Apple Crisp – Healthified!

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Ever since I was a child apple crisp has been a favorite dessert of mine, so when my mom told me about a lighter apple crisp recipe that she saw on the Today Show the other day, I was immediately interested. If there is a way to lighten up this comfort food classic while still retaining its crumbly, oat-y goodness, I am definitely game.
Guess what?


It’s possible!
So what are the secrets and swaps? First, the apples are cooked down in apple juice to intensify the flavor without a lot of excess sugar, and second,(you wont believe it) is using grape nuts in place of regular nuts! This old-school classic breakfast staple provides a wonderful extra crunch in the crumble topping which, in my humble opinion, is always the best part of apple crisp 🙂 In fact, when I was little I would eat all of the fruit first before savoring the crumble top by itself. (Who am I kidding, I still do that…)
So what is the verdict of this new recipe? It is wonderful. The apples are tender, juicy, and perfectly sweet, while the crisp is crumbly, brown sugary, and absolutely delicious. When you’re craving a warm comforting dessert, but don’t want to overindulge, give this apple crisp a try; I think you’ll love it!

Apple Crisp – Healthified!

Yields: 6 1-cup servings

For Topping
  • 2/3 cup (2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 1/3 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
  • 5 tbls. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (11/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbls. butter –  melted and cooled (Use the real stuff here, it makes all the difference, and it’s only 3 tablespoons, which equals 1/2 tbls. per serving)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Whipped Cream or Cool Whip (Optional, but highly recommended!)


For Filling:
  • 6 large apples (8 ounces each) – peeled, cored, and halved
    • I used Honey Crisp because they’re the best apples on Earth, but the original recipe calls for Golden Delicious
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tbls. packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice


For the topping: 
  1. Process 1/3 cup oats in food processor until finely ground, about 20 seconds.
  2. Combine processed oats, remaining 1/3 cup oats, Grape-Nuts, sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.


For the filling: 
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut 3 apples into 1-inch pieces and slice remaining 3 apples into 1/4 inch-thick wedges.
  3. Bring apple pieces, (NOT WEDGES) apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon to simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to bowl and mash apples using potato masher. Reserve 1 tablespoon mashed apple mixture.
  5. Return remaining mashed apple mixture to skillet with apple wedges and cook, covered, until wedges just begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.
  7. Transfer apple filling into an 8-inch square baking dish and press into even layer.
  8. Add reserved mashed apple to topping mixture, stirring until mixture appears crumbly. Sprinkle topping over filling and bake until juices are bubbling and topping is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  9. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

Recipe and Nutrition information from Chris Kimball on the Today Show:

Nutrition per 1 cup serving:
Calories:300 Fat: 6 g  Saturated Fat: 4 g


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table · September 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I love a good crisp in the fall! This is perfect for a rainy evening. 🙂

    Paula M · September 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks Laura, me too! And with the rain coming in tonight, I think I will be enjoying it on THIS rainy evening 🙂

Allyn · September 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

Officially on my to do list! We may need to go apple picking again though…we only have about 1/2 dozen apples left:/

    Paula M · September 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

    It's a date, Allyn! We ran out last week and I have certainly NOT had my apple fill yet…there are way too many apple dishes left to prepare!

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