It’s fall so naturally I feel obligated to buy apples and cook things with cinnamon. Fun fact, I actually didn’t used to like cinnamon before I went vegan so I’m wondering if my recent conversion is due to a change in taste or a desperate longing for flavorful food. (Jk, vegan food is flavorful) (but is it?) (yes, it can be, but usually I’m too lazy to make it good) So anyway, if you’re looking for something to make you feel festive, have a bunch of apples lying around or if you’re just looking for a way to make your house smell like you massacred a gingerbread man, you’ve come to the right place.
I have concocted a healthy-ish apple crisp recipe! YAY! Usually I preface “healthy-ish” recipes with a little disclaimer about how they aren’t really healthy but are simply more healthy than their full fat, processed to death and dairy laden alternatives but this recipe requires no such disclaimer because really, it’s actually not bad for you! Shocker, I know.
I was inspired to whip this up one night when I looked over my fence and saw a HEFTY lookin’ apple tree in my neighbors yard. You can probably guess where I’m going with this but it’s not *quite* as illegal as you probably think. My neighbors moved and their house is a. demolished and b. still for sale so nobody is eating these apples except deer. And now me. So anyway, my sister and I scurried over in the cover of darkness and helped ourselves to some contraband. The apples in question were medium sized, really green, really tart and just generally back-yard-apple-y (absolutely, definitely not a word or even an acceptable phrase but we’re keeping it). I thought because these were kinda measly looking fruits that the dessert wasn’t gonna be great but in fact, this one tasted better than any of the later versions so if you have access to illegal (or legal) crab apples I would definitely recommend using them.
I tried a few versions of this recipe and tweaked it each time to make it healthier, crunchier, better, etc. I’ll include these little variations at the end but all in all, each batch turned out super edible. THAT’S A WIN. No but really, they turned out good and each used minimal and decent ingredients.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/3 cup almond flour (or whatever flour you have on hand/ prefer)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- I used coconut sugar in one variation and MONK FRUIT BROWN SUGAR IN ANOTHER (wow, culinary goddess here with the healthy alternatives) *see below for variation
- 1/3 cup vegan butter COLD & CUBED
- really important that you don’t melt the butter and mix it in because it doesn’t allow the crisp to actually crisp. Call it chemistry or call it magic- just don’t melt the butter * see below for variation
- 1/4 cup cinnamon (or more)
- pinch of salt
- cube your apples and dump them in a baking dish
- you can use mini pans and make multiple little servings or one square pan- up to you
- I also added frozen berries on top of the apples in some of these because I like the added tartness. Again, up to you
- top fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon
- mix oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl
- evenly spread topping over apples
- add granola if you want
- spread your COLD butter chunks throughout your dish
- bake on 400 for ~30+ minutes (you want your fruit to be bubbling and your topping to be browned)
***Important, possibly life changing variations
- I added Purely Elizabeth banana nut butter granola to one of the batches as an additional topping and it kinda blew my mind. On its own this granola was a little too salty for me but paired with the apples it seriously made this recipe amazing. Plus the clusters are already super crispy so I cannot recommend this enough. 11/10. TRY IT.
- * a note on the monk fruit version- It’s sugar free and low cal but it does yield different results… firstly, it’s super sweet so I would go with 1/4 cup or even less if you want more of the tartness from the apples to come through. Secondly, it doesn’t caramelize quite like other sugars but this really isn’t something I minded and going forward I’m going to use this sugar because it makes this recipe super guilt free
- A similar version you can get online > suga suga
- * I did two versions of butter here- the first I just essentially put little flecks of butter over the top of my crisp and it was really good. For the second version I did 1/6 cup butter and 1/6 cup coconut oil and it didn’t taste all that different. But then I looked at the ingredients / nutritional info. on the butter and coconut oil and nutrient/ calorie wise they really weren’t all that different so depending on what you’re into, you can choose whichever modification you like. Butter obviously tastes a little better because it’s butter (duh) but isn’t a “clean” ingredient (also duh).