Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
When it’s fall, it is time to enjoy juicing. Apples offer phenomenal juicing options, with the most common ones being apple cider and apple juice.
But what exactly is the difference between apple juice and apple cider? Is it the color, the texture, or the nutritional value?
This article will answer all these questions conclusively. At the end of it all, you’ll be able to make a perfect apple juice vs. apple cider option!
What is Apple Cider?
Apple Cider refers to unfiltered apple juice that’s usually unsweetened and non-alcoholic. This juice is common in the United States and Canada, especially during fall.
The beverage has all the components of apple grounded, which makes it look relatively cloudy/milky. Also, this drink is concentrated by boiling to achieve the best taste. Additionally, apple cider is pasteurized to kill microbes and improve its shelf life.
Due to its unsweetened nature, children will almost always not choose it as their beverage! As such, this drink is only common among adults.
What is Apple Juice?
Just like cider, apple juice is obtained from apples but it is more refined. The roughage in the apple is removed, thus making the juice a bit lighter when compared to cider.
Children will always prefer apple juice to cider since it’s sweeter. Wondering how the juice is made?
Well, this beverage is made by maceration of whole apples using powerful masticating and juicing blenders. Immediately after extraction, the juice undergoes enzymatic and centrifugal treatment to remove pectin and other fiber elements.
After the treatment, the apple juice is pasteurized and packaged for sale. Ordinarily, apple juicing can be complex, making it largely feasible for large scale producers.
Is Apple Cider Healthier than Apple Juice?
Yes, apple cider is generally a healthier option compared to apple juice. It contains more fiber and is untreated. As such, you can be sure that the beverage will help with the peristaltic movement and improve the overall health of your gut.
Additionally, apple cider has more polyphenols and organic acids (increases if fermentation occurs). These compounds are highly beneficial to the human body and their consumption improves your overall well-being.
On the contrary, apple juice is highly filtered. It does not contain roughage, which removes the health benefits to the gut. Additionally, the juice has preservatives and sweeteners, which compromise the natural constituents of organic elements.
Apple Juice vs Apple Cider – Is There Any Difference?
If you’re wondering what the difference between apple juice and apple cider is, then this section is for you. Overall, both beverages are obtained from apples and the variation only comes due to differences in the fruit’s processing.
Here are some of the most common differences between the two:
- Texture. Apple cider is relatively rough since it contains roughage and other hard parts of the apple. The whole apple is processed using masticating juicers and the resulting juice does not undergo further filtration. As such, it contains coarse sediments and pulps. On the contrary, apple juice is filtered, making it smooth
- Shelf Life. One of the differences between apple cider and apple juice is its variation in longevity. Apple cider has a shorter shelf life than apple juice. The long shelf life in apple juice is attributed to pasteurization, which eliminates bacteria, thus keeping the juice fresher for long. On average, apple cider will have a shelf life of one week.
- Color. Apple cider is more opaque than the juice. This is due to the presence of solid sediments and other particles floating in the beverage. These solid substances are filtered when preparing the juice, thus making it clearer.
In some regions, the difference between apple juice and apple cider is based on the type of apples used. Overall, apple cider is the juice made from apples picked earlier in the season.
Is Apple Cider Alcoholic?
Fresh apple cider is not alcoholic. Also, pasteurized apple cider will remain fresh until it gets to its expiry date.
However, unpasteurized apple cider will have bacteria and yeast that can cause fermentation. If this happens, your apple cider will be fizzy and alcoholic over time.
As such, you should always buy pasteurized apple cider if you don’t want it to turn alcoholic. In the United States, this is called hard cider (the fermented form).
Apple Cider vs. Apple Juice for Smoking – Which is Best?
You can use either apple cider or apple juice when smoking your ribs or any other piece of meat. However, the two will yield different tastes.
While apple cider will give a unique fermented taste, akin to vinegar, apple juice offers sweet BBQ.
As such, you should only choose your preferred beverage based on what you like. Either will serve you right.
Apple Cider vs Apple Juice for Desserts
For desserts, we recommend the use of apple juice since it’s sweeter than the cider. However, you can always add apple cider if you like that sour taste in your desserts.
Apple Cider vs Apple Juice – Which One Should You Buy?
The difference between apple juice and apple cider is minute. It boils down to taste! As such, the decision on which one you should buy will depend on what taste you’d like. Sweet or fermented? If sweet, then you should go for apple juice; if sour, then go for apple cider.
Additionally, you should avoid apple cider if you’re buying the drink for children. Apple juice is more palatable and will certainly receive a better reception from children.
If you’re looking for nutritional benefits, then we recommend apple cider. It has more roughage and other organic constituents, which makes it healthier. However, the beverage has a shorter life span and will not serve you for long.
What is the Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Cider Vinegar?
The difference between apple cider and apple cider vinegar is its fermentation status. Apple cider is usually fresh apple juice, that’s unfiltered.
On the contrary, apple cider vinegar is fermented apple juice. It is made when the natural sugar in apples turns into alcohol. Later, bacteria are added into the fermented juice to convert alcohol into acetic acid.
What is the Difference Between Apple Juice and Apple Cider – the Bottom Line
The difference between apple juice and apple cider is largely based on taste and the methods of preparation.
While apple juice is filtered and pasteurized, apple cider is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Consequently, the latter is thicker and more nutritious. However, it’s not the favorite among children due to its solid constituents and other organic elements.
Additionally, apple juice is sweetened and has a longer shelf life when compared to apple cider. As such, you should only buy the latter if you want to use it within 7 days. If you want a product with a pretty long shelf-life, then you should go for the apple juice.
If you wanted to buy apple juice but you were confused about what exactly is the difference between apple juice and apple cider, then this article will clear all your doubts! Read it for more details on preparation, usage, constituents, and preservation.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.