Looking for the perfect healthy apple crumble recipe with just the right amount of sweetness? I’ve got you. After trying just about every apple crumble recipe on the internet, I just couldn’t find one that was just right, so I made my own! This recipe is tried-and-true and easy to make with ingredients you have on hand. With a few simple swaps, I made the classic apple crumble recipe just a bit more nutritious (but not so nutritious that you’ll forget you’re eating dessert). *wink*
Why I Love This Easy Apple Crumble Recipe
An apple crumble (aka apple crisp) is the perfect recipe to make in the fall, when you’re most likely to have an abundance of apples. Let’s be honest though, there’s never a bad time for apple crumble. I love this recipe because it’s a great way to use up apples that are past their peak and no longer crisp. I also love it because it’s just a tad bit healthier than your standard apple crisp or crumble.
How to Make a Healthy Apple Crumble
The meaning of “healthy” is totally subjective, but if you ask me, healthy can apply to any dish made with mostly nutrient-dense ingredients that can benefit your health. Is this recipe 100% sugar-free? No. Is it low-cal? No. It’s still dessert, y’all — and that’s okay. I made a few substitutions to make a classic apple crumble just a bit more nutritious without compromising on flavor.
Most apple crumble recipes advise you to peel your apples first, and they may include some flour.
I included whole apples (with the skin) for some extra fiber and color in this healthy apple crumble recipe. You’ll also see high-fiber whole grains like oats and whole wheat flour. Fiber is key because it helps with digestion, stabilizing blood sugars, lowering cholesterol levels, and keeping you full.
Be Mindful With Sweeteners
This is dessert – it still has some sweetness to it but not as much as other recipes. Many of the crumble recipes I’ve tried in the past were a bit too sweet for my taste, so I changed a couple of things. In this lower-sugar apple crumble, I cut the amount of sugar added to the apples in half, and I used honey instead of sugar in the crumble.
Let’s get something straight, “natural” sweeteners like honey and maple syrup are still considered added sugar. Our bodies react in basically the same way to honey as they do to table sugar. The difference is that honey and maple syrup have more flavor and water. For that reason, I was able to use less sweetener and less of other liquid ingredients like oil in this recipe. I’d say that’s a win!
If you’d prefer to make this recipe lower in carbs or with a different sugar substitute, see the recipe modifications section below.
Choose Fats and Oils You Feel Good About
This is an apple crumble with no butter! (Gasp… hear me out.)
You’ll notice that I use canola oil in this recipe. You may be asking yourself, “What’s the deal with canola oil? Is it good? Bad?” This article on canola oil and health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explains it a lot more thoroughly than I can in the context of this recipe. (Please read if you’re interested!) Here’s the basic rationale for using canola oil – it is lower in saturated fat and higher in unsaturated fats than butter, which makes it a more heart-healthy option.
You can definitely customize this recipe if there is another fat you’d prefer to use. Coconut oil would work well, but you can also use our friend butter!
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Make the filling.
Dice apples into 1/4 inch cubes. I used a mix of granny smith and fuji apples for a balance of sweetness and tartness. You could use any apples though – even ones that are starting to get a bit mushy!
Toss the diced apples right into a pan or skillet. (One with a lid is preferable.) Add brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the pan and stir until the apples are coated. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes with the lid on and 3 minutes with the lid off. Cooking the apples before they bake with the rest of the crumble makes them softer and more caramelized.
3. Make the crumble
Combine the dry ingredients (oats, flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt), then add the oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir the entire mixture until evenly incorporated and crumbly. The mixture will look a bit wet at this point, but that’s okay!
4. Combine & bake
Spread the apple mixture in an 11×7 baking dish, then top with the crumble mixture. Bake uncovered until browned, about 40 minutes.
5. Top & serve
Cool for 10 minutes and serve! Top with ice cream or yogurt.
- Make it vegan – Making this a vegan apple crumble is easy! Swap honey for maple syrup and top with vegan ice cream or vegan yogurt.
- Make it gluten-free – Use gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour like almond flour or coconut flour.
- Make it dairy-free – Top with dairy-free ice cream.
- Make it nut-free – Replace almonds with pumpkin seeds or 1/2 cup oats.
- Make it without added sugar – Instead of using brown sugar in the filling, use the same amount of unsweetened applesauce. Instead of honey, use date sugar.
- Make it lower in carbs – Cut the brown sugar in half or replace it with 2 tablespoons of stevia. Top with low-carb ice cream.
- Make it lower in calories – Only use 1/2 cup of sliced almonds, instead of a full cup.
- Make it sweeter – Use brown sugar in the crumble topping instead of honey.
- Make it without canola oil – The same volume of melted coconut oil or butter would also work in this recipe.
- Make it in a skillet – If you have an oven-proof skillet, this recipe just got even easier! Keep the apples in the skillet after sauteeing, top with the crumble, and bake in the oven for the same amount of time.
Wholesome Healthy Apple Crumble
- pan with lid
- glass baking dish
- 3 small Granny Smith apples diced
- 4 small Fuji apples diced
- 0.25 cup brown sugar
- 0.5 lemon juiced
- 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.75 tsp salt
- 0.33 cup canola oil
- 0.33 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Combine filling ingredients in a pan with a lid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes with the lid on and 3 minutes with the lid off. The apples should be soft and the liquid should look syrupy. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients for the crumble (oats, flour, almonds, cinnamon, salt). Add the canola oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix together until evenly incorporated and crumbly.
- Add apple filling to an 11×7 baking dish. Top with an even layer of the crumble.
- Bake until crisp on top, about 40 minutes. Top with ice cream or yogurt.
- Nutrition facts are listed for the crumble by itself, without ice cream or any other toppings.