Is apple and orange a good combination?

Fruit salads often combine apples and oranges, but is this fruity pairing a good one? Both apples and oranges are nutritious fruits full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, they each have unique flavors, textures, and health benefits. This article explores whether apples and oranges make a good combination from a nutrition and culinary perspective.

Nutritional Profile of Apples and Oranges

First, let’s examine the nutritional profiles of apples and oranges.


Apples are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and flavonoids like quercetin. One medium apple contains:

  • 95 calories
  • 25 grams carbohydrates
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 14% DV vitamin C
  • 8% DV vitamin K
  • 6% DV potassium

Apples also contain polyphenol antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and lower disease risk.


Oranges are packed with vitamin C and other key nutrients. One medium orange contains:

  • 69 calories
  • 16 grams carbohydrates
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 82% DV vitamin C
  • 12% DV folate
  • 11% DV vitamin B1

Oranges are also high in citrus flavonoids like hesperidin and anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Nutrient Apples Oranges
Calories 95 69
Carbs (g) 25 16
Fiber (g) 4 3
Vitamin C (%DV) 14% 82%

As this nutrition comparison shows, apples and oranges are both nutritious fruits. Oranges contain more vitamin C, while apples provide more fiber.

Potential Health Benefits

Both apples and oranges provide important health benefits thanks to their rich nutrient and antioxidant contents. Here is an overview of some of their key benefits:


  • Heart health – The fiber and polyphenols in apples can improve cholesterol levels and lower heart disease risk.
  • Blood sugar regulation – Compounds in apples may help slow digestion and regulate blood sugar spikes after meals.
  • Gut health – The fiber and polyphenols in apples act as prebiotics to feed healthy gut bacteria.
  • Cancer prevention – Quercetin and other antioxidants in apples exhibit anti-cancer activities in studies.


  • Immune function – Oranges’ high vitamin C content boosts white blood cell function and antibodies.
  • Heart health – Hesperidin and anthocyanins can reduce inflammation and oxidation involved in heart disease.
  • Skin health – Vitamin C aids collagen production and helps protect skin from sun damage.
  • Blood pressure – Hesperidin may help improve blood vessel function and reduce hypertension.

While their benefits differ, it’s clear both apples and oranges can play a role in supporting overall health.

Flavor and Texture

In addition to nutrition, the flavors and textures of apples and oranges differ significantly.


  • Sweet, yet slightly tart flavor
  • Juicy and crisp texture
  • Crunchy when raw
  • Soft, mushy texture when cooked


  • Sweet and tangy citrus flavor
  • Tender, juicy pulp
  • Soft, segmented texture
  • Zesty citrus aroma

The sweet-tart apple complements the sweet-tangy orange when it comes to taste and mouthfeel. The contrast of the apples’ crunch with the oranges’ soft pulp is also appealing.

Culinary Uses

Apples and oranges both shine in various recipes and culinary preparations.

Popular Ways to Enjoy Apples

  • Eaten raw as a snack or sliced into salads
  • Baked into pies, tarts, muffins, breads
  • Made into applesauce
  • Juiced or made into cider
  • Sautéed or baked as a side dish

Popular Ways to Enjoy Oranges

  • Eaten raw by peeling the skin and segments
  • Squeezed as fresh orange juice
  • Added to fruit salads, salsas, seafood dishes
  • Used to flavor cakes, muffins, and other baked goods
  • Candied orange peels used as garnish

The versatility of both apples and oranges allows them to be used in sweet and savory preparations spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

Culinary Uses Apples Oranges
Eaten raw Yes Yes
Juices Yes Yes
Pies/baked goods Yes Yes
Salads/salsas Yes Yes
Savoury dishes Yes Yes

Are Apples and Oranges a Good Combination?

When assessing if apples and oranges make a good pairing, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Nutrition – While their vitamin and mineral profiles differ, both fruits are nutritious and can complement each other.
  • Health benefits – Each fruit offers unique health-protective compounds, allowing you to get a wider variety of benefits.
  • Flavor – The sweet-tart apple and sweet-tangy orange provide contrasting flavors that balance each other out.
  • Texture – The crisp apple and tender orange offer pleasant mouthfeel variation.
  • Uses – Both apples and oranges work well raw or cooked in sweet and savory dishes.

Looking at these factors holistically, apples and oranges do tend to make a good pairing in fruit salads, juices, baked goods, and more. The fruits complement each other from a nutrition, flavor, and texture standpoint.

That said, some key considerations when combining apples and oranges include:

  • Balancing amounts to optimize flavor
  • Adding spices like cinnamon that complement both fruits
  • Accentuating their differences with mix-ins like nuts or greens
  • Trying both fruits raw and cooked together

Experimenting with different apple and orange varieties, ratios, and preparation methods can help you enjoy this classic fruit combo in new ways.

Tips for Combining Apples and Oranges

Here are some tips for balancing apples and oranges’ flavors, textures, and nutrition in recipes:

Fruit Salads

  • Use a 2:1 ratio of apples to oranges for balanced flavor
  • Cut apples into smaller pieces to match orange segment size
  • Toss fruit with lemon, honey, mint, cinnamon, or allspice
  • Add contrasting fruits like grapes, berries, mango, or pomegranate
  • Top salad with nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts


  • Use equal parts apple juice and orange juice as base
  • Add banana, spinach, kale, or avocado for creaminess
  • Boost nutrition with chia seeds, flax, whey protein, or nut butter
  • Top with orange zest, cinnamon, or fresh mint

Baked Goods

  • Use apple slices or chunks in muffins and breads
  • Add orange juice and zest to pancakes, cookies, or cakes
  • Fold orange segments gently into batter
  • Layer apple and orange slices alternately into pies or tarts

The next time you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious way to combine fruits, give apples and oranges a try. Their complementary flavors, textures, and health benefits make them a pairing destined for greatness.


Apples and oranges each offer unique nutritional benefits thanks to their fiber, vitamin, and antioxidant contents. Their contrasting flavors, textures, and culinary versatility also allow them to be combined in diverse recipes across meals and snacks. While apples and oranges shine on their own, thoughtfully pairing them can provide a tasty and nutritious culinary experience. With some creativity and balance, this classic fruit combo makes for a refreshing and healthy choice.

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