Deliciousness overload alert! Sometimes, you just experiment with ingredients and come up with an amazing recipe right out the bat. This healthy apple crisp is a good example of a winning experiment.
I had been thinking for a while about making a healthier version of one of our family’s favorite desserts, apple crisp. My original recipe was loaded with sugar, white flour and butter… Not exactly Mediterranean Diet friendly, and definitely in the rare treat category.
I searched the internet high and low for a healthy apple crisp recipe. It turned out they either had coconut oil, brown sugar, flour, or butter… all ingredients I was trying to avoid. I mean, folks, really, if you’re going to call a recipe healthy, make it healthy for goodness sake!
So I just went for it, using only ingredients I did want in it. And boy, did I ever the jackpot! Rave reviews from my guests!
Did I also mention that it is vegan, gluten-free, and uses only one bowl?
Here are the ingredients you need:
To make this healthy apple crisp recipe you will need to use apples that are sweet and juicy. My preferred is Honeycrisp. Gala or Fuji are also very good. And in a pinch, you can use Red Delicious but they lack flavor in my opinion.
Rolled oats (aka old fashioned) are best to produce a crispy topping. Quick cooking (not instant oats) would work as well. It just won’t be as nice and crispy because they are cut much smaller than rolled oats. Steel cut oats would not work in this recipe.
Above all, make sure you buy real 100% maple syrup, not the imitation kind. Those are highly processed and loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other harmful chemicals.
It is best to use an extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil that is not too pungent. However, the amount used is so small and the cinnamon and apple flavor so predominant that it’s not really an issue. I used my usual go-to-for-everything oil from Partanna and it was perfect – no olive oil flavor in the finished product.
Pecans are a nut native to the Southern United States. They are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Most of the fat found in pecans is a healthy type called monounsaturated fat. They have a crispy buttery texture and are particularly well suited to being cooked.
Cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Modern science has now confirmed that it can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors amongst other impressive health benefits. Just make sure you get Ceylon cinnamon, not the Cassia variety as it contains a substance that can be harmful in large doses.
How to serve apple crisp
This apple crisp is delicious warm, at room temperature or cold. My favorite way to enjoy it is topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt whipped with a splash of vanilla extract. You can also add a touch of honey or maple syrup to the yogurt, but I find that the tart unsweetened yogurt balances the sweetness of the apples perfectly.
Enjoy this recipe, your family will thank you!
Other healthy desserts you might like:
Healthy apple crisp
- Preheat the oven at 350°F.
- Cut the apples in quarters, remove the cores and peel the skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Slice thin (1/8") and place in a bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp cinnamon to the bowl and toss well until combined.
- Spread the mixture into the bottom of a 9" pie dish or round baking dish
- Place rolled oats into the same bowl (no need to wash).
- Add pecan pieces, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, maple syrup and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well and spread over the apples, covering them well so they don't dry out.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Eat warm or at room temperature.