By Michelle Poche

 There’s actual science behind the sweet tooth, but what if we could tame that mischievous tooth with other, all-natural alternatives to sugar?

“I could made a recipe four different ways, subbing out sugar for another natural sweetener each time!” I suggested at a recent IHM staff meeting.

“Yes!” was the resounding reply from around the table. 

I knew I was on to something. It wasn’t atom splitting, but it involved dessert so it had to be important. I left that meeting and found a simple recipe. 

Blueberry Muffins


  •  1 ½ c. flour
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ c. sugar
  •  1/3 c. applesauce
  • 1/3 c. skim milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  •  2 c. blueberries


 Preheat oven to 400°. Spray 24 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray.

 Blend flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

 In separate bowl, blend sugar, applesauce, milk, egg and vanilla. 

 Combine bowls, fold in blueberries and fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

 Bake 15 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Then, I picked four sugar alternatives: coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, Stevia, honey. Here’s how it went.


  1. Coconut Sugaraltsweets
    Appearance/Taste: Similar to brown sugar
    Sugar/Alternative: 1:1
    Cost: $4.99/lb.
    Regular grocery store: Unlikely
    Cooking time: According to recipe
  2. Pure maple Syrup
    Appearance/Taste:  Typical syrup
    (Richer than most sugary brands)
    Sugar/Alternative: 1:3/4 (This recipe = just over ½ cup)
    Cost: $6.99/8-oz. bottle
    Regular grocery store: Likely
    Cooking time: 20 minutes (Because of added liquid)
  3. Stevia
    Appearance/Taste: Similar to artificial sweetener
    Sugar/Alternative: 1 cup:1 tsp. (This recipe = 3/4 tsp.)
    Cost: $8.99/4.2-oz. jar
    Regular grocery store: Likely
    Cooking time: 13 minutes (Could’ve gone less. VERY dry.)
  4. Honey
    Appearance/Taste: Typical honey
    Sugar/Alternative: 1 cup:1/2 cup (This recipe = 3/8 cup)
    Cost: $3.69/8-oz. bottle
    Regular grocery store: Likely
    Cooking time: According to recipe



Unlock your full potential for a healthier life!

Join our Inspire Health community today and subscribe to our newsletter for expert insights, empowering tips, and exclusive offers. Don’t miss out on your chance to be inspired. 

recommended for you