Perfect Guilt-Free Apple Crisp

This time of year just begs us to don our big warm woolly sweaters, pack up the family and head down to the valley to take in the fall colours and pumpkin people, stop by a farm stand to stock up on the bounty of the fall harvest, and of course go apple picking.

My husband and I did this few weeks ago and came home with a couple bags of no-spray Macintosh apples and bag of Bosch pears from Daniel’s U-Pick near Windsor.

While I typically don’t eat a lot of fruit as it spikes my blood sugar, I couldn’t wait to bake up some of the apples into one of my favourite fall treats, apple crisp.

I’m not a trained chef and don’t usually develop my own recipes from scratch, but I love getting inspired by recipes and tweaking the ingredients to suit my tastes, preferences and developing healthier versions.

So I mixed and matched a couple different recipes added a few new ingredients, and came up with the perfect gluten-free, no sugar added, guilt-free apple crisp.

I’ve replaced the typical oats and brown sugar with pecans, almond flour and a sprinkle of Xylitol to create a healthier version of this typically high-sugar, insulin-spiking, fall favourite. It’s not exactly low carb due to the apples, but this crisp can definitely be enjoyed with less guilt and health implications than traditional recipes.

I’ve made this on two occasions now and it’s been a hit with friends, family and kids alike topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Gluten-Free, No-Sugar Added, Guilt-Free Apple Crisp


4 large apples (or 8 small) peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp arrowroot flour/powder
1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 -2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp Xylitol
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp butter (melted)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Place the apples in a 1/5 quart baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the water, lemon juice, cinnamon and arrowroot until combined. Pour over apples and stir to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, pecans, xylitol, coconut oil, butter, vanilla and cinnamon, salt and combine together until it forms a crumbly mix. Sprinkle topping over apples
  • Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  • I served the crisp with a dollop of real whipped cream.


If healthier versions of sweet treats like this apple crisp and eating more cleanly, are something you are interested in, please check out my new online group coaching program It’s a proven step-by-step process to break the nasty sugar cycle, end cravings, boost your energy and reduce future health risks. Registration is now open. 

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on Nov 3, 2015


  1. Catherine on November 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Going to make this…sounds delicious!!

  2. Gail on November 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Oh my goodness! I am going to make this today!! I’ve been craving something sweet and to do it without all the “extra’s”! Thank you!

  3. judy on January 15, 2016 at 12:39 am

    What is a 1/5 quart baking dish!?!

    • Michelle on January 17, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Sorry about that Judy, any baking dish will do – depends on how deep or shallow you like your crisp.

Leave a Comment