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This gluten free, refined sugar free apple crisp is a delicious fall treat. It has everything you’d want from a classic apple crisp, but with much less sugar.

A hint of honey paired with fresh autumn apples make this dessert perfectly sweet without the excess sugar you’ll usually find in decadent desserts. Prep it in minutes for those days you want to enjoy a healthier sweet treat without the hassle.

 

Two servings of no sugar apple crisp, each with a scoop of ice cream and a gold spoon on a white marble counter top.

 

Easy & Healthy Apple Crisp 

I know a lot of my clients and friends think the hardest part of reducing sugar intake is the FOMO (fear of missing out!) when those around them are indulging in sweet treats. This is especially the case around holiday festivities and gatherings when there’s no shortage of dessert options. 

Let’s change that deprivation mindset and enjoy recipes like this low sugar apple crisp!

When you balance your blood sugar, cravings release their grip, but that doesn’t mean you can never have dessert again. 

This sugar free apple crisp uses just 5 tbsp of honey instead of a cup or more of refined sugar, drastically decreasing the sugar content compared to your standard desserts and therefore keeping blood sugar more even and your hormones happy. 

 

Key ingredients for a refined sugar free Apple Crisp:

  • Apples are the star of the show, of course. Use any kind you like but some of my favorites for this recipe are Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith. 
  • Honey is the source of sweetness in this low sugar apple crisp recipe! It’s a perfect natural sweetener, and because it’s unprocessed, it retains minerals and antioxidants that can support health.
  • Tapioca flour is a great grain-free substitute for cornstarch. It’s got a similar texture and is good for thickening the apple filling. 
  • Gluten Free Oats are a great source of fiber compared to the processed flour that’s used in most apple crisp recipes. Use One Degree for sprouted oats, which are easier to digest.
  • Cinnamon gives you that delicious, warm cozy flavor that comes with most apple desserts. It lends sweetness without any sugar and has been shown to curb post-meal blood sugar spikes.
  • Walnuts add a nice texture to this dish and a good source of healthy fats.
  • Butter is another good source of healthy fats and lends to the rich, decadent flavor. Seek out organic, pasture raised butter to benefit from more anti-inflammatory nutrients.

 

Ingredients for refined sugar free apple crisp: 4 red apples, a cup of walnuts, a cup of oats, jar of cinnamon, a stick of butter and a jar of honey

 

What does refined sugar-free mean?

Refined sugars have been processed and therefore stripped of any nutrients that would be found in their natural form.

Conversely, unrefined sugars have not been as processed and retain more nutrients like minerals and vitamins. Because of this, unrefined sugars are generally known to be lower glycemic and in moderation, can have a slightly lower effect on blood sugar.

Honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar and maple sugar are considered unrefined sugars. Having said that, unrefined sugar is still sugar and should still be consumed in moderation.

 

Why is honey a healthier sweetener? 

Honey is a great natural sweetener when you’re looking to replace your use of refined sugars. 

It’s best to use an organic, local, minimally-processed honey to see the most health benefits from it.  These types of high quality honeys contain a number of antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and linked to a lower risk of many diseases. 

When used in moderate amounts, honey has even been studied to have antiviral and antibacterial benefits and can support your immune system.

Honey has also been studied to be better for blood sugar management than refined sugars, and some studies show that it may improve overall heart health. 

In addition to being a low-glycemic natural sweetener, honey also gives a floral sweetness and depth of flavor that makes this crisp extra delicious.

 

Raw apple crisp filling in a glass pie dish on a white marble counter.

 

Why you’ll love this refined sugar free apple crisp:

  • It’s an easy dessert recipe that comes together in a few steps but tastes like you spent all day on it!
  • It’s a delicious treat to bring to all of your holiday or family gatherings. The warm, comforting flavors fit right in this time of year.
  • You’ll be able to honor many food sensitivities because it’s gluten free, refined sugar free, and can be made dairy free. 
  • It’s refined sugar free and uses a minimal amount of the natural, blood-sugar balancing sweetness of honey, so you won’t feel a crash or emptiness after enjoying this treat.
  • This apple crisp is made with a few simple ingredients. You won’t have to worry about searching the grocery store for a ton of items or cluttering up your kitchen with too many utensils or measuring cups.

