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Apple Crisp, Paleo and Vegan

The best part about this crisp aside from how flavourful and yummy it is, is that it's totally vegan and paleo-friendly which makes it wonderful for people who have dietary restrictions or food allergies in your home.
May 8, 2020 | Joy McCarthy

My man crush Jamie Oliver posted his favourite apple crisp several weeks ago and I have literally been thinking about making my healthy and yummy version ever since! But it's not because I've been lazy, on the contrary, I've been baking and cooking up a storm!

Apple Crisp Paleo Vegan

I've been consumed by oodles of banana bread loavesgolden soup, paleo chocolate chip cookies, Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies and Chickpea Walnut Brownies from the Joyous Cookbook.


Enter this paleo and vegan apple crisp - a total ray of sunshine and a welcome change from all the chocolate I've been eating. Since this makes a rather large portion, I've been eating it for breakfast with some sheep's milk yogurt (in addition to a treat after dinner)! Walker hasn't been joining me eating it at breakfast because he's been intermittent fasting for the past couple of weeks but that doesn't stop him from eating it at night!!

This apple crisp is everything you dream it could be: crunchy and crispy on the top and sweet and soft (but not soggy) on the bottom.

I have a thing about soggy fruit in crisps and cobblers. Unless it's blueberries or raspberries, I like a little texture, so I cook it until the apples are tender but not soggy. If you like them really soft like soup, just bake longer than I have noted below.

apple crisp, paleo

The best part about this crisp aside from how flavourful and yummy it is, is that it's totally vegan and paleo-friendly which makes it wonderful for people who have dietary restrictions or food allergies in your home. It's also easy on your digestive system! This recipe is loosely based off of my Grain-free Nutty Granola from my second cookbook Joyous Detox. I love creating grain-free (no oats) crisps because my digestion prefers it that way.

apple crisp

This apple crisp recipe is...

  • Paleo and vegan
  • Very balanced dessert because it's rich in fibre, phytonutrients, good fat and protein
  • Full of flavour from cinnamon and nutmeg (cardamom would be another nice addition)
  • Kid-approved, I mean, kiddo-LOVED 
  • Digestion-friendly because there are no grains or gluten

apple crisp

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  • 5 organic apples, pink lady or royal gala, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup filtered water or apple juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil. I used an 8x10 ceramic baking dish. If you use a larger dish you'll have thinner layers and if you use a smaller dish, thicker layers. Either way, it still works!
  2. Thinly slice the apples. If you're using organic, keep the peel on. Place apples into baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add water or apple juice.
  3. Now it's time to make the topping. In a small pot on the stove, melt the coconut oil remove from heat once melted. In a large mixing bowl add shredded coconut.
  4. Now you'll need to finely chop the nuts and seeds or blitz them in a food processor. I use the food processor method because it's much quicker.
  5. Add the nuts and seeds to the bowl of shredded coconut, the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix until combined. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir together.
  6. Spoon the topping mixture on top of the apples.
  7. Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes. Check the topping at 20 minutes. If it looks like it's burning, place a sheet of tin foil on top.
  8. The crisp is done when the apples are tender. Remove from oven and serve right away if you want it warm. Place a dollop of your favourite ice cream or yogurt on top.
  9. Once crisp has cooled, place in fridge and keep for up to 1 week. Reheat for 10 minutes at 350F to enjoy leftovers.


To make this recipe nut-free, simple omit almonds and walnuts and add pumpkin seeds instead.

Update: I have increased the amount of water on the bottom to ensure the apples stay nice and moist. Originally I had 1/4 cup and have since increased it 1/2 cup.

The only decision you'll need to make is what ice cream to schlop on top! ;)

apple crisp

I hope this recipe becomes a permanent recipe on the rotation. It's a wonderful recipe to make for your mama for Mother's Day! 


Have a joyous day!

Joy xo

Heidi   •   May 12, 2020

This sounds delish! Unfortunately I’m allergic to walnuts, pecans and cashews. Can I substitute the walnuts for something else? More almonds maybe?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 12, 2020

Sarbani Biswas   •   September 2, 2020

Can I use the topping on a peach filling for a peach crisp?

Joy McCarthy   •   September 3, 2020

Tanya   •   September 27, 2020

can you recommend any substitutions for shredded coconut?

Joy McCarthy   •   September 28, 2020

Lorerta   •   October 31, 2020

Oh I going to make this tomorrow with cocanut ice cream, looks warming on the insides on this frozen snow day☃️!

Joy McCarthy   •   November 1, 2020

Joy   •   November 2, 2020

Hi Joy, I made this today. The house smells great and the apple crisp was delicious. I skipped almonds and threw in some oats.

Joy McCarthy   •   November 4, 2020

Joy P.   •   February 19, 2021

This sounds yummy, but I'm confused by your update re the amount of water. The note says you originally had "1/4 cup and have since increased it 1 cup." But the recipe itself calls for 1/2 cup.

Joy McCarthy   •   February 21, 2021

Moe   •   March 12, 2021

Make a mini one for myself this weekend

Joy McCarthy   •   March 12, 2021

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