All-Natural Alternatives to Sugar

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



rumchatta eggnog recipe

Rumchata Eggnog

Ingredients 4 eggs, separated 3 tsp granulated sugar 3 cups whole milk 6 ounces Rumchata 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Read More »
Eating the rainbow - red, orange, green, blue

Eating The Rainbow!

By:Amber Arevalos Nothing is more naturally beautiful than a rainbow. Believe it or not, there are foods of every color in the rainbow. From vibrant

Read More »

Eat Fresh On The Bayou

By Chad Ruiz Gettin’ Figgy With It! Fig Café in Houma Rekindles Memories of Yesteryear The scent of baked cookies…cheerful hugs and kisses…exciting outings.  When

Read More »

Easy Watermelon Cake

Ingredients 1 Seedless watermelon Berries and mint for decoration Directions Cut the ends off the watermelon. Stand on one end. Take a large knife and

Read More »