This healthy apple crisp is just like the kind your grandma used to make, but with a healthier vegan twist. It's packed with cinnamon-spiced apples and topped with a crunchy, hazelnut crust. Plus, it's super easy to make, and comes together in about 15 minutes.
Look no further - this is your new favorite healthy fall dessert!
I have a big, old apple tree in the back yard, and every year it produces a bumper crop of apples. So, I'm always looking for healthy apple recipe ideas that are easy to whip up. This one totally fits the bill.
You probably have most of the ingredients for this healthy apple crisp in your pantry already. And, if you don't, this recipe is very flexible and amenable to substitutions. I'll give you a few alternative suggestions below.
Ingredients in Apple Crisp:
- Apples: I use cooking apples for this recipe, but Granny Smith is a great choice too.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon Juice prevents the apples from oxidizing and turning brown. To be honest, it won't hurt not to add it..the apples will just be a bit darker.
- Maple Syrup: I've replaced refined sugar with healthier maple syrup. Plus, I like the taste of maple syrup here more than granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon: Is there anything that says "fall" more than cinnamon and apples? Yummy!
- Nutmeg: Woody, bittersweet nutmeg is the perfect partner to tart apples.
- Rolled Oats: Make sure that you choose rolled oats, and not steel cut oats. Also, be sure to verify that they're gluten free if that's important to you.
- Hazelnuts: I use hazelnuts in all my apple crisps. Their sweet, earthy flavor is a great complement to tart apples. But, feel free to swap them for pecans, almonds or walnuts.
- Spelt Flour: Spelt flour has a nutty flavor that works so well in fall desserts, but if you can't find it it's fine to use whole wheat flour. Almond flour makes a great gluten free alternative.
- Vegan Butter: Spreadable vegan butter yields the best results. Coconut oil also works.
- The first step is to peel, core and slice your apples. Lay them out in a greased 8x8 baking dish and drizzle the maple syrup over the top. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and turn everything over with a spatula. Sprinkle with spices. Now, cover the pan tightly with foil and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- While the apples are baking, prepare your crisp topping. Mix together the rolled oats, muscovado sugar, spelt flour, cinnamon, chopped hazelnuts and vegan butter. As always, I highly recommend using a scale to measure your ingredients. You simply won't get accurate results using cups. Here's a handy cups to grams converter, and a post I wrote on why it's so important to measure ingredients using a scale.
- Cut the butter in with the back of a fork until you have a crumbly (but not sand- like) texture.
- When the apples are done baking, remove the foil and add the topping to your apple crisp. Return the pan to oven for 20 more minutes.
- Tuck in and enjoy! If you're feeling indulgent, serve with vanilla ice cream.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Throw in some chopped dates, raisins, cranberries of goji berries.
- Instead of hazelnuts, why not try walnuts, pecans or almonds?
- Use your favorite gluten free flour in place of spelt flour for a gluten free dish. Almond flour works really well.
- Instead of Muscovado sugar, use coconut sugar.
- Use coconut oil instead of vegan butter.
Frequently Asked Recipe Questions:
Allow the apple crisp to cool completely and cover with a paper towel. Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. The paper towel will absorb any moisture, keeping the topping as crispy as possible
Absolutely! You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months. You can reheat it from frozen, or allow it thaw in the fridge overnight.
Yes, of course. Simply replace the nuts with more rolled oats.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Healthy Apple Crisp With Oatmeal and Hazelnut Topping
- 720 grams (about 6 apples) Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For The Hazelnut and Oat Topping
- 80 grams (1 cup) rolled oats
- 60 grams (½ cup) spelt flour
- 150 grams (¾ cup) muscovado sugar
- 150 grams (1 cup) roasted hazelnuts finely chopped
- 110 grams (½ cup) coconut oil or vegan butter not melted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oven to 200C (400 F). Lay the apples in the bottom of a greased ovenproof dish. Drizzle the maple syrup and lemon juice over the top, sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together the oats, spelt flour, muscovado sugar, and chopped hazelnuts. Work the vegan butter in using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork. Aim for a crumb like texture with some lumps.
- When the apples are doing baking, take the foil off and spread the crumb topping over the top. Bake in the over for a further 20 minutes.