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Hacking Sugar

I get so many emails asking important fat loss questions! Like this one, for instance: How do you replace sugar in recipes?

Erica just asked me on Facebook:

“I would love to try the chocolate cookie recipe you sent via email but don’t care for Truvia/stevia’s aftertaste. Is it possible to substitute honey or molasses?

First, Erica is right: my chocolate cookie recipe is delicious (here it is again below), and Truvia/Stevia does have a slight aftertaste, although you can’t really taste it in my recipe.

I use small quantities of Truvia (1/2 cup for 1 cup of sugar) because it’s fat-burning and natural (Stevia is a basil-looking plant that naturally has a sweet taste). Plus, the consistency and taste is closest to real sugar.

In some recipes, I favor honey (3/4:1), dark brown sugar (1:1), and in some rare cases, molasses (the taste of molasses is kind of acidic and bitter). Either way I make a huge effort to cut down quantities to a bare minimum.

You see, Limiting refined white sugar is essential for fat loss. But substituting sugar is a science. I proceed by trial and errors, and when I find the right sugar replacement, I adapt the recipe and post my findings on my Facebook page so that everyone benefits. I encourage you to do the same: Ask your questions. Share your findings. I’m always happy to hear from you! 🙂


Active time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 8 minutes | Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup whole grain flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 5 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup Truvia
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsps canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup 70-85% chocolate, cut into small pieces

healthy eating


  1. Combine flour, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Place Truvia, applesauce, and oil in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.
  4. Add chocolate; beat at low speed just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Make balls of dough and place about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten to shape them like cookies.
  6. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pan 2 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Gui Alinat

Gui Alinat is a Tampa, Fla.-based American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef, published food writer, and the owner of Artisan Boutique Catering. He is the author of "The Chef's Repertoire," and "Eat More, Burn More." Born, raised and classically trained as a chef on the Mediterranean coast of France, he traveled extensively, working in restaurants around the world. Chef Gui promotes an active lifestyle, sound nutrition, and believes that fresh and tasty food is resolutely compatible with fat loss and bodybuilding alike. He lives in Florida with his wife Carissa and their five children.