Orange blossom water (also called Orange flower water) is the clear aromatic by-product of the distillation of fresh bitter-orange blossoms for their essential oil. Like rosewater and other flower waters, it is widely used in cosmetics, aromatherapy as well as in cooking.
You may think that this beneficial water comes from the pretty flowers of the orange tree, but that’s not the case. Orange blossom water is a by-product of the process of distillation that is used to obtain the essential oil from the seeds, peel, leaves, bark, and pulp.
Straight from the bottle, orange blossom water is extremely potent, but it mellows once it’s mixed with other ingredients. It is mainly used for baking but is also popular in traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. Orange blossom water can sometimes be used to sweeten cocktails, the most famous being the Ramos Gin Fizz.
Benefits of Orange Blossom Water
Orange blossom water is known for its wonderful effects on the skin. Below are some of its many health benefits.
Soothes And Relaxes Nerves: One of the reasons orange blossom water is so widely used in aromatherapy is the soothing effect it has on the nerves. Adding it to your bathwater will ease tension and even cure headaches. It also helps in relieving stress and anxiety.
Makes Skin Soft And Smooth: Another benefit of adding orange blossom water to your bath water is its ability to make your skin soft and glowing. It will help moisturize your skin and makes it feel like satin all day long.
Soothes Sunburns: Orange blossom water, and other flower hydrosols, can be found in a wide range of skin lotions and creams due to their ability to help skin look and feel soft and beautiful. Your skin can benefit from this flower water when it gets sunburned as well.
Conditions Hair: Orange blossom water is also used in many hair care products. Not only does it smell absolutely amazing, but it also provides quite a few benefits as well. It helps in conditioning your hair so that it is lustrous and strong.
Orange Blossom Water Substitutes
Orange blossom water imparts a strong and delicious orange flavor. If you live in one of the many places in the world where orange flower water isn’t found commonly or if you wish to substitute it in your recipe for whatever other reason that comes to mind, here are a few substitutes to consider. It’s important to use the right substitution as some types of recipes call for a specific replacement ingredient.
Orange zest is the best substitute for orange blossom water when it comes to desserts and baking recipes. Adding orange zest to your recipe adds that kick of tanginess you want to make your daily consumption more fun! Orange zest might not be the perfect replacement for orange blossom water in all recipes but especially for desserts and baking. The wiser decision would be to go through your recipe beforehand and review if orange zest is applicable for your creation or not.
Most recipes will use one full grated orange to sub for orange blossom water. You can add a couple drops of orange oil if you have any on hand, but it is optional.
Orange oil is the original ingredient from which orange blossom water is derived. It works fairly well in both baked and non-baked recipes. Orange oil is extracted from an orange directly. In other words, it contains all the vitamins and benefits of orange.
Orange oil is one of the main orange blossom water substitutes since it is readily available and acts as a duplicate in terms of health benefits as well. However, it’s crucial to remember that orange oil is a very concentrated compound- a little goes a long way. For a recipe that needed a tablespoon of orange blossom water, one or two drops of orange oil are sufficient.
Orange extract is made by distilling the skin of an orange. It is a strong flavor so you will want to use a bit less than you would orange flower water. Made by distilling orange rinds in alcohol, the orange extract is even more potent than orange flower water. You can use it wherever you might use the water, in drinks, cakes, icings, and sauces. Begin with just a few drops of the extract, and taste as you go. Orange extract adds flavor without additional liquid, so if you substitute the extract for the water in baked goods, add a bit more water to make up for the lost liquid. Start with a 1:2 ratio and add a small amount if necessary.
If you are making a custard, syrup, whipped topping, or glaze then orange juice is the best replacement to use. Pulp or pulp-free orange can be used. To make this substitute, just get some fresh oranges and squeeze out the juice. The liquid in other ingredients must be reduced as orange juice comes naturally with plenty of water. When using this substitution you may find that a little added sugar is needed.
Orange Flavored Liqueurs
Like orange extracts, orange liqueurs give your food a big boost of flavor for a small amount of liquid. Orange liqueurs typically have additional flavors beyond orange itself. Cointreau is intense and slightly bitter, triple sec is sweet but not overpoweringly so, and Grand Marnier has spices and vanilla in addition to bitter orange flavors. You’ll use such a small amount of liqueur to substitute for orange flower water, that the alcohol content will be negligible. For 1 or 2 tablespoons of orange flower water, substitute 2 or 3 tablespoons of orange liqueur
While the flavor might be rose-like instead of tangy, rose water is a renowned orange blossom water substitute. Not only does rose water have potent distillation and medicinal benefits, but can improve your skin as well. Several companies use rose water in their face masks as a vital ingredient; the extraction helps rejuvenate your skin and make it glow from within. It’s crucial to realize that rose water is heavily concentrated, similar to orange oil. Thus, using it in copious amounts might not be the best decision.
The intense flavor of cherry extract helps to deem it as an orange blossom water substitute, giving you a kick in your desserts. If you’re okay with switching up the taste of your recipe a little, adding cherry extract instead of orange blossom water might do the trick for you. However, all recipes do not sit well with cherry extract so it’s wise to have a taste test before adding it to the main pan.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Is blossom water good for skin?
Yes, it is. The orange blossom can remove the dirt and dead cells of your skin and afterward keep your skin toned and moisturized. Also, the marvelous orange blossom water has a surprising ability to even your skin tone. For instance, it can lighten the dark spots in your skin and help to fade them with time.
What is the use of orange blossom water?
Orange flower water is used in Europe to flavor madeleines, in Mexico to flavor little wedding cakes and Pan de Muerto, and in the United States to make orange blossom scones and marshmallows. Orange flower water is also used as an ingredient in some cocktails, such as the Ramos Gin Fizz.
Can you eat orange blossom water?
Yes, most certainly you can. But the taste is not palatable as stand-alone recipes, it is always used in other dishes. Orange-flower water is very potent, but a couple of drops can make a simple fruit plate feel a little exotic. Don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand; the salad is lovely without it too.
Orange flower water, which is made by distilling the orange blossoms rather than the fruit itself, has a seductively floral (rather than citrusy) aroma. Its uses and benefits are aplenty. However, if you live in one of the many places in the world where orange flower water isn’t found commonly or if you wish to substitute it in your recipe for whatever other reason, the substitutes in this article are ideal.