From the USANA Test Kitchen: Healthy Apple Crisp

The apple trees in my front yard have been rather bountiful this year. From just four bushels, my mom has made dozens of jars of applesauce and apple pie filling. And with more apples still on the tree, I’m trying to find different ways to use them.

About half of the apple pie filling and applesauce my mom canned.

About half of the apple pie filling and applesauce my mom canned.

In my opinion, it’s a little too cold for Waldorf salad, but baked apples are delicious on a chilly fall day. Although apples are low glycemic, most apple desserts — pie, dumplings and crisp — have tons of added sugar, putting them higher on the glycemic index. Honestly, you don’t need a lot of extra sugar since apples provide plenty of sweetness on their own.

This healthy apple crisp focuses more on the apples and less on the topping — which is usually the best part. Using whole rolled oats, instead of quick oats, lowers the GI load. And replacing butter with coconut oil still gives it the right texture.

Adding in just a little bit of brown sugar elevates this crisp from just healthy to healthy and delicious. You could also substitute the brown sugar with honey, but it will make the topping a little sticky.

I know not everyone can step outside their front door and grab some apples from a tree. Still, if you’re looking for a healthy, lower GI dessert, give this crisp a try.

This healthy apple crisp recipe can be made as a single serving, too.

This healthy apple crisp recipe can be made as a single serving, too.

Healthy Apple Crisp (serves 5)


  • 3 apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted; plus 1 tsp. coconut oil, unmelted
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Layer thinly sliced apples in a baking dish, sprinkling cinnamon between layers. Drizzle melted coconut oil over top.
  3. Mix rolled oats with one teaspoon of cinnamon and brown sugar. Add in the unmelted coconut oil to create the crumble. Spoon over top of the apples.
  4. Bake for 15–20 minutes.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • 118 calories
  • 3.5 g fat
  • 22 g carbs
  • 3.4 g fiber
  • 13.3 g sugar
  • 1.4 g protein

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