Monday, October 3, 2011

{31 Days} Stocking Your Pantry: Sweeteners {+ a re-made apple recipe using natural sweeteners}

Ahhh… sweet carbohydrates.  We love them, don’t you?  To facilitate baking from scratch, having a stock of sweeteners in your pantry is a must. 

Our two most-used sweeteners are locally raised clover honey and molasses.  We also use maple syrup on occasion – especially in fall flavored dishes. 

Beyond these sweeteners, I do also have powdered sugar, brown sugar, sugar and karo syrup (note: Karo syrup is corn syrup, but NOT HFCS). 

Other sweeteners – alternative sources of glucose and sucrose – include sucanat, which we plan to try yet this year.

Although Agave Nectar has gotten a lot of hype in the past couple of years, it’s a sweetener that I do not use.  Agave syrup is just as highly processed and has a nearly equivalent fructose concentration as HFCS.  You won’t find this one in our cupboard.

In addition – you will not find HFCS in our kitchen, nor any artificial sweeteners.

My friend Laura, over at Heavenly Homemakers, has an excellent blog post on sweeteners.  Go check it out.  


Have you baked with honey?  I invite you to try this delicious fall dish, remade to use honey as a natural sweetener! 

Honey Apple Crisp – Finding Joy in My Kitchen


  • 4-5 medium apples, tart is best
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 C honey, divided
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1/3 C & 2 T white whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1 C old fashioned oats


Begin by peeling, coring and slicing your apples.  Toss them in a large bowl with 2 T white whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.  Stir to mix.   

Drizzle in 1/8 C honey.  Stir well to coat the apples. 

Spread the apples into a lightly greased 9x9 glass baking dish. 

In a second bowl, mix together 1 C old fashioned oats, 1/3 C white whole wheat flour, and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Stir well.  Add in 3 T melted/softened butter along with 1/8 C honey.  Stir until moistened. 

Layer the oat-honey topping over the apples. 

Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes, until apples are nice and bubbly and topping is lightly browned. 

Delicious alone… but exceptional with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

What sweeteners do you use the most?  Any you want to try? 

Linked to: Recipe Sharing Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Talent Show Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (2), Kitchen Tip Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday


  1. I use honey and maple syrup more than the others. I don't think I've baked much with honey.

    Amen on the artificial sweeteners! I haven't tried sucanat either. Have you tried Stevia? I don't care for it myself, find it too overpowering (i.e. I can't taste the food it's in, even if I decrease the recommended amount by a LOT). Have also heard mixed reviews about whether it's safe (fertility issues in men?)

    Another note on agave...agave & aloe are related to the allium family (onions & garlic). I couldn't figure out why I was getting such terrible stomach aches when I would eat baked goods people made with agave...until I found out it was related to the allium I am allergic to!!

  2. Oh yum...your honey apple crisp looks absolutely delicious! That is a must try for this fall :)

    I use honey as a sweetener, but haven't baked too much with it.

  3. This crisp looks lovely! I love honey so I know I would just love this. Perfect for fall!

  4. I think an apple crisp with honey might be next on our list of things to make with our Deardorff apples. :) Your crisp looks delicious!

  5. Over the past year I have really cut out all sugar except for pure maple syrup (and maple sugar), raw honey and coconut palm sugar. They taste so much better!

  6. This is what I LOVE about your blog and your recipes: just real food, with real ingredients, not weird artificial refreshing! I actually thought karo corn syrup was the same thing as HFCS. I am so glad to know that they are NOT the same!!! Not a fan of agave nectar or the price. Loving this theme so far and your apple crisp, yum! this looks like a wonderful recipe to make for our company this weekend!

  7. Hi, SnoWhite! I'd love to link to this post for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, but I'm just not sure what part is the kitchen tip! :) Is it at the top where you wrote "To facilitate baking from scratch, having a stock of sweeteners in your pantry is a must."? Thanks for clarifying! :)

    Tammy -- who doesn't have a Google account ;)

  8. My Husband and i are both Diabetic. Apple Crisp is one of my favorite desserts in the fall. I have made it with splenda before, but it really is apple mush that way. I recently found there is a honey that is diabetic friendly. I would like to try to bake apple crisp with it. Tell me, with your recipe, is the crisp, really crispy?

  9. @ Hopeful Q-Mom --

    The crisp did get crispy -- if you would like it even crispier; consider baking the apples separate and then topping it with a honey-based granola. I'd make the topping the same way, lay it out on a cookie sheet, bake it for 15 min total at 350, stirring every 5 minutes. Then, shut the oven off and allow the oat topping to get really crispy. Then, place that topping over the baked apples during about the last 5 minutes of baking time.

    That could help!

  10. I've just started using sucanat and I love it! My hyperthyroidism causes me to crash with regular sugar, but sucanat keeps me stable. I read that it has glucose, fructose, and sucrose which keeps blood sugars in balance. It goes especially well in chocolate foods, like chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa! I use it 1 for 1 in place if sugar. Has a molasses taste but doesn't overpower. More expensive than sugar but great for special treats!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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