I love apple pie… especially around the holidays.
For me, it’s not truly Thanksgiving until I’ve had a slice, and experienced that toasty, cinnamon-apple flavor.
But between the heavy crust and the sugar-bomb filling, apple pie packs some serious calories.
And all those carbs can really weigh you down… particularly right after turkey, stuffing, and sides!
So I decided to create a healthy variation on the classic pie recipe – but this time, it’s an apple “crisp” without the sugary bottom crust.
The filling is sweet and flavorful (but low in sugar), and the crisp, nutty topping is rich in protein. Oh, and it’s also gluten free.
If you don’t have the oven space to fit another casserole dish, don’t worry – I’ve included slow-cooker instructions for the crisp, as well.
It takes a little longer to cook, but it frees up oven space – and your whole house will smell heavenly by the time it’s done.
Low-Sugar Apple Crisp
Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
For the Filling
- 10 ripe, medium-sized apples (I prefer a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji), peeled and sliced thin
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour or tapioca flour
For the Topping
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup butter, melted
Instructions – Oven:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Prepare the topping: Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, pecans, and oats. Drizzle with maple syrup and melted butter, and stir until combined – the mixture should be almost a wet sand consistency. If too wet, add a little more coconut flour; if too dry, add a little more butter.
3. Prepare filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl, tossing to make sure they’re thoroughly mixed.
4. Empty filling into the baking dish – it’s okay if it piles over the top a little, it’ll cook down.
5. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the filling and place the baking dish on a sheet tray, to catch any drips while cooking.
6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Serve warm, with unsweetened whipped cream.
Instructions – Slow Cooker:
1. Prepare slow cooker: If using a liner, place in the slow cooker work bowl. If not, butter the inside of work bowl for easier cleanup.
2. Prepare the topping: Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, pecans, and oats. Drizzle with maple syrup and melted butter, and stir until combined. The mixture should be almost a wet sand consistency. If too wet, add a little more coconut flour; if too dry, add a little more butter.
3. Prepare filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl, tossing to make sure they’re thoroughly mixed. Transfer to work bowl of the crock pot.
4. Sprinkle the topping over apple mixture, right in the crock pot.
5. Stretch a paper towel across the top of the crock pot work bowl, securing it with the lid (this ensures a crispy topping.)
6. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until filling is bubbling and thickened, then keep warm until serving. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.
So there you go – try it out, and let me know what you think.
After the crisp, I’m pretty sure you won’t miss traditional-style pie at all… in fact, you may have a new favorite dessert!
Dr. Cary Nelson
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