Apples to Apples: A healthy Autumn dessert!

I'm obsessed with everything fall.  The weather, the holidays, the decorations, the food.  Suddenly its ok to eat things you wouldn't normally eat during the year- pumpkin, candy corn, turkey leftovers, cranberry sauce and stuffing.  Like seriously, find me somebody who regularly eats cranberry sauce.  Do these people exist?

I won't deny I tend to have a sweet tooth.  I don't go overboard with it, but there is no denying I need something sweet in my day.  Whether this is a piece of dark chocolate, fresh picked strawberries, or baked sweet potato fries topped with cinnamon- there has to be something sweet in my day!  Recently, I have been craving apples. I used to shudder at the thought of eating a granny smith; now they are one of my favorites!!

I needed to make a paleo friendly dessert for a party, and I decided apples were the best fit. I wanted to make a gluten free paleo apple crisp that wasn't too sweet but tasty too.  Fortunately, there are a lot of options available for those who are trying to stay gluten free.  Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, or have an autoimmune disease, gluten free is the way to go.

To touch lightly on the topic, gluten should be avoided by people with the above stated conditions because it causes gut irritation, stimulates the immune system (in a bad way), increases gut permeability, and thus causes inflammation.  Gluten causes direct gut cell wall injury that can take anywhere between 2 to 12 weeks to repair after it is consumed.  Fo those with celiac disease, it can take years of banning gluten before the intestines completely heal.  For healthy individuals without celiac disease or gut sensitivity, the damage to individual cells and junctions between them that can be caused by gluten is seemingly quick to heal; anywhere from a few days to 3 weeks.   So healthy individuals will usually be asymptomatic from exposure to gluten.

Just to be clear about gluten sensitivity, it is extremely undiagnosed. Gluten intolerance is expected to affect up to 20% of the American population, which should give us a clue that our grains are not the same our grandparents grew up with.   In addition, it is estimated 1 in every 100 Americans suffer from celiac disease but only 5% are diagnosed.  Why is this being unaddressed in the medical world?

Fortunately, more and more institutions and restaurants are offering gluten free options for patrons.  And more and more recipes are available to navigate your way through gluten-free.  My gluten-free apple crisp is a great start- and gets rave reviews!

Gluten-free Apple Crisp

4 cups apples-use a variety! (peeled, cored and sliced thin)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
2 tsp of lemon juice (I fresh squeeze a lemon)
2 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp of coconut sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cashew meal or flour
4 tbsp ground walnuts
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl combine apples, coconut milk, coconut sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice.  In a separate small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the crumble topping.  Mix until crumbly.  If too dry you can add more coconut oil. 

Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and pour mixture into pan.  Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the apple mixture.  Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until apples are tender.

Serve and enjoy!!


  1. I made this for our small group this week. Everyone enjoyed it. A delicious healthy snack on a cool Fall night! Thanks Lindsay :)


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