 2.9 to pH 3.3.
• Different Sweetness: 100 g of grapefruit juice contains about 9 grams of sugar, while pineapple juice contains around 14 g. Grapefruit juice is therefore less sweet.
• Medication Issues: According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), grapefruit can block certain medications by blocking the enzyme called CYP3A4 in small intensities, which is responsible for breaking down some drugs. (6)
Some of those drugs include:
• Calcium Channel Blockers
• Antiplatelet Medicines
• Ciclosporin and Immunosuppressants
• Cytotoxic Medicines
How To Use It As A Substitute:
Because of the similar flavor of the two juices, grapefruit juice can be used in a 1:1 ratio, especially in cocktails and smoothies. So, here are some examples of where you can use grapefruit juice instead of the one made from pineapple.
• Marinades: Due to their higher levels of acidity, you can use grapefruit juice in marinades to add tenderness to your meat, fish, and poultry.
• Sauces: You can use grapefruit juice in sauces to add a tangy and citrusy flavor. For example, you can use it in Teriyaki sauce for a tangy twist.
• Cocktails: Grapefruit juice can be a great pineapple juice substitute in tropical cocktails like Pina Coladas and Mai Tais for an extra fruity and tropical experience.
Pro Tip: It is not recommendable to use it in sweet dishes or desserts because it lacks sweetness and has extra bitterness.
If you eventually choose to do that, you will have to adjust the amount you use and add some sweeteners like brown sugar or honey to balance the flavors.
6. Passion Fruit Juice
Finally, there is another tropical fruit native to South America that can be used instead of pineapple juice. It’s a popular juice made from the fruit that starts with p and it can make an excellent pineapple juice substitute.
• Flavor Profile: The flavor profile of passion fruit juice is also a combination of sweet and tart flavors, which makes it a great substitute for pineapple juice in many recipes.
• Availability: This type of fruit is available all year round, so the juice made from it is always fresh and it can be found many stores in the country.
• Nutritional Value: Like pineapple, the edible seeds and pulp of passion fruit are great sources of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and they can also provide you with a decent amount of vitamin B6 and minerals like iron and magnesium.
• Different Acidity: Passion fruit juice is more acidic when compared to pineapple juice, with a pH value that ranges from pH 2.7 to pH 3.2. This puts passion fruit in a group of highly acidic fruits. (7)
• Cost: Although it is available all year round, passion fruit is more expensive than pineapple, which makes it a less-suitable substitute for some people.
How To Use It As A Substitute:
Because of their similarities, you can use passion fruit juice as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. You can use this juice in various recipes, so here are some of the most popular ones.
• Cocktails And Smoothies: Passion fruit juice is already popular in cocktails and smoothies, so you can use it instead of pineapple juice.
The Pina Colada cocktail is a perfect example where you can add a twist of flavors by using it instead of pineapple juice.
• Marinades And Sauces: You can also use it as an ingredient if you are making some sweet and tangy sauce because it will fit there perfectly and you can use it to make meat marinades because of its high acidity.
• Baked Goods And Desserts: You can add a few drops of passion fruit juice to dishes like cakes, sorbets, and pies.
Pro Tip: Passion fruit juice contains small seeds that may need to be strained out depending on the recipe. So pay close attention to that.
Other Interesting Pineapple Juice Alternatives
Besides various types of tropical fruits, you can experiment with some ingredients to make your own unique substitute for pineapple juice that will potentially work perfectly in some recipes.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar + Sugar
If you know what pineapple juice tastes like, you can easily conclude why the combination of vinegar and sugar is a perfect match for substituting the juice.
Namely, apple cider vinegar has a similar level of acidity but lacks the sweetness of pineapple juice. So, there is sugar to add that factor to the combination.
This combo is perfect for sweet and sour sauces and it is especially good for meat marinades that can use the acidity of vinegar to tenderize meat proteins.
You can freely use this combo in a 1:1 ratio.
One more note. It is not recommended to use this blend as a substitute in sweet dishes or cocktails and drinks because of the unpleasant taste of vinegar.
2. Honey + Lemon
A blend of lemon and honey is similar to the previous one because it offers a similar combo of sweetness and acidity.
It can also be used in sweet and sour sauces, and in marinades.
However, unlike the apple cider and sugar combo, it is also suitable for baked goods because both ingredients are the main parts of many types of sweet dishes and desserts.
This blend can be used in a 1:1 ratio when substituting and it is healthier than the previous alternative because both ingredients come straight from nature.
3. Citric Acid
Citric acid is a weak organic acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruits.
It is produced commercially by fermentation of sugar, molasses, or other carbohydrates, and it is mostly used in the food and beverage industry as a natural preservative and flavoring agent.
When it comes to cooking, most home cooks use it as a leavening agent and flavor enhancer for baked dishes, so it can be used as a pineapple juice substitute in baking recipes, especially when the juice is used to add a sour note to the recipe.
In order to use it as a substitute, you will have to dissolve ½ teaspoon of citric acid in 2 tablespoons of water and use it as an alternative for 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice.
This ratio should do the job.
4. Homemade Pineapple Juice
The final substitute is, of course, the juice which you will make on your own at home. It is one of the easiest juice recipes out there and you will need just three simple ingredients: pineapple, water, and sugar (if you want to add it,of course).
All you need to do is to cut your pineapple into chunks, transfer them into a blender, and add two cups of water. If you like it sweeter, you can also add about ¼ cup of sugar.
Blend the mixture until smooth. After that, it is best to strain it and pour it into a jar to get rid of all that fiber and make your juice juicy. Then, it is finally ready to serve.
Take note that this type of juice does not have preservatives, so it is best to consume it earlier, when it is still fresh. But, the absence of preservatives, as well as added sugars, also means that it is a much healthier option.
If you want to see for yourself how to make this refreshing and healthy juice, take an eye on this video.