One taste of this delicious Healthy Apple Crisp and you’ve won’t believe it’s gluten-free with no refined sugar added. The addition of a little bit of fresh thyme provides a subtle savory flavor to the perfectly baked sweet and tender apples that makes it the perfect fall dessert!
I look forward to fresh local Fall apples every year and healthy desserts like this Healthier Version Apple Cheesecake and Apple Banana Muffins are just as good as this crisp!
Sugar Free Apple Crisp Recipe
Who would ever think you could use the word healthy to describe such a sweet and delicious apple crisp! It’s true though! This amazing apple crisp recipe gets a bit of a healthy makeover by using a gluten-topping.
Plus, instead of white sugar and brown sugar, like most traditional apple crisps, a little pure maple syrup is added to the sliced apples to give them the perfect amount of sweetness.
If you’ve never used maple syrup as a refined sugar substitute, you should try it. I use it in these Chocolate Banana Muffins and this Healthy Berry Crisp, and no one can ever tell the difference.
With cooler months and apple harvest season approaching, what better way to enjoy the abundance of fresh apples than with a warm and cozy homemade apple crisp?
This apple crisp is much easier to make than an apple pie (no crust failures), yet still gives you all those inviting same flavors. It’s the perfect comfort fall time dessert when you serve it scoop of your favorite sugar free Ice Cream or a generous dollop of homemade whipped topping.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy recipe: All you have to do it slice and bake! No rolling or cutting pastry dough required like with pie crust.
- No added sugar: A touch of maple syrup is used as a sweetener, and it also gives the apple dessert a warm and inviting flavor.
- Gluten-free: This topping is made with gluten-free ingredients that allows everyone to enjoy it, even those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
- Comfort Fall healthy dessert: Even if you are counting macros to lose weight, this dessert will warm your soul without the guilt!
- Plenty of topping: As much as I love a good baked apple, we eat this for the crisp! There’s plenty of crisp with the apples in this recipe.
- 8-inch baking dish
- Large Bowl
- Sharp Knife
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoon
- Apple peeler (optional)
Healthy Apple Crumble Variations:
- Fruit: We used fresh crisp apples, but you could use sliced pears instead. In the summer you could fresh berries of your choice.
- Sweetener: Maple syrup goes so great with apples, but you could also use organic honey if you prefer. If the crisp doesn’t seem to be a sweet as you prefer, you can use a little Monk fruit sweetener in the filling.
- Topping: The topping uses almonds to give the crispy topping added crunch. But you could also use chopped toasted pecans or walnuts instead.
- Spices: It’s always great to keep some homemade apple pie spice blend on hand. Just mix a little ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground ginger and some ground cardamom together and store in in a glass jar in a cool place.
For the Apple Filling
- Large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pure maple syrup
- 100% apple juice (sugar free)
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground allspice
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Vanilla extract
For the Crisp Topping:
- Old-fashioned oats (rolled oats)
- Almond flour
- Almonds, sliced
- Honey, preferably local
- Butter, melted
For Serving Serve: (optional)
- Scoop of vanilla ice cream (sugar-free or Keto Vanilla Nice Cream) or freshly whipped cream
How to Make the Best Healthy Apple Crisp
Place top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8” x 8” baking dish or a 7” x 10” baking dish and set aside.
Step One: Prepare the Apples
Place apple slices in a large glass bowl to thoroughly toss with fresh lemon juice. Add maple syrup, apple juice, cinnamon, allspice, thyme leaves, and salt. Toss well to combine and set aside.
Step Two: Make the Topping
Combine rolled oats, almond flour, almonds, honey and melted butter in a separate bowl. Stir well until oats are thoroughly coated and all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
Step Three: Assemble the Crisp
Pour apples into a prepared baking dish; spreading into an even layer.
Spread the crisp topping evenly over the top of the apples.
Step Four: Bake the Apple Crisp
Place into the pre-heated oven and bake. After about 30 min or once the top layer is nicely browned, cover dish loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the apples are bubbling.
