Gluten-Free Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp with a Healthy Twist

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Cobbler. Crisp. Crumble. Whatever you call it, it’s a dessert with many flavors. My delicious Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp was baked with the fruit mixture on the bottom and has a crumb topping, making it a crisp. If you didn’t know, the difference between a crumble and a crisp is the topping. A crisp typically consists of an oatmeal and/or nut topping that crisps while baking. A crumble topping is more cake-like, consisting mostly of butter, flour, and sugar.

Wild Blueberry Crisp

A cobbler is altogether different and is more of a fruit pie, with a thick, usually biscuit-like crust, atop a fruit filling.

Although these fall-inspired desserts may have different names, there is one similarity across the board…they are delicious. What makes them so delicious? It appears to be all the sugar and fat! I have yet to come across a cobbler, crisp, or crumble that isn’t loaded with sugar and butter. I decided to ask an expert why this is the case, so I went straight to the source: my sister. Georgie is a very gifted baker, knitter, painter, and gardener. She’s pretty much awesome with anything that involves intricate measuring and hand-work (a trait not inherent in my DNA). Her answer to my question was simple, succinct, and totally her style: “it’s dessert.” She even went so far as to say that she didn’t think many recipes needed so much fat and sugar, but that is the way it has been done by home cooks for generations.

Needless to say, I set out to challenge the status quo. I wanted to create a crisp that was not only tasty and dessert-like (i.e., husband and daughter-approved), but had what I consider ‘normal’ amounts of fat and sugar. This is how my Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp was born.

Wild Blueberry Crisp

It’s tasty. It’s sweet. It’s dessert-like. It’s even considered healthy. Of course anytime you cook with frozen Wild Blueberries, you’ve upped the healthy ante ten-fold over most fruits. They are antioxidant wonders! Just one cup of Wild Blueberries has more total antioxidant capacity than 20 other fruits and veggies (including cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries, and even cultivated blueberries). In fact, Wild Blueberries have twice the antioxidant power of “tame” blueberries!

Apple season is just around the corner so I added naturally sweet apples to the mix to celebrate the arrival of fall; it’s my favorite time of year! I think the apples and Wild Blueberries complement each other really well flavor-wise, too. I also added a secret ingredient to this crisp to up the healthy ante that much more. Instead of using corn starch to thicken the delicious sauce that oozes from every slice of this flavorful crisp, I used chia seeds. I’ve used these potent seeds before to thicken up the Wild Blueberries, so I knew it would work. I stirred a few tablespoons of chia into the Wild Blueberry and apple layer on the bottom. It worked like magic to create a perfect texture for the Wild Blueberry sauce.

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This recipe is gluten-free and vegan. I used minimal sugar and steered clear of the butter. I used a fraction of fat that other recipes call for and just two tablespoons of brown sugar for the entire recipe. Once you taste the intense flavor of the Wild Blueberries in this crisp, I promise you will not miss the butter or the sugar!

I think I succeeded in challenging the norm. I hope you’ll try this tasty crisp for yourself and let me know.

Wild Blueberry Apple Crisp

Here’s to the onset of fall!

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Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp

4 apples, peeled and sliced

3 cups frozen fresh Wild Blueberries, thawed (plus more for the garnish)

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used stevia brown sugar blend)

1 cup oatmeal (I used 2 Nature’s Own Coconut Oatmeal flavored packets)

1 cup pecan pieces

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350. Slice up the apples and place in a large bowl with the thawed frozen Wild Blueberries. Stir in the chia seeds. Blend the pecan pieces in your blender until they look like course sand. In a separate bowl, mix together the oatmeal, pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, incorporate the coconut oil.

Grease the bottom of the baking dish with coconut oil. Pour the fruit into the dish. Cover with the oatmeal pecan mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, cover with foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with thawed Wild Blueberries on top.

About the Author

Danielle Omar is a registered dietitian, clean-eating coach, teacher and cookbook author. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded Danielle Omar Nutrition to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog.

Danielle has a Master’s degree in Nutrition and has been teaching nutrition at the college level for over 10 years. She has contributed to local and national media outlets such as The Washingtonian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, and Women’s Health Magazine. Through her private nutrition practice, media work, and group programs, Danielle has successfully motivated hundreds of busy professionals and families to eat confidently and live a healthy life.

10 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp with a Healthy Twist

  1. Mary

    Sounds great, my daughter allergic to coconut oil, do you have an alternative oil suggestion. My kids love love apples and blueberries, can’t wait to try.

  2. annie wilkinson

    What size pan do you use for this and how many servings?
    thanks so much for posting this,

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