This delicious healthy apple crisp recipe is filled with sweet apples, cherries and topped with a crunchy topping.
It's naturally sweetened with dates and coconut sugar and deliciously flavored with a hint of warm spices and herbs.
It's an absolute must-make apple dessert that is also gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and vegan-friendly!
You know me by now. Most of my baked goods are simple and easy to make, and this recipe is no exception.
Before starting this bake, you'll have to gather a few ingredients, but everything comes together rather quickly.
And because it's a healthy apple crisp that's not too sweet, not too heavy, I'm adding enough flavors to make it warm, utterly comforting, and delicious.
You'll never know it's better for you and might even convert the feverishly loyal classic apple crisp lovers.
- It's so much healthier than your classic apple crisp but still has all the warm fall flavors of a sweet apple dessert.
- It's gluten-free and dairy-free.
- Paleo and vegan-friendly.
- Instead of regular sugar, I'm using dates and coconut sugar to add that perfect amount of sweetness.
- Frozen cherries are a lovely match complementing apples' sweet and juicy flavors.
- Warm spices like cinnamon and ginger and herbs like Rosemary make this healthy apple-cherry crisp super special and the perfect fall dessert.
Ingredients for the apple filling
Here are a few notes you might want to glance over before making this healthy apple crisp recipe.
- Apples: I prefer apples that are crunchy and sweet, like Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, or Golden Delicious. They are juicy with naturally sweet flavors. Peel the apples—yeah, it's a bit more work, but you'll get no tough surprises.
- Cashew milk: Hazelnut or almond milk are other great options. I imagine that any other plant milk will do, but I usually go for creamy nut milk.
- Vanilla extract: you could swap this for maple extract.
- Dates: it naturally adds sweetness. I usually go for large, pitted, soft Medjool dates.
- Cherries: Use frozen pitted cherries. If in season, you could go for fresh ones.
Ingredients for the crisp topping
Nuts: Usually, I go for a mix between pecans and walnuts. They're deliciously crunchy, and you'll get a nice mix of sweet, buttery, and earthy.
Coconut Flakes: I love how they add a subtle and natural sweetness to the crumble mix and become very crispy once baked.
Coconut oil: If still solid, briefly melt the coconut oil in a small pan over the lowest heat setting.
Coconut sugar has a lovely caramel taste and is less refined than brown sugar. I'm just adding enough to enhance the fruits' natural sweetness.
Flours: I'm using blanched almond flour and cassava flour combo. Almond flavor will also naturally add sweetness. Make sure to use a super fine version. Cassava flour is starchy and added as a natural binding agent.
Spices and herbs: a small amount of cinnamon powder, freshly minced or grated ginger, and dried Rosemary needles pair so well with the sweet flavors of apples and cherries. They add warmth to the fall flavors of this healthy apple dessert.
Step 1: Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples.
Step 2: Arrange apples and pitted cherries in the baking dish.
Note: you do not need to defrost the cherries. Just briefly rinse them under running water.
Step 3: blend the dates, vanilla extract, and milk until you get a light brown paste.
Step 4: stir the date paste into the apples and cherries until everything is slightly coated; set aside.
Step 5: combine the chopped nuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon powder, Rosemary, almond flour, cassava flour, and coconut sugar in a separate bowl.
Step 6: stir in the melted coconut oil and the grated ginger until everything is barely coated.
Step 7: divide the crisp topping over the apple-cherry filling in the baking dish.
Step 8: Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, the apples are soft, and the fruit liquids are bubbling.
The fruit-to-crisp topping ratio is beautifully balanced, and everything comes out crunchy, with deliciously sweetened apples, cherries, and warm-flavored juices.
How to serve this healthy apple crisp
It's quite irresistible, but if you want to make it a real treat, serve it with a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top—highly recommended.
I have somewhat of a weakness for a butter pecan flavor or go for the dairy-free vanilla bean. A little scoop goes a long way.
It is equally inviting when served as a breakfast topped with some (probiotic) yogurt, my favorite, or try one made with cashew milk from Forager to keep it dairy-free.
Make it ahead of time
Need this for a particular day? Make it ahead of time, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
Then bake as directed when ready to serve.
Storage and how to reheat leftovers
Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. This healthy apple crisp easily reheats in the microwave or over the stove for a couple of minutes.
You can even eat it cold, straight out of the fridge, first thing in the morning, but it's always better to quickly warm it up if you have a little more time.
It stays fresh for up to 4 days.
More healthy apple recipes to try
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I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.
Healthy Apple CrispMariska Ramondino
- 13 by 9-inch baking dish
Apple Cherry Filling
- 5 large sweet apples such as Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious (about 1 to 1.2 kg)
- 1 bag frozen pitted cherries 10-ounces/283-grams
- 5 large pitted (Medjool) dates 90 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened cashew milk or any other nut or plant milk (110 grams)
- ½ cup coconut oil 90 grams
- 1 cup chopped nuts—I use a mix of walnuts and pecans 95 grams
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes 30 grams
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon cracked dried Rosemary needles
- ¾ cup blanched almond flour 85 grams
- ¼ cup Cassava flour 40 grams
- ¼ cup coconut sugar 40 grams
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced or grated ginger
Prepare the apple-cherry filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F/180 °C.
- Core and peel the apples. Then thinly slice them into half moon shapes.
- If using frozen cherries, briefly rinse them under water.
- Divide the apples and the cherries into the baking dish; set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, mix the dates with vanilla extract and milk until you get a light brown paste.
- Stir the date paste into the apples and cherries until all the fruits are slightly coated; set aside.
Prepare the crisp topping
- If needed, melt the coconut oil in a small pan over the lowest heat setting.
- In a small bowl, combine the chopped nuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon powder, Rosemary, almond flour, cassava flour, and coconut sugar.
- Then stir in the melted coconut oil and the grated ginger until the dry ingredients are just coated but well combined (everything will be barely coated).
- Divide the topping over the apple cherry filling.
- Bake the crisp
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, the fruit is soft, and fruit liquids are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and serve as-is or with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
- Rosemary: you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried needles with 1 tablespoon of fresh Rosemary needles.
- Cherries: When in season, use fresh cherries!
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.
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