 

Try these variations of apple crisp:

  • Substitute apples for your favorite variety of pears or berries in the summer to enjoy this recipe year round.
  • For a dairy free, vegan apple crisp use coconut oil or Miyoko’s dairy free butter.
  • Instead of honey you can also use maple syrup, maple sugar or coconut sugar.
    • If you want to make a no sugar apple crisp, you can leave out the honey all together. It will be sweet from the apples, but less sweet overall.
  • Add more spices like cardamom or a pinch of cloves for more depth of flavor.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

 

Two individually baked sugar free apple crisps in ramekins on a white marble counter.

 

Bake individual apple crisps

Just want a little sweet treat for you and a friend, use the following quantities for 2 individual portions without having to make a full sized crisp! Follow the same instructions listed below.

Filling:

  • 1 pink lady or gala apple, ¼ inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crisp Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold and diced

 

How to make a refined sugar free apple crisp:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack set in the middle.
  2. Add all the filling ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine until no chunks of flour remain. Pour the apple mixture equally into two ramekins, or a 6-9 oz. oven safe bowl.
  3. Reuse the original bowl and add the oats, flour, chopped walnuts, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the cold butter to the crisp mixture and use a fork or your hands to break up the butter and mix until large clumps form.
  4. Crumble the crisp mixture on top of the filling, dividing it equally between both ramekins. 
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the fruit is soft and the crisp is a golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

 

A person, hand crumbling the gluten free oat crisp topping over the raw apple filling in a glass pie dish on a white marble counter.

 

FAQ

What are the best apples for apple crisp?

As mentioned above, my personal faves are Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith apples. However, a lot of people love Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious. If you want to get really fancy, use a variety of apples for more depth of flavor.

What is the difference between a crisp and a crumble?

A crisp is a dessert with fruit filling and topped with an oat crumble topping baked to crisp topping. A crumble is deep dish baked fruit dessert with fruit filling and pie or biscuit dough topping.

 

How to store your apple crisp or it make ahead:

This apple crisp will store well in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. You can reheat the crisp by baking for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. Although leftover apple crisp is good cold too.

To freeze your crisp, let it cool completely then cover with an airtight lid or transfer to a glass storage container. Freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

You can prep this dessert up to one day in advance by making your filling and topping separately. Just keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge and follow the recipe as instructed when ready to bake. 

 

A white plate of apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a gold spoon.

 

More dishes for a perfect fall dinner menu:

Pasta with Kale Sauce
Spiced Chicken Stew Instant Pot Recipe {Paleo, Dairy Free, Whole30}
Roasted Tomato & Lamb Ragu
Brown Butter Sage & Squash Soup
Roasted Winter Vegetable Kale Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette
Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner

 

Other refined sugar free dessert recipes you’ll love:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Parfait
Gluten Free Blackberry Cobbler {Paleo & Vegan Option}
Stewed Pears
Matcha Brownie with Cheesecake Swirl

 

 

ENJOY!

For more inspiration for balancing, allergy friendly recipes and nutrition tips, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or sign up to receive my newsletter to get all the latest updates on every new recipe!

If you make this gluten free, refined sugar free apple crisp, please share a photo with me! It would make my day! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @alannadesalvonutrition or email me directly at hi@alannadesalvo.com

 

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A white plate of apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a gold spoon.

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free Apple Crisp

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American, Gluten Free

Description

This gluten free, refined sugar free apple crisp is a delicious fall treat. It has everything you’d want from a classic apple crisp, but with less sugar.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Filling:

  • 4 large Pink lady apples (or 5 small (about 1.52 pounds), sliced into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 /4 tsp. kosher salt

Crisp Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or pistachio)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold and diced)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack set in the middle.
  2. Add all the filling ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine and no chunks of flour remain. Pour the apple mixture equally into two ramekins, or 6-9oz oven save bowl.
  3. Reuse the original bowl and add the oats, flour, chopped walnuts, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the cold butter to the crisp mixture and use a fork or your hands to break up the butter and mix until large clumps form.
  4. Crumble the crisp mixture on top of the filling, dividing it equally between both ramekins.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until fruit is soft and crisp is a golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!


Nutrition

  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 19.5
  • Fat: 16.5
  • Carbohydrates: 37.9
  • Fiber: 5.4
  • Protein: 3.4

Keywords: Dessert, Gluten Free

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