Orange zest is an integral part of many recipes.
It provides a unique flavor that cannot be easily replicated in cooking, making it hard to substitute when its presence in a dish is required.
However, there are ways to mimic the flavor even without this key ingredient.
Orange zest contains essential oils from the orange fruit’s skin and adds an intense flavor to recipes.
Orange essential oil exists and can be found at health food or specialty stores, but it is expensive and hard to find.
In this article, we compare common substitutes for orange zest to see if they can mimic the flavor.
What is Orange Zest?
One of the key ingredients in most kitchens, orange zest, is a type of citrus fruit peel used to enhance the flavor of an array of dishes.
A common ingredient in everything from beverages to entrees, orange zest is popular for its distinct taste and aromatic qualities.
If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your next recipe, orange zest is one of the most versatile choices available.
In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, orange zest also has many medicinal uses.
Orange zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest
Although orange zest is a popular ingredient in cooking, many people cannot prepare orange zest for various reasons.
Whether due to allergies, dietary restrictions, or simply an inability to find oranges in the local grocery store, there’s no denying that some people will have trouble making use of this key culinary ingredient.
1 – Grapefruit Zest
Perusing the aisles of the local grocery store, you may notice that grapefruit zest is one of those ingredients that some people use as an alternative to oranges.
In many cases, oranges are commonly used as a substitute for lemons.
This is extremely common in baking recipes because it enhances the finished product’s flavor.
If you’re one of those individuals who can’t stand oranges, grapefruit zest is a good alternative, as it has very similar characteristics to orange zest.
In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, grapefruit zest also has many medicinal uses.
Grapefruit zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.
2 – Lemon Zest
Lemon zest is another popular citrus fruit that has been used for hundreds of years to add flavor and enhance the aroma of food items.
If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your next dish, lemon zest is one of the most versatile choices available.
The taste is both zesty and sweet.
In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cooking, lemon zest also has many medicinal uses.
Lemon zest can be used in various remedies and help treat fevers, the flu, and the common cold.
3 – Lime Zest
Although not quite as commonly used as orange zest, lime zest is still useful for many recipes.
Lime zest can be used in sweet and savory dishes, making it another popular choice for food enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a versatile ingredient that will add flavor to your next meal, lime zest is a good choice.
As with orange zest, lime zest has a naturally fresh flavor that will enhance any dish.
You can use it in many Asian dishes or drizzle some lime juice over your favorite Thai rice dish for an extra kick.
Make sure you don’t mistake lime juice for the zest – limes contain a high acid content that can alter the taste of your dish.
4 – Orange Extract
If you run out of orange zest and aren’t able to pick some up from the store, don’t panic.
Fortunately, you can substitute orange extract to get that bright citrus flavor in your dish.
Using any extract, only use a few drops because too much can ruin the recipe.
The natural taste of oranges is much stronger than the taste of orange extract, so you won’t need to use it as much.
If you can’t find orange extract, lemon extract can be used in its place.
You can also substitute lime zest or combine both extracts for a unique citrus flavor.
5 – Orange Juice
As an alternative to orange zest, orange juice can be used in many dishes.
Since oranges are not often used as ingredients, they are not commonly found in most pantries.
However, finding them at the supermarket or grocery store is very easy.
Depending on the recipe, orange juice can be used alone or mixed with other liquids.
Some chefs even recommend using it in place of milk for a more intense flavor.
Orange zest is a popular ingredient for many dishes, but it’s not always available.
Whether you are using orange zest in sweet or savory recipes, many other ingredients can get the same zesty taste.
The best substitutes for orange zest are lime zest, orange extract, orange juice, and lime juice.
What is your favorite substitute for orange zest? Why do you like it more than the original?