Diet Apple Crisp

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Meet Diet Apple Crisp — our latest dessert recipe sensation at dinner parties and potlucks everywhere. Serve with nonfat ice cream if you’re dieting. It’s back to baking this week with a sweet breakfast or dessert. This recipe is delicious and really easy to throw together. The recipe states that it serves 6-8 people, but my family of 5 has eaten the entire thing in one sitting.

The Ultimate Healthy Apple Crisp {Small Batch}

 Yields: 4 servings

This recipe was an instant hit with my family! Soft, sweet, perfectly spiced apples topped with a crisp oat streusel… So simple — and yet SO good! (In other words… It might be a good thing that there are virtually no tempting leftovers!) However, if you do end up with leftovers, they’ll keep for at least one week if stored in the refrigerator covered with foil or in an airtight container.

INGREDIENTS 

FOR THE STREUSEL

  • 6 tbsp (37g) instant oats 
  • 2 tbsp (15g) whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter or stick-style vegan butter, melted (see Notes!)
  • 1 tsp water room temperature

FOR THE FILLING

  • 3 cups (383g) diced Fuji apple (about 3 small — see Notes!)
  • 1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a 6”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • To prepare the streusel topping, whisk together the oats, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup, melted butter, and water. Stir until fully incorporated.
  • To prepare the filling, toss the apples with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl until completely coated.
  • Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and gently press down with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with the topping. (The topping typically clumps, so break it up into really small, itty bitty pieces as you go!) Very gently press the topping into the apples with your hands. Bake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes or until the apples are fork tender. Cool completely to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the juices to fully thicken.

NOTES

Instant oats are also called quick-cooking or one-minute oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if necessary!) may be substituted for the instant oats. I prefer instant oats because they’re smaller and thinner than old-fashioned rolled oats, which helps prevent the streusel topping from clumping as much. Do not substitute steel-cut oats.

White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substitute for the regular whole wheat flour.

To make the crumble gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats. Almost any gluten-free flour will work — except for coconut flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour!

Remember to measure the oats and flour using this method or a kitchen scale! (← That’s the one I own.) Too much of either ingredient will dry out the streusel topping. If this happens to you, add additional maple syrup or water, ½ teaspoon at a time, until you can fully incorporate all of the oats and flour.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

It’s important to chop the apples fairly small, in ½” cubes, to help them bake evenly and soften completely. I know it takes a little extra time and effort, but I promise it’s worth it!

I personally love Fuji apples because they’re naturally sweet and hold their shape while baking without turning soggy, mealy, or disintegrating. Gala and Braeburn apples would work as well. If you prefer a tarter flavor, then substitute up to 1 cup of diced Granny Smiths for the equivalent amount of Fuji apple, but I’d recommend against more than that since you aren’t adding any sweetener to the filling.

I highly recommend Saigon cinnamon! It’s stronger, richer, and sweeter compared to regular cinnamon. (← it’s really affordable and inexpensive!), and it’s practically the only kind I use in my baking now.

The oat streusel tends to clump — a lot! — so break it up into itty bitty pieces before you sprinkle it over the apples. I promise there’s enough streusel to cover the apples if you do this!

If you prefer a thicker layer of streusel, then double the ingredients for the streusel.

GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free oats and gluten-free oat flour, millet flour, a gluten-free flour blend or any other gluten-free flour besides coconut flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour!

DAIRY-FREE + VEGAN OPTION: Use stick-style vegan butter or coconut oil in place of the butter.

FULL-SIZED OPTION: Use my full-sized apple crisp recipe here! (It has the same flavors and textures; it just yields more servings!)

ALTERNATIVE PAN SIZES: If you don’t own a 6”-square pan (← that’s the one I own!), substitute a 6”-round cake pan or an 8×4” loaf pan. Do not substitute a 9×5” loaf pan! That’s too big, and there won’t be enough streusel to cover the apples. (Remember, pan dimensions are measured along their top rims, not their bottom sides!)

TO SERVE WARM: You must let the apple crisp cool completely to room temperature AND set for 3+ hours in the refrigerator before serving. This allows the cornstarch to fully thicken the juices that the apples release while baking. If you’d prefer to serve your crumble warm, then reheat it after the cornstarch has worked its magic! As the easiest option, I typically reheat individual slices in the microwave.

{gluten-free, clean eating, egg-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, low fat}

Easy Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Apple Oatmeal Crisp
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Portions:
8

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Serving Size:
1/2 cup

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Ingredients

  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup whole oatmeal 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Peel, coire and slice apples. 
  2. In a bowl, mix oatmeal, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  3. Cut butter into oatmeal mixture with a pastry cutter until well blended.
  4. Place sliced apples in 9” x 9” baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle oatmeal mixture over apples.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Helpful hints

  • Five medium apples yield approximately 5 cups after peeled, cored and sliced.
  • For a lower carbohydrate diet replace the brown sugar with 1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend. Carbohydrate is reduced to 30 grams per 1/2 cup serving.
  • Oatmeal is a higher phosphorus cereal and may be suggested as a food to limit. This recipe provides only 1/8-cup oatmeal per serving; phosphorus is comparable to many other acceptable dessert recipes.

Healthy apple crisp

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:

Apples

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.

Oats

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.

Maple syrup

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.

Olive oil

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

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.

If you can’t find pecans where you live, my recommendation would be to use walnuts or even hazelnuts.

Cinnamon

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.

Healthy apple crisp

This healthy apple crisp is so delicious you’ll never know it’s also good for you! Loaded with fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and antioxidants

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: apple, gluten-free, oats, pecan, vegan, vegetarian

Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Glass mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • 8″ chef’s knife
  • 9″ round baking dish or pie dish
  • Paring knife
  • Vegetable peeler

Ingredients

Apple filling

  • 4 large apples, sweet and crisp Honeycrisp, Gala or Fuji (or 6 small)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • 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.

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