Healthy apple crisp is all the wonderful flavors of a fall crisp in a vegan and gluten-free version. Tart and sweet apples come together in this crisp with a nutty, spiced topping.
Apples can be used in so many ways for fall desserts. One of my favorite ways is apple crisp. It’s such a warm and cozy dish that is easy to make. This healthy apple crisp uses a combination of sweet and tart apples which are slightly sweetened with coconut sugar. The filling is topped with a delicious oat and nut topping that adds the perfect crunch. This healthy apple crisp is both vegan and gluten-free.
What you need to make healthy apple crisp
This recipe is simple to make using some basic ingredients. Simple substitutions can be made (which will be discussed later) to meet your flavor preferences.
8 x 8-inch baking dish
Medium mixing bowl
Apples. Some apples maintain their structure better than others in baking. Examples of apples that are ideal for baking include granny smith, braeburn, fuji, honeycrisp and jonagold. For this healthy apple crisp recipe select a mixture of sweet and tart apples.
Fresh lemon juice. When possible select fresh lemon juice over bottled. It provides the most clean flavor.
Coconut sugar. Made from coconut palm sap, coconut sugar is granulated and brown in color. It’s subtly sweet with a hint of caramel. In this recipe we add it to the filling to slightly sweeten the apples (also to help release some of the apple’s juices) as well as to the crisp topping.
Cinnamon. This gets added to both the filling and topping for a delicious spiced flavor.
Nutmeg. Pairs very well with cinnamon especially in fall apple desserts. Ground nutmeg is only added to the filling as to not overpower the dessert.
Sea salt. A little sea salt helps to act as a balance to the sweet flavors in desserts. Just a little bit goes a long way.
Arrowroot or cornstarch. Use to slightly thicken the apple filling as the sugars will release some of the apples’ juices.
Oats. Whole rolled oats are ideal for this healthy apple crisp recipe. Besides adding flavor, it also adds a nice texture to the crisp’s topping.
Almond flour. Either almond flour made from blanched whole almonds or whole almonds that include the skins can be used. It’s comes down to a personal preference or whichever you have on hand in your pantry.
Walnuts. The nuts adds a wonderful crunchy texture to the healthy apple crisp. If you are not a fan of nuts you can certainly omit them. Alternatively you can substitute your preferred choice of nuts for the walnuts.
How to make healthy apple crisp
- Mix your filling: In a mixing bowl begin by combining you apples with your liquid ingredients and mix well. Then add the sugar, spices and arrowroot (or cornstarch) to the mixture and mix well. Immediately add this mixture to your baking dish, including the juices, and begin prepping your topping.
- Prep your topping: For the topping, simply add all its ingredients to your mixing bowl and combine well. You can use your fingers or a fork to break up any large chunks of toppings. Spread evenly over your prepared filling and bake the healthy apple crisp in your preheated oven.
- Serve it up: Apple crisp is best served warm fresh out of the oven.
Tips and takeaways
- To take the flavors to the next level, drizzle caramel sauce or butterscotch ganache over the apple crisp while still warm and serve immediately. Alternatively you can add a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream to each serving.
- For any leftovers that you would like to serve, preheat oven to 350°F/176°C and bake for about 5-10 minutes to reheat. This will also help re-crisp the topping.
- Double or even triple the amount of crisp topping to freeze for future use. This topping can used to make any fruit flavored crisp.
For the filling
- 2 pounds (907 g) apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced, about 1/4-inch
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) water
- 3 tablespoons (29 g) coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (.7 g) ground nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) arrowroot or cornstarch
For the topping
- 3/4 cup (68 g) rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (48 g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (65 g) chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup (38 g) coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.3 g) sea salt
- 1/3 cup (65 g) melted coconut oil
- Center rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C. Grease a 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine apples, lemon juice, water and coconut sugar. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and arrowroot or cornstarch and mix well. Transfer mixture (including juices) to the prepared baking pan and set aside.
- Wipe out mixing bowl, add all the topping ingredients and mix well. Evenly sprinkle over the apples.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Keywords: healthy apple crisp, fall dessert, healthy, vegan, gluten free