– vegan – gluten free – Refined sugar free –
Soft, tender apples in a sweet caramel sauce, finished with a decadent crumb topping. A dessert everyone will Love! Eat by itself or serve with dairy-free vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!
A blender (for the caramel sauce)
A 9×13 inch or 3 quart baking dish
See below for a breakdown of ingredients and substitutions.
To make the caramel apple crisp, you will need:
For the apple mixture:
- Apples: though lacking in many vitamins and minerals, apples are amazing for cleansing the colon. As apples move through your gut, the pectin from the apples will “pick up” bacteria, viruses, yeast, mold and other debris that has built up and will move it out of the body. In other words, apples can help prevent acne, inflammation, weight gain and many other signs of underlying disease. The best apples for apple crisp is a combination of sweet and tart. I used fuji apples and granny smith.
- Sweet: fuji, gala and golden delicious
- Tart: granny smith, cortland and empire
- Fresh lemon juice: always opt for fresh lemons compared to bottled lemon juice, which contains additives and preservatives to keep its color. Fresh lemon juice has a brighter, stronger flavor, so you will need much less of it to get the same effect as bottled juice. The juice of one lemon has 25% of your daily vitamin C intake. The high acidity of citrus fruits also makes them beneficial for digestion and weight loss.
- Arrowroot starch/flour: a healthier thickening agent, comparable to cornstarch. It lacks many vitamins and minerals but is usually used in small amounts in recipes. Corn starch will slightly change the taste and appearance of your recipe, but arrowroot starch does not. Unlike cornstarch, arrowroot is free of GMOs. However, arrowroot is significantly more expensive than cornstarch, so it’s totally fine to substitute with cornstarch for a more affordable option. Substitutions: you can substitute 1 tbsp of cornstarch for 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger: these spices have great anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Adding spices to your meals is a simple way to prevent the risk of heart disease and lower blood sugar levels.
- Fresh apple juice or apple cider: this is the magic ingredient in this recipe, giving the apples a bit of sweetness and moisture. Look for apple juice/cider that contains only apples.
For the caramel sauce:
- Medjool dates, pitted: a naturally sweet fruit that tastes like caramel and has the consistency of caramel when blended with coconut milk. Like most fruit, dates are a healthy source of carbs and fiber and can fix your sweet tooth without breaking your diet.
- Lite coconut milk: a good source of healthy fats and a great alternative to cow’s milk, which contains unnecessary added sugar.
- Sea salt: a natural alternative to table salt, which is more heavily processed and contains additives.
For the crumb topping:
- Gluten-free rolled oats (not instant or steel cut): a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of rolled oats has 5 grams of protein, 82% of your daily manganese, 24% of your phosphorus, 21% of your selenium, 18% of your zinc, 18% of your copper and 17% of your vitamin B1. If you’re interested, I have a lot more information about rolled oats and other types of oats here.
- Almond flour: a healthy, gluten-free and grain-free alternative to grain-based flours. It is void of refined carbs and lower calories. Therefore, it is also a great alternative for those trying to lose weight.
- Coconut flour: like almond flour, coconut flour is a healthy, gluten-free alternative to grain-based flours and can contribute to weight loss when substituted for white flour. Whereas almond flour is high-fat, coconut flour is high-carb. A 1/4 cup of coconut flour has 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of net carbs, 4 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein. You can also substitute the coconut flour for almond flour in this recipe.
- Pecans: loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and healthy fats. Just 1/4 cup of pecans has 2.5 grams of protein, 2.6 grams of fiber, 0.3 grams omega-3 and 5.6 grams omega-6 — not to mention 68% of your daily recommended manganese, 36% of your copper, 15% of your zinc, 11% of your phosphorous and 11% of your magnesium. Chopped pecans work best for this recipe. Walnuts will also work for this recipe in place of the pecans.
- Pure maple syrup: although high in sugar, is loaded with 24 antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect against chronic diseases, brain inflammation, intestinal inflammation, and nerve inflammation. Therefore, pure maple syrup is a great natural sweetener when used in moderation. Fake maple syrup is made with high fructose corn syrup and provides zero health benefits.
- Extra virgin olive oil: one of the best oils for its healthy, monounsaturated fats. Just 4 tablespoons of evoo has over 35% of your daily intake of vitamin K and vitamin E, as well as 5% of your daily omega-6. It is also one of the most beneficial foods for healing inflammation due to the presence of oleic acid and oleocanthol. It is important to choose extra virgin olive oil over other lighter olive oils that have been diluted with cheaper oils like soybean oil or canola oil that have less health benefits. Evoo becomes even more valuable when you pair it with fresh vegetables, as the fats from the oil help to better absorb the nutrients in the vegetables. Substitutions: coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Sea salt