Sep Five: Allow it to Cool
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. You want it warm but not steaming hot.
Step Six: Serve and Enjoy
Serve warm apple crisp with a scoop of sugar-free vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
🍎 What Type of Apples is Best to Use? 🍏
With there being so many apple varieties at the grocery store, choosing which apple is best for a recipe can be overwhelming. Here is a simple apple guide to use when baking or just for picking the best apple for snacking:
- Jonagold apples
- Gala apples
- Golden delicious apples
Eating Raw & Baking
- Granny Smith apples
- Mcintosh apples
- Honeycrisp apples
- Jonathan apples
- Cortland apples
- Pink Lady apples
- Fuji apples
- Red delicious apples
How can I thicken the filling?
The filling for this apple crisp will not be a thick as it is for apple pie of even cobbler. But if you want a thicker filling, you can add about 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the apple juice and give it a good mix. This product works as a gelling and stabilizing agent that also thicken up sauces.
There is a word of caution with xanthan gum. A tiny bit goes a long way. After you add a pinch, allow the sauce or jam to sit a little longer before deciding to add any more. Xanthan gum will get thicker the longer it sits.
What’s the difference in an Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?
Both a crisp and crumble have warm earthy flavors and are often referred to as a one in the same. However, crisps usually have oats included in the topping whereas a crumble has more of a streusel like topping with no oats.
Can I freeze leftovers?
Technically, you can freeze this apple crisp. But the topping will lose its crisp texture once it’s been frozen. It will still taste amazing, but the texture definitely changes.
Why is lemon juice added?
Some recipes that use sliced core fruits, like apples or pears, will suggest tossing them with a little lemon juice before adding in the rest of the ingredients. Lemon juice will prevent the apples from oxidizing. It creates a barrier between the fruit and the air and helps the apples from turning brown. You can rub a lemon over a half of an uneaten apple before placing it in the fridge and the flesh will stay nice and white.
What makes this delicious Apple Crisp healthy?
Traditional apple crisp recipes usually include white sugar and/or brown sugar and the topping is typically made using regular flour. This recipe gets a total healthy makeover using just a few simple substitutions.
Maple syrup is used to sweeten the apple filing instead of refined sugar. Maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, meaning it doesn’t spike blood sugar as quickly which makes it a much better choice than sugar.
The crumble oat topping is made using a combination of oats and almond flour, instead of all purpose flour with a little bit of honey to sweeten it and to help hold the topping together.
Almond flour is gluten free and is a good source of healthy fats. The organic honey is also lower in the glycemic index that regular sugar.
Want More Healthy Dessert Recipes?
- Healthy Instant Pot Cheesecake
- Gluten Free Crepes
- Sugar Free Frozen Yogurt
- Easy Yogurt Fruit Dip
- Zucchini Bread
- Frozen Bananas Ice Cream
Healthy Apple Crisp – No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free
- 6 lg Apples*
- 1 T lemon juice fresh
- ⅓ c real maple syrup
- 2 T apple juice 100% juice, sugar free
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- ½ t allspice
- 1½ t fresh thyme leaves chopped
- ¼ t salt
- 1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ c almond flour
- ⅓ c almonds sliced
- ⅓ c honey
- 3 T Butter melted
- Vanilla ice cream no sugar added
- Place apple slices in a large glass bowl to thoroughly toss with fresh lemon juice. Add maple syrup, apple juice, cinnamon, allspice, thyme leaves, and salt. Toss well to combine and set aside.
- Combine rolled oats, almond flour, almonds, honey and melted butter in a separate bowl. Stir well until oats are thoroughly coated and all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
- Pour apples into a prepared baking dish; spreading into an even layer.
- Spread the crisp topping evenly over the top of the apples.
- Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once the top layer is nicely browned, cover dish loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
- Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the apples are bubbling.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. You want it warm but not steaming hot.
- Serve warm apple crisp with a scoop of sugar-free vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
- Granny Smith Apples.
- Golden Delicious.
- Jonathan or Jonagold Apples.
- Northern Spy.