How do you make an apple crisp without brown sugar? Replace it with pure maple syrup! You'll be shocked that this melt in your mouth recipe is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free... so healthy you can eat it for breakfast!
The homemade crumble topping is filled with oats, pecans, almond meal, maple syrup and avocado oil. Top with some dairy free ice cream or coconut whipped cream for added creaminess. This recipe can make two 8x8 inch pans or one 9x13 inch pan.
What makes this apple crisp healthy?
Everyone has different opinions on what makes something "healthy" but my personal definition includes being plant based, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free (using natural sugars). Typically apple crisp has brown sugar, all purpose flour and butter which many would agree do not aid in optimal health so I made some swaps!
- Replaced brown sugar with raw maple syrup - Although raw maple syrup will still raise your blood sugar levels it has a lower glycemic index than brown sugar and provides tons of minerals and antioxidants.
- Replaced all purpose flour with almond meal / almond flour - Not everyone is sensitive to gluten like I am but if you are it's a good idea to try and avoid it when possible. You may be sensitive to gluten if you notice symptoms like bloating, IBS, brain fog, upset stomach after eating gluten and if that's the case you may want to avoid gluten when possible because the gluten can't be metabolized properly.
- Replaced butter with avocado oil - Butter and coconut oil are saturated fat (bad fat) which raise bad cholesterol levels and make us age. Avocado oil is a monounsaturated fat (good fat) which lowers the bad cholesterol levels and provides vitamin E.
- Added pecans - Pecans have antioxidants and provide you with monounsaturated fat (a good fat), B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, vitamins E and A, zinc, iron, and folate.
What to serve with apple crisp?
- Ice cream - I prefer dairy free vanilla ice cream - Fomu is my favorite local Boston brand!
- Dairy free whipped cream - coconut whipped cream is my go-to it's sweet and creamy.
- Dairy free vanilla yogurt - a healthier alternative to ice cream.
- For a fun breakfast I like to pair it with this green smoothie!
If keeping for more than 2 days cover apple crisp tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Up to 2 days.
Yes! Cover in an air tight container for up to 3 months. To thaw let it come to room temperature then heat up in the oven (preferred) or microwave.
Honey crisp apples are a fan favorite because they are sweet and hold their shape well. Granny smith apples pair well with honey crisp because they are tart and also hold their shape. However, I like to use a variety of apples and get 1-2 of whatever is available to optimize the different flavors and textures.
Yes! You don't HAVE to... it will still be edible but the skins make the texture very chewy.
Yes! Assemble the apple crisp and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it or bake the apple crisp ahead of time and warm it in the oven and microwave right before serving.
If the top of your apple crisp is getting too crispy add tinfoil to cover the top of the apple crisp until it's done baking. You could also move your apple crisp onto a lower rack in your oven.
It depends. Usually apple crisp has flour in it which would not make it gluten free. However, this recipe uses almond meal to make this recipe gluten free.
Check out this guide by Pretty Simple Sweet!
More sweet treats to try
I hope you love this apple crisp without brown sugar! If you make it I’d love if you could leave a rating & connect with me on Instagram @passthesprouts!
Healthy Apple Crisp Without Brown Sugar (9x13)
- 2 cups oats raw rolled or old fashions
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup pecans raw & chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup avocado oil
- ½ cup maple syrup raw
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 10-12 apples peeled & sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup raw
- 6 tablespoons water room temperature
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional, from 1 lemon
- Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Prep apples: Peel skin off apples, discard core and thinly slice.
- Crumble topping: Mix all the crumble topping ingredients in a bowl. Ensure the pecans are chopped or crushed into small pieces.
- Apple Filling: Take the baking pan (one 9x13 inch pan or two 8x8 inch pans) and grease the bottom and sides with avocado oil. Then pour the rest of the apple filling ingredients into the baking pan and mix well.
- Assemble and bake: On top of the apple filling in the baking dish add the crumble topping evenly. Bake at 350° F for 40 minutes or until the apples are cooked through and the crumble topping is slightly browned.
- avocado oil substitute: melted coconut oil, butter
- maple syrup substitutes: coconut sugar, brown sugar
- almond meal substitutes: almond flour, oat flour, gluten free flour, really any flour with a neutral or sweeter taste will work
- rolled / old fashioned oats substitutes: steel cut oats, Irish oats, quick oats, instant oats, chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
- storage: If keeping for more than 2 days cover apple crisp tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.