Amazing Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe (gluten-free, grain-free, no refined sugar, reduced-carb)

apple crisp

By: Mike Geary
Co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

How would you like to enjoy delicious “sinful” Apple Crisp again, but not feel guilty about it?  Well, now you can!

My wife and I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and we usually make it at least once or twice a month!

This healthier Paleo Apple Crisp recipe removes all the worst ingredients (the wheat flour and the sugar), and uses healthier versions of all ingredients, including a mix of almond & coconut flour, which is much more nutritious and lower-carb than wheat flour and without any gut-harming gluten.

In addition, we use a smaller amount of sugar  than is in most recipes, and we substitute coconut sugar instead of normal refined sugar, since coconut sugar at least has some beneficial minerals and other nutrients.  With the wheat flour removed and the sugar lessened on this recipe, this apple crisp won’t give you the normal blood sugar bomb that most apple crisp recipes would.

To make this even healthier, we use a pasture-raised butter (such as Kerrygold or Organic Valley brands), rich in healthy CLA fats, vitamin K2, and other powerful nutrients for your health.  If the concept of butter being healthy is a new concept for you, just read this article about why cream and butter can actually help prevent heart disease.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

5 McIntosh or any apple you prefer
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

¾ cup almond flour
¾ cup coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar **
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup organic coconut flakes
1/2 pound cold pasture-raised butter, diced

** To make a lower sugar recipe, you can cut the coconut sugar by half and add in a couple of stevia packets

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.  Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, coconut sugar, salt, coconut flakes, mix thoroughly. Add in the cold pasture-raised butter in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands as a last resort), mash and cut the butter into the dry ingredients for several minutes, until you have pieces the size of peas. Scatter the topping evenly over the apples.

Optional healthy/tasty addition:  Add some pecan pieces mixed into the topping.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.  Enjoy some fresh whipped pasture-raised cream for a decadent yet healthy dessert.

I LOVE having this apple crisp with my daily coffee!

For more amazing , mouth-watering Paleo dessert recipes like this, make sure you have the brand-new Paleo Sweets dessert cookbook as a resource in your kitchen!

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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  1. Love your recipe, but how about a Print Button???

    • it was really weird that there was no print button, but…….. when I hit print it only printed out the recipe NOT all the advertising! Good Luck! I cant wait to try the recipe!

  2. Too bad you do not offer dairy free option for those who are allergic to casein eggs.

  3. My family doesn’t care for coconut – and honestly – I would miss the traditional oats in the topping – can they be substituted for the coconut flakes?

    • Yes, you can use oats in the topping and that’s still fairly healthy. It will increase the carb count a bit and the blood sugar response a little, but of all the grains, oats are one of the healthiest, and oats are gluten-free as well with the exception of traces of gluten if the facility processes wheat or barley too.

    • I hope the coconut can be replaced….we hate coconut.

  4. Do you think it woyld work to substitute coconur oul for the butter for a dairy free option?

  5. Swerve instead of coconut sugar?

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe!! Love apple crisp!

  7. You could use ghee instead of butter. Ghee is clarified butter with no traces of milk proteins.

  8. I’m allergic to all nuts (except coconut of course). What can I substitute for almond flour? Many of your recipes include nuts or thier by-products.

  9. I like the idea of paleo diet, unfortunately coconut is a common substitute for wheat flour which causes an even worse gut reaction than gluten in me including a migraine on top of it all. Any suggestions as a substitute for the coconut flour and coconut sugar and coconut oil, so its still paleo and edible.

  10. I made this, and the topping was so awful! I ended taking it off and using Stevia brown sugar. Much better!

  11. Looks good but I’m allergic to coconut- what can I use instead of ingredients with coconut? Anything that has coconut in it sends me to the hospital with hives. Ruth

  12. I was hesitant about a half pound of butter(!) and I see why. Flavor ok, because, well – butter. A good crisp is more than just that, however. Way too much in my estimation….didn’t give the almond or coconut flours a chance to crisp up. I’ve made crisps a million times – all kinds – never have I encountered a recipe that calls for so much. This isn’t a typo is it?

  13. There is a product by Coconut Secret called Coconut Crystals
    Its made from tapping the tree – the sap is naturally sweet (from the coconut blossoms) – and dried.
    It is sweet but NOT coconutty at all in flavour – it looks like flaky brown sugar but doesn’t really taste like brown sugar but its sweet .

    It is Organic, Low Glycemic, Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Vegan
    GI 35, Vitamin C, broad spectrum B vitamins, 17 amino acids and a nearly neutral PH.

    I discovered this by accident because my blood sugar was getting too high.
    I know this sounds like an ad, but am not in any way related to the product or suppliers but sharing this information because it really helped me.
    I use it for everything (I need a sweetener for) instead of sugar in recipes, in my coffee, lemonade, tea you get the picture. I have completely eliminated cane sugar from my diet. I tried the recipe with coconut oil, the coconut crystals and it was great.
    I mention that it it does not taste like coconut at all – I am from the Caribbean and love all things coconut, just mentioning because I am not adverse to coconut flavor, but this does not have a coconut flavor.

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