I love, love, love apple crisp!  But, since I don’t eat gluten, or most grains anymore I came up with a “gut-friendly” version.  Since apples are so fine right now and you need a great dessert alternative to pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, give this recipe a try.  But, I dare you to make the topping and not be tempted to eat most of it before adding it to the apples to bake.

By the way, I must give credit to our sweet friend, Maggie because she named the recipe.  She was over for dinner the other night and when I served this for dessert I said, “I need to give this recipe some name other than apple crisp.”  And, with her big creative brain she just popped out with, “Better Than Apple Crisp!”  So, thanks Maggie!

I didn’t use Granny Smith apples for this, too dry and tart so I used pink ladies, golden delicious and some other kind from a local apple farmer that I can’t recall.  If your digestion is really compromised then be sure to peel the apples but otherwise I love to leave the peel on.  I also saute’ the sliced apples for a bit before adding to the baking pan because they are just too crisp for me at the end of the baking time.

I find the fastest way to cut up apples is to hold the stem end up and cut down firmly as close to the core as possible on four sides and then cut them into 1/4 inch slices for this recipe, or something like that.

When serving be sure to add a little whipped cream, ice cream or whatever creamy thing you like on top of your desserts.  Honestly, I sometimes eat this for breakfast with a big dollup of yogurt on top!  You’ll be amazed at how satisfying this “Better than Apple Crisp” is.

Please share if you have a variation on this theme…love your recipe ideas!

Better Than Apple Crisp!

Serves 8


4-5 large apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.) cored, sliced into 1/4″ pieces & in half again
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1/2 cup almonds
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup grated/unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon & a pinch sea salt (really, an extra pinch makes the difference, it’s love!)
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons unrefined-virgin coconut oil melted, plus extra to grease pan
1/3 cup honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, placing the rack in the middle of the oven, grease an 8″ x 8″ or retangular glass or ceramic dish.
  2. In a large saute’ pan mix together apples, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice and saute’ over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes until apples just start to soften.
  3. Place apple mixture into gresed baking pan, set aside.
  4. In a food processor add almonds, pecans, coconut, sea salt, cinnamon, melted butter, coconut oil & honey.  Pulse for about 25 times until mixture just starts to come together as you see above.  Distribute evenly over the apple mixture and press it down a bit.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toasty brown, let cool for 15 minutes or several hours before serving.
  5. Serve it up with whipped cream or ice cream…yum!