Baking for a special diet becomes simple when you have the right ingredients on hand.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. I have been a loyal Hershey baker for years and couldn't be happier for the opportunity to share their products with you. As always, these are my thoughts and opinions.
One of the biggest obstacles people have to learning to bake gluten free and refined sugar free is having the right ingredients on hand. Because each gluten-free flour has unique properties, and refined sugar-free sweeteners work differently than white sugar, it’s hard to swap them out until you have a good feel for how they each work.
I learned that pantry-stocking is mandatory for anyone on a specific diet. Here’s why — some of the ingredients I use on a regular basis aren’t so easy to find. I can’t walk into my local grocery store and pick up everything I need. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to make dessert for a friend and realizing I’m out of what I need. This is why my pantry is always stocked.
Here are the most important ingredients that I keep in my refined sugar-free pantry so I can always whip up my favorite treats:
HERSHEY’S Cocoa has been part of my life since I was a little girl. I’ve tried other cocoa powders and HERSHEY’S Cocoa makes it a must-have in any pantry. It’s at the top of my list, and I always have a few containers tucked away in my pantry.
I bake with many different gluten-free flours, including brown rice, tapioca, arrowroot, potato, teff, buckwheat, coconut, and almond. I just snagged some cassava flour, too! I refrigerate most of my flours. If I know I won’t use it for a long period of time, I freeze it to keep it fresh.
Coconut sugar is easy to use, tastes great, and has a glycemic index of about 35. It’s got a deeper flavor than white sugar and is brown in color, which makes it a favorite for using in chocolate desserts.
I use a variety of dried fruits in my recipes to add natural sweetness. Some of my favorites are figs, raisins, dates, cherries and apricots.
Honey and pure maple syrup are the two liquid sweeteners I use the most. I like honey for lighter-flavored desserts. Maple syrup works well with chocolate, pumpkin and caramel desserts. I also use liquid stevia, a super-sweet herb, in small amounts.
HERSHEY’S Kitchens Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar is the best-kept baking secret around. I stockpile unsweetened baking bars. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to use in chocolate desserts because I can add any sweetener I choose. I always taste my ingredients and though there’s no sugar in this bar, it’s creamy and rich. This baking bar is a winner and performs well time after time.
HERSHEY’S Kitchens SUGAR FREE Chocolate Chips taste like the real deal. And get this — they work like the real deal too. I was pretty darn sure I’d struggle to make good ganache with these. Nope. It was so simple and the ganache was perfect. These chips have changed my baking game.
HERSHEY’S Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup is perfect for drinks and ice cream. Try it in your smoothies, too.
And, there’s always space in my pantry for HERSHEY’S Sugar Free Milk Chocolates, HERSHEY'S Sugar Free SPECIAL DARK Chocolate, REESE’S Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups and YORK Sugar Free Peppermint Patties. They’re my favorite way to add a little pizzazz to recipes. And, when I need some really good chocolate I reach for my sugar-free candy stash.
Are you a pantry stocker? What are your favorite sugar-free items to keep on hand?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. As always, all opinions are my own.