Foods That Work For You: Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Posted by Dani on March 28, 2014

healthy quinoa apple crisp
Why not put your food to work?

Delicious and packed with superfoods and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this is a dish that actually heals your body. It’s protein-rich and gluten-free, and contains no refined sugar. When you eat this dessert you know you’re doing something good for your body. It’s so healthy that I’m adding it to my list of desserts that are good enough to eat for breakfast, along with this coconut ice cream we’re addicted to.

And did I mention it’s delicious?

We found this recipe last year when my youngest injured her knee right before her provincial volleyball tournament. We were trying to “super-heal” the injury and her doctor put her on a hard-core anti-inflammatory diet. The improvement in her swollen knee was remarkable. I could actually tell if she was cheating on her diet just by looking at her knee. The diet was very restrictive, but this was one recipe that helped us get through it.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert

Why should you care about incorporating anti-inflammatory foods in your diet? In a nutshell, inflammation is the number one reason that will cause you to consult a doctor. Inflammation plays a role in arthritis, heart disease, obesity, dementia, migraines, Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma, diabetes, sports injuries, and aging.

Can I repeat the last one? AGING. I am getting close to an… ahem… certain age, and I’m not going down without a fight.

Want more reasons to feel good while you eat this crisp? Here are 5 things you need to know about the ingredients in this recipe:

1. Quinoa is a healing food because it is a great source of manganese and magnesium, which help metabolize omega-3 fats. Manganese nourishes ligaments and magnesium reduces muscle pain, making these a pain-fighting pair.

2. Quinoa is also a great source of lysine, which helps with tissue growth and repair.

3. Nuts and hemp are a great source of protein and essential fats.

4. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, considered a miracle ingredient because your body uses it to fight viruses and bacteria. It helps your immune system, metabolism, energy, and can even promote weight loss.

5. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Looking for more incentive to try out this recipe? Here’s a biggie – it’s taste approved by Isabel, my youngest who has an incredibly picky palate.

In our house we don’t like to compromise on taste. If it’s healthy but tastes like sawdust, we don’t want it. Our toughest judge is Isabel, as Nads mentioned in her banana bread post. Sometimes I optimistically try to sneak in a healthy ingredient but she’ll wrinkle her nose and call me on it. No fooling her. This crisp gets her seal of approval. It’s healthiness that tastes great.

I just made it today to bring to a volleyball tournament this weekend. I’ll be having it for breakfast.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp



Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
(adapted from Meals That Heal Inflammation, by Julie Daniluk)

6 cups apples, peeled and chopped (about 12 apples)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups almonds (or hazlenuts or pecans)
1 cup rolled quinoa flakes
½ cup hemp
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix chopped apples, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a 2L casserole dish.
3. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until chopped into small pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
4. Spread topping over fruit
5. Bake 1 hour 30 min until topping begins to brown.

21 Responses to “Foods That Work For You: Gluten-Free Apple Crisp”

  1. This looks great! YUM!

  2. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jo-Anna says:

    Crisps are one of our family favourites! I’m loving the idea of adding the rolled quinoa flakes and almonds to the topping…so healthy and yummy!

    • Dani says:

      I find nut toppings on crisps stay crispy even the next day, compared to some toppings which get soggy. Great ingredients, and my kids don’t think it tastes “healthy” 🙂

  4. I’m going to show this to my hubby, he LOVES apple crisp and we are both gluten free

    • Dani says:

      Thanks for dropping by Angie! This is a great recipe. Makes me feel great whenever I can sneak in some healthier ingredients 🙂

  5. Tia says:

    Vegan friendly! Love this. I’ve never tried to do a crisp with quinoa before, I’ll have to give this a try.

  6. PIN PIN PIN!!! I totally want to make this. Love your blog!!!

    • Dani says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Tiffany! This was the first notice I saw when I got home after a really long day. Cheered me up immediately! Thanks for visiting!

  7. Ohhh, that looks sooo good – thanks for the recipe (it’s a keeper!)!!

  8. Danica says:

    Looks so tasty! I will have to figure out how to make a smaller version for 1 person! 🙂

    • Dani says:

      Thanks Danica! One thing I do sometimes is make the whole recipe of topping and then freeze half so you can take it out and whip one up in no time. It freezes just fine.

  9. Christine says:

    I must eat some NOW!!!! Yum!

  10. Robert says:

    I thought this might be lovely but maple syrup is maybe up of nearly 70% Sugar!!

    That’s not healthy and we should be giving that to kids.

    • Dani says:

      Thanks for your comment. Maple syrup is definitely a sweetener. It does however have healthy components you don’t find in other common sweeteners, including minerals, vitamins, and valuable antioxidants. In our family, we do think it’s fine to eat sweets in a balanced way, but of course that’s a personal decision. In this recipe, it’s not a critical ingredient and could be left out if you choose. For the topping, I would increase the amount of coconut oil and maybe add a little applesauce to help the ingredients stick together. Thanks for dropping by!

  11. Robert says:

    * previous post “shouldn’t”

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