Fall is around the corner and that means all things warm and cozy. One of our family’s favorite desserts is apple crisp. You really can’t go wrong warm warm apples, the smell of cinnamon and a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. I wanted to share a version of apple crisp that is free of refined sugar but still has all of the amazing taste and flavor. With a couple of healthy swaps this is not only a crowd pleaser but one you can feel good about.
YUMMY APPLE CRISP
My mouth waters just looking this because I love the flavor so much. This version has you skipping the cane sugar and using coconut sugar instead. That plus some yummy maple syrup makes for a dessert that won’t last long.
What makes this recipe a healthier version is the coconut sugar (instead of cane sugar), almond flour, and maples syrup. The whole grain oats are gluten free which is also nice. We love using butter but you could substitute coconut oil if you prefer.
First up is combining the coconut sugar, almond flour, oats, butter and a touch of maple syrup. Use a fork to break up the butter into small bits. This topping should remain crumbly (don’t over stir). Once you’ve made this, set it aside.
Time to peel, core and slice the apples. I like using Honeycrisp apples for this. I use 6 organic apples and slice them 1/4″ thick. But absolutely use any apple you love. Just be sure to stick to a variety that will hold up and not get too mushy. Granny Smith are also great and will bring a bit of tartness to the recipe.
This is my favorite part. Mix the apples with maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. So good!!! I definitely sneak a few apples at this stage.
LAYER AND POP IN THE OVEN
I like to use this 11′ oval baker but a 9″ x 9″ square dish is great as well. Butter the dish a little bit and add the apple mixture. Top with the crumble mixture and you are all set. Bake for 20 minutes covered, remove foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the sides begin to bubble and your apples are soft. Be sure to let it sit for a bit before serving.
A DELICIOUS DESSERT
The maple syrup creates a yummy sauce in the bottom of the dish. It’s so good drizzled over the ice cream. For a thicker consistency you can add a bit of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to the filling. Of course photos are more fun with a big scoop of ice cream, but less is more in my opinion. A large spoonful of ice cream does the trick. You don’t want it to over power the apple crisp.
A Healthier Apple Crisp
This yummy apple crisp is filled with flavor and perfect for fall.
Apple Crisp Topping
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup whole grain rolled oats
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
Apple Crisp Filling
- 6 medium apples
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
Preheat oven to 350° and lightly butter a 9×9 baking dish (or 11" oval).
In a bowl, combine topping ingredients (coconut sugar, almond flour, oats, butter and syrup). Use a fork to break up buttern and mix until still crumbly. Set aside.
Peel, core, and slice apples 1/4" thick.
In a new bowl, mix apples and filling ingredients (maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt) until well combined.
Place apples in prepared dish and sprinkle topping over them.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove cover and continue to bake for 20-25 more minutes. Watch for the sides to bubble and apples to be soft.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Definitely a touch of Fall in a bowl. Let me know if you give it a try. I’ve been known to eat the leftovers the next morning for breakfast (without the ice cream). So yummy with a cup of coffee.
I’m a diabetic and always looking for better, plant based ideas to replace sugar. The funny thing about any substitute for cane sugar is about the same as sugar. I compared Splenda and Stevia with the label information on sugar and surprise, there was very little difference on the brands I checked. Same is true with coconut sugar so far as calories and nutrients. So, I am very confused in the comparisons. Any thoughts? Isn’t cane sugar from a plant as well? I think this is a good conversation to have as we are all interested in eating in a more healthy way.
Hi Linda. Great conversation to have and something tells me you know much more than I do. I am no expert but we like to stay away from cane sugar only because it’s refined and can spike blood sugar. As far as I know, cane sugar feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. Coconut sugar won’t do that and is low on the glycemic index. Fairly certain it is considered Paleo, too, but I would need to double check. I LOVE hearing about all of this and welcome any other input from readers. I have so much to learn. Thanks for brining it up. Have you tried Monk Fruit? That seems to be a good substitute as well.