Brittany Mullins shared this delicious and easy way to make Healthy Apple Crisp lightly sweetened with maple syrup and features a crunchy oatmeal topping. This recipe is sure to be a fall family favorite!
The apples are baked to caramel-y perfection while the oatmeal topping gives the crisp a crunchy texture. I love the apples, but the oatmeal pecan topping is totally what makes the dish. Of course, you have to remember that this is coming from the girl who loves all things crunchy — crispy muffin tops, granola, the edges of bread… bring on that crunch!
What Makes This Apple Crisp Healthy?
The great thing about this particular apple crisp is that it’s relatively healthy in comparison to traditional recipes…
- I swapped traditional brown sugar for coconut sugar
- I used coconut oil instead of butter
- I used almond flour instead of traditional all-purpose flour
- I used hearty rolled oats as the base of the crisp topping
Healthy Apple Crisp vs. Apple Crumble
Depending on where you live, apple crisp and apple crumble may mean the same thing! In the United States, they are slightly different dishes. Apple crisp is baked apples topped with a mixture of oats, nuts, sugar and spices. Apple crumble is also baked apples but is topped with more of a streusel mixture of flour, sugar and butter. No matter what you call it, they’re both delicious!
Here’s What You Need
- apples – the star of the show here! I like using a combination of tart and sweet apples. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are all great options!
- old-fashioned rolled oats – for the crisp topping! Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often cross-contaminated during processing, so if you need this crisp to be gluten-free, make sure you look for oats that say “gluten-free” on the package. I like using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats.
- almond flour – we’re using almond flour to keep this recipe gluten-free. I haven’t tested this crisp with a different flour, but I have a feeling that all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour will work just fine for the topping. If you try it, please let me know in the comments.
- chopped nuts – I prefer using pecans or walnuts, but you can definitely sub in another nut like almonds. To make the topping nut-free swap the pecans with additional oats.
- coconut sugar – brown sugar works as well! This is a part of the oat mixture.
- arrowroot powder – helps thicken the apple mixture. Cornstarch works as well.
- coconut oil – keep the coconut oil in solid form to help make the topping more crumb-like. You can also use vegan butter in place of the oil.
- maple syrup – just a little bit of added natural sweetness for the apple mixture.
- lemon juice – helps prevent the apples from browning and brings out the flavors in the dish!
- seasonings and spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.
What Variety of Apple is Best For Apple Crisp?
Not all apples are great for baking. When choosing apples for baking you want apples that are firm and keep their structure under heat and don’t turn into mush after baking. The crisp and firm Granny Smith and Honeycrisp varieties are the most popular when it comes to baking. Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Fuji, Cortland and Jonagold are also great options. Feel free to use just one variety or use an assortment of varieties for an added depth of flavor. I like to use both sweet and tart apples in this crisp!
How to Serve Apple Crisp
Served warm, this apple crisp is absolutely delicious on its own, but if you really want the full experience I recommend serving it with some toppings. Here are some ideas:
- ice cream – I love eating it with Halo Top Creamery vanilla ice cream, which is a low cal/low sugar ice cream that actually tastes pretty darn good!
- yogurt – add creaminess and protein by adding yogurt as a topping! Pro tip: whip the yogurt in a food processor for a light and airy texture.
- whipped cream – can’t go wrong with classic whipped cream!
- coconut whip – looking for a dairy-free option? I love topping this apple crisp with coconut whipped cream!
- caramel sauce – want more caramel-y flavor? Drizzle my date caramel sauce over top!
Can You Make This Crisp Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can totally make this crisp ahead of time, which is perfect if you’re serving it for Thanksgiving dessert and have a ton of other dishes to make. There are a couple of options that work really well.
OPTION 1: BAKE AND THEN REHEAT BEFORE SERVING
Prepare your crisp as the recipe suggests. Once baked, let it cool, cover the baking dish and place it in the fridge. You can do this 1-2 days in advance. When ready to serve, take your crisp out from the fridge, cover with foil and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.
OPTION 2: PREP AS MUCH AS YOU CAN WITHOUT BAKING
Simply prepare your crisp as the recipe suggests without baking it. Cover your dish with foil, place it in the fridge and then bake it as directed below before you’re ready to serve.
How to Store Leftovers
After allowing it to cool, store in an airtight container. Leftovers will store well at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing leftovers because I don’t think the crisp topping will hold up.
How to Make Healthy Apple Crisp
Healthy Apple Crisp : Ingredients
- 6 cups apples, about 6 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup organic brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats, gluten-free, if needed
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ½ cup coconut oil, not melted, or vegan butter
Healthy Apple Crisp : Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make the topping by mixing together sugar, rolled oats, almond flour and nuts. Add butter or coconut oil and combine until topping is crumb-like. Set aside.
Add apple slices to a large bowl with maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gently toss until all apple slices are coated.
Transfer apple mixture to greased 8×8 square baking dish or a 9-inch round pie pan.
Sprinkle crisp topping over apple mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the apple filling is bubbly and the top is golden. Check the crisp around 30 minutes in. If the crisp seems to be browning too quickly, cover with foil for the remaining 15-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping.
Store in an airtight container. Leftovers will store well at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Healthy Apple Crisp : Notes
- Sugar: Recipe works with brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you’d like for the crisp to be less sweet, feel free to cut the sugar back to 1/2 -3/4 cup instead of 1 cup!
- Nuts: Feel free to use your favorite nut in place of the walnuts or pecans. If you need this recipe to be nut-free just use more oats in place of the nuts.
Healthy Apple Crisp : Nutrition
Serving: 1serving Calories: 264kcal Carbohydrates: 42g Protein: 2g Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 106mg Potassium: 82mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 28g
6 Impressive Health Benefits of Apples
From Red Delicious to Granny Smith, apples are a tasty and convenient way to add extra nutrients to your diet.
1. Good for weight loss
Ever wondered how could eating helps you reduce weight? Turns out, eating apples enable you to shed those extra kilos that you have been longing to lose. Studies have found out that eating an apple before a meal makes you feel fuller.
2. Reduces risk of diabetes
Apples help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study by Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health found out that consumption of whole fruits such as apples, blueberries, grapes are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while consuming more of fruit juices is associated with a higher risk of the disease.
3. Heart’s best friend
Apples are rich in soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol levels in the body. According to a study by Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, flavonoids in apples prevent initiation and development of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have also said that consumption of white fruits and vegetables including apples and pears may protect against stroke.
4. Helps prevent cancer
A sedentary lifestyle is making people prone to several diseases. Eating right and healthy can prevent you from falling prey to deadly diseases. A study by German Cancer Research Center has found out that apple products prevent skin, mammary and colon carcinogenics in animals.
5. Bone Health
Scientists believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in apples may help promote bone density and strength.
A Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center study found that antioxidant-rich fruits like apples have a pronounced effect on bone, as shown by higher bone mass, trabecular bone volume, and bone formation.
6. Skin health
Apples contain a high content of vitamin C, which helps build collagen. Copper present in apples also encourages the skin to produce melanin, which, in turn, helps protect the skin from UV rays.