I hope you all had a wonderfully long, luxurious, relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I’m a day late and a dollar short with my red, white, and blue themed Healthy Berry Crisp, but the good news is, you can enjoy this easy and scrumptious crisp all summer long.
It’s no big secret I absolutely love berry desserts. Cobblers, crisps, crumbles, buckles, and slumps. I don’t discriminate. If it involves juicy, warm fruit and some kind of oatmeal or cake topping, I am 100% on board.
I’ve made a lot of berry desserts over the years, and I frankly didn’t think I had too much room left for experimentation. The components of a crisp are fairly simple and straightforward. Fruit + Oats + Sugar + Butter. (+Ice Cream. It’s totally mandatory if you ask me). Of course you can add vanilla or citrus zest, nuts or spices, but I thought this basic formula was the standard to make an excellent crisp.
As usual, I was proved wrong. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love cooking and baking. There is always room to be wonderfully, delightfully surprised. Whether it’s a new method or an unexpected ingredient, sometimes the simplest change can produce an incredible result.
Such was the case with this Healthy Berry Crisp, which I adapted from Shauna Niequist’s book Bread and Wine. I have such an appreciation for the way Shauna cooks, with an emphasis on food that is approachable for both the one cooking it and those eating it. That means her recipes are not only easy to make, but also easily enjoyed by her guests, even those with dietary restrictions.
This crisp fits that description to a tee. It is crazy simple to make, gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free. That’s right, friends. A stellar crisp can be made without a speck of white sugar or butter. Instead, this crumb topping is made with oats, almond meal, olive oil, and maple syrup. It’s practically health food, and I don’t mean that in the “it tastes like cardboard” way. I mean that in the, “You can eat this for breakfast and feel totally good about it!” kind of way. I took Shauna’s recipe and used what I had on hand, adding raspberries to the blueberry filling and crunchy pecans to the topping, but like other crisps, this one is endlessly adaptable to suit your fancy.
At this point you may be holding back an eye roll and thinking, “OK, Courtney, I guess this could pass as a breakfast crisp, but I highly doubt you could pull off this butterless, sugarless crisp as a dessert.”
I feel ya, friends. I thought the same thing. But the good news for all of us is that we’re absolutely wrong. This crisp can TOTALLY be dessert. It’s perfectly sweet and crunchy, and trust me, it accepts a big scoop of ice cream as well as any other crisp I’ve ever met. In fact, I think I might even like it better than my old butter laden standard, but let’s keep that our little secret. I can’t afford to lose butter’s trust.
Looking for more healthy berry recipes to enjoy this summer? Visit the healthy dessert archives over at TheBestDessertRecipes.com or try a few of my personal favorites!