Looking for the perfect fall recipe? This Healthy Apple Crisp is above the rest and extra delicious with the addition of cider-soaked cranberries, pure maple syrup, and walnuts. Hello Fall!
Ahhh, Fall! The cooler crisp air, the vibrant leaves, and a whole new season of eating. It's time for Baked Apples, your favorite chili, and salted caramel everything! And of course, this Healthy Apple Crisp, which is what I'm sharing with you today!
I know what you're thinking... Healthy Apple Crisp? Can it really be healthy? It's a great question and fair for sure. I love taking indulgent desserts and creating a healthier option, and that's exactly what we have here. 🙂
Apples are already good for you, you know what they say... "An apple a day..." It's just that with traditional apple crisp, we load it up with sugar, and that's where I think we can improve.
Here are ways to make that Old Fashioned Apple Crisp better for you:
- Substitute the sugar with an all natural stevia based sweetener. I used Swerve in this recipe to replace the granulated sugar and the brown sugar, and I was VERY impressed. No one could tell.
- Don't use processed sugar at all. Using ingredients like 100% maple syrup and honey are great natural substitutes
- Cut back on the sugar. In other words, use less, like 50% less. Depending on the apples you use, you can really cut back on the sugar and you still have an amazing dessert! Some apples are more sweet, some more tart. But either way, you don't want to cover up the taste with too much sugar.
- Replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour, or almond flour, or even a whole grain unbleached all purpose flour.
- Add protein. You could add collagen protein right into the topping mixture to give it a boost.
Honestly, almost anything works, as long as you choose something that holds its shape, that's what's best for baking and pies.
In this recipe, I've used both Granny Smith's and Honey Crisp at different times, and both were fantastic. You can also mix different varieties together.
Apple variety recommendations
- Granny Smith
- Honey Crisp
- Golden Delicious
- Ida Reds
If you like a more tart variety, choose Cortland, Cameo, or Baldwin. If you like a sweeter variety, choose Honey Crisp, Crispin, Empire or Fuji. SO MANY APPLES! 🙂
Step One: Make the topping
- Whisk the flour, sugars and salt.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles course crumbs.
- Add the oats and walnuts with your hands and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other steps.
Step Two: Make the filling
- Place dried cranberries and apple cider in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes to reconstitute the cranberries.
- Core, peel, and slice the apples and place them in a large bowl
- Add drained cranberries, salt, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon to the apples, mix well.
Step Three: Bake
- Place the apple mixture in a cast iron skillet or 9 x 13 inch pan. One of the things I love about cast iron pans is their versatitlity to cook everything from steaks to desserts.
- Add the streusel topping and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes
Be sure to check the recipe card for the full recipe and notes.
If you'd like to, you can serve this with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Okay, so that's going to make it less healthy, but either way, you'll enjoy it! This is seriously the best ever apple crisp!
More apple recipes
- Apple Butter
- Baked Apples
- Apple and Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Squash Apple Cranberry bake
- Apple Cider Pork Chops
- Apple Pie Smoothie
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Healthy Apple Crisp
- 1 ½ cups whole grain unbleached all purpose flour you can use almond flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or another variety as well.
- ¾ cups Swerve granulated sugar can use regular sugar if desired
- ¾ cups Swerve brown sugar can use regular brown sugar if desired
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter cold and diced
- ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
For the filling:
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup apple cider
- 4 pounds apples cored, peeled, sliced (about 9 apples) I like Honey Crisp or Granny Smith
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- ½ cup maple syrup 100% pure
- 2 tablespoon flour
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- Vanilla Ice Cream for serving, optional
- Salted Caramel Sauce for serving, optional
For the Topping:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- For the streusel, whisk together the flour, sugars, and salt in a bowl.
- Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Mix oats and walnuts into flour mixture with your hands until thoroughly combined; cover and refrigerate.
For the Filling:
- Place cranberries and apple cider in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the cranberries are plump.
- Toss together apples, cranberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, 2 tbs flour, cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
- Transfer apple mixture to a Cast Iron Skillet, or a 9x13 inch baking dish, (or 2 pie dishes work too).
- Cover apples with streusel and bake until apples are tender, about 50 minutes.
- Let apple crisp rest on a cooling rack 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce