Nan’s Gluten Free Apple Crisp

The weekend is almost here, and the fall season is upon us!  I love this time of year, especially in New England:  cool brisk mornings, beautiful foliage, new beginnings, hot beverages, gluten free apple crisp… 😀

Although the foliage in Texas is no match for my homeland this time of year (sigh), I’m still loving the local seasonal harvests at the farmers’ markets (the drop in temperature is nice too!).

Hello Autumn!

Honestly though in my opinion, one of the BEST parts of autumn every year is all things pumpkin and apple – you can find that pretty much anywhere in America at this time!

Apple picking for gluten free apple crisp recipe

Although it’s not quite time for Thanksgiving, it’s definitely prime time for apple-picking (or just making things with apples) – at least according to my social media news-feed these last few weeks.  😀

That said, my mom (Nancy/ “Nan”) has given me permission to share with you her recipe for the best apple crisp I have ever had, which she makes for our family every Thanksgiving!  Thanks Mom.

The original recipe actually comes from the Chesterfield Inn in Vermont, where she and my dad visited back in the 80’s!

I have modified it a bit, and you may notice that when I make desserts I use specific sweeteners that align best with the specific needs of many people in my clinic (food sensitivities, celiac disease, IBS, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies etc.).  These sweeteners are widely available at every supermarket that I know of (usually in a natural aisle), and their taste is decadent and so there is no deprivation! Win-win.

As a reminder, my definition of health has nothing to do with low calorie or sugar free, so this is NOT a low-calorie or low-sugar treat!  My sweeteners of choice are calorically equal their counterparts in the original recipe.  And that’s how it should be.  

We talk all about these food fundamentals in my Kitchen Alchemy E-course!

***I realize not everyone has any of those needs or interests.  SO if coconut palm sugar ain’t your thing, and you could care less about the above information, just use brown sugar.*** 😉 

fresh homemade baked apple crisp

You have probably also noticed my recipes use a LOT of butter!  That’s totally okay.  We are programmed by false advertising to believe that butter is bad for us, but in truth it has been used by our ancestors for centuries.  Butter is not the issue (for people who tolerate dairy from a digestive standpoint).  Fat and calorie-dense foods are not the issue.  So what is it?  Stay tuned. (Have I told you I am a bit of an un-orthodox dietitian?)

I also have readers with a vegan/dairy free preference and so I have also included a vegan and gluten free apple crisp variation for you!

Get creative and make this your way, choosing the options below that best align with your life!

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Recipe

gluten free apple crisp


  • 14 Cortland apples, peeled and cored and sliced thinly
  • 2 sticks cold butter (OR 1 cup solid coconut oil/ cold Earth Balance) plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons flour of your choice (I have been on a cassava flour kick lately, and I also love Buckwheat flour. But any kind of flour will work!)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Peel, slice and core apples, then pour them evenly throughout well-buttered 9×12 inch casserole dish.
  • Combine ALL other ingredients into a food processor; blend or pulse until it has been evenly mixed.
  • Distribute and press entire mixture over the apples.
  • Bake at 350 F for one hour, uncovered.
  • Enjoy with some optional vanilla ice cream, coffee, tea etc.

If you love this recipe and decide to share it with others, that is fantastic!  Please remember to credit Whole-istic Living (or my mom) as a courtesy.

Thanks and have a great holiday season… I’ll talk to you soon!

<3 Jenna


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