Did you know that all citrus fruits are hybrids of three original fruits? Tangerines, clementines, and even the blood orange come from mandarin oranges; the grapefruit is a descendant of the pomelo; and lemons and limes are hybrids of the citron. Fresh citrus juice brightens up everything from fish to a vodka soda. But when a recipe calls for two tablespoons of lime juice, how many limes do you need? How many oranges does it take to make a glass of freshly squeezed OJ? While the amount can vary from fruit to fruit and season to season, we have mapped out the average amount of juice each citrus fruit yields in general below.
When life hands you lemons, make some lemon crinkle cookies, lemon bundt cake, homemade lemon bars, or our made-from-scratch light and fluffy lemon meringue pie. On average, one lemon contains three tablespoons (1.5 fl oz) of lemon juice. Our easy homemade lemonade calls for one cup of juice, so you would need six lemons. No lemon juice? No problem. Here are the best substitutes for lemon juice.
Fresh lime juice adds a tart twist to your strawberry daiquiri, brightens up vegan quinoa chili, and is the star of Key lime pie. One lime contains two tablespoons of fresh juice (1 fl oz). Key limes are slightly smaller, but are usually juicier, so you end up with about the same amount of juice per lime. A word of warning when substituting store-bought lime juice—not all bottled lime juice is created equal. Rose's lime juice is a cordial that's sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, whereas Realime is 100% real lime juice.
I was today years old when I learned the now seemingly obvious fact that navel oranges are so named because of the small growth at the bottom of the fruit that looks like a human belly button. Typically, a navel orange contains four to five tablespoons of juice. In order to make one cup of fresh orange juice, you'd need three oranges. Keep in mind that freshly squeezed juice has not been pasteurized and is perishable, so go ahead and drink it fresh.
Grapefruit is one of the largest and juiciest citrus fruits, yielding roughly 12 tablespoons (6 fl oz) or 3/4 cup of juice. One grapefruit has only 33 calories, but provides 40% of your daily vitamin C needs. It's basically just water and fiber. I like to have a half a grapefruit at breakfast, or add the juice to some soda water for my own pamplemousse La Croix, but it's also a great addition to warm weather cocktails.
Maximize the juiciness of any citrus fruit by first rolling it around on the countertop or cutting board with your palm. This softens the fruit and helps separate its segments to make more juice. There's also the microwave method: nuke your fruit for 15-20 seconds to soften the firm membranes and make juice flow freely. Careful though, you don't want to accidentally squirt scalding hot lime juice in your eye.