Lightened Up Apple Crisp

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC. All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, during one of my massive Sunday food prep sessions, I had the urge to make apple crisp. Apple crisp is totally one of those perfect fall desserts that you just HAVE to make at least once a year, right? I definitely think so, but despite being made with fruit, it’s really not so great for you. Every time I’ve tried to healthify apple crisp in the past, I still ended up using butter, white flour, or granulated sugar to some extent. Either that, or I ended up with a massive kitchen fail. My desire to create the perfect lightened up apple crisp recipe came at a great time, because I was recently asked to develop a recipe using Canadian maple syrup through my relationship with FitFluential.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Canadian Maple Syrup

This was perfect because one of my favorite ways to sweeten a recipe without using any added sugar is with real maple syrup. It’s pure, all natural, and something we pretty much always have in stock in our kitchen — and for more than just topping pancakes or waffles with. In the past couple of weeks, aside from this apple crisp recipe, Tim and I used Canadian maple syrup in recipes like quinoa stuffed acorn squash, crockpot pumpkin oatmeal, and mashed sweet potatoes (made with only the syrup and plain Greek yogurt!). And on our meal plan later this week? Maple dijon chicken drumsticks. It’s a very versatile ingredient, and it really adds a lot of depth/complexity to our cooking.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Canadian Maple Syrup

Keep in mind that a recipe is not necessarily sugar free just because it doesn’t call for any added white or brown sugar. For example, maple syrup is still a source of sugar because it’s made directly from the sap of sugar maple trees (the sap is boiled down 40 times to make the syrup). It’s just a better choice in my opinion because it’s unprocessed and offers health benefits of vitamin and mineral content without losing its sweet taste. Think zinc and magnesium (necessary minerals for post workout recovery!), potassium, and 54 different antioxidant compounds (the darker the grade, the higher the antioxidant levels).

Anyways, back to the apple crisp. After poking around a little bit online, I think I was able to combine a bunch of different ideas to create a winning recipe for you guys.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Makes a 9×13 inch pan’s worth (serves a crowd!)


  • 6 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup Canadian maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsalted pecan halves/pieces
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • Coconut oil or coconut oil cooking spray

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray, or grease with regular coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the other ingredients together.
  4. Once combined, spread evenly into the baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown and begins to crisp up.
  6. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top, and enjoy!

Lightened up apple crisp

This apple crisp, despite not having the typical bad-for-you ingredients, still had an ooey gooey middle and tasted like the traditional version. The only thing I would say is that its not AS crispy as its non-healthified cousin. After Tim and I finished all our food prep that Sunday, we each enjoyed some of the apple crisp with a scoop of So Delicious almond milk frozen dessert. It definitely satisfied my sweet tooth craving, without the guilt!

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

You can make this recipe for a smaller group by cutting the ingredients in half and using an 8×8 baking dish instead. Just cook for 30 minutes instead of going over. As long as the pans are the same depth, you should be okay. I’ve made both versions now, and each came out great.

–Let’s chat–
How do you make apple crisp? What’s your favorite go to fall dessert? How do you like to sweeten recipes without using any added sugar? What’s something you think you would like to make using Canadian maple syrup?

Next on my maple “to try” list is maple water! As someone who simply cannot jump on the coconut water bandwagon, I have high hopes for this one.

Almond Flour Berry Muffins

Good morning! My friend Cate recently requested that I share this recipe on the blog, so today I’m sending these almond flour berry muffins your way. I got this recipe at my friend Dawn’s healthy eating party and recipe swap at the beginning of the year, and they quickly became a fun baking favorite!

almond flour berry muffins

Almond Flour Berry Muffins


  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • Splash of chia seeds and dark chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients (berries too) in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
  5. Evenly fill each baking cup with the batter.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

I like these muffins for the blueberry and chocolate flavor combo. Also, the chia seeds add that extra nutritional punch for the perfect grab and go snack, breakfast, or pre-workout fuel. An added bonus is that they are gluten free! For anyone who came to Slesh’s bachelorette party, these are the same muffins I made for our limo ride to Long Island in the morning.

Let me know if you try these. Enjoy!

–Let’s chat–
Do you have any go to baking recipes? What are your favorite flavor combinations?

Typically I am a sucker for anything that has peanut butter and chocolate together!

Catching Up On Eats

Time for a fun another fun food recap of the things I’ve eaten lately!


We’ve been eating a ton of yogurt bowls in the morning which have replaced my go to cottage cheese breakfast concoctions. Just scoop a few tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt in a bowl with a handful of blueberries, a teaspoon of chia seeds, a teaspoon of flax-seed, a teaspoon of wheat bran, and a handful of slivered almonds. The pomegranates in this pic were a bonus!

Yogurt Bowls

My other go to breakfast has been oatmeal. There’s nothing like a comforting bowl of oatmeal with overflowing ingredients on a work from home day at the end of a long week! I use the same ingredients as my yogurt bowls in my oatmeal, and I add sliced banana, walnuts instead of almonds, and cinnamon. Delish.

Oatmeal Bowls

Baked Goods

Every Sunday night for the past couple of weeks, I’ve made a baked good of some kind during food prep time. I’m liking this trend. So is Tim.

One of my favorite muffins has been these almond chocolate chip chia berry muffins. I got the recipe at Dawn’s healthy eating party, and I’m obsessed.

Almond Chocolate Chip Chia Berry Muffins

I also made these pistachio muffins again, except this time I ran out of pistachios to put on top.

Pistachio Muffins

I also finally tried baking cookies with black beans. These cherry fudge thumbprints were so good!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Filling

Another thing I baked was grain free upside down apple bread. I didn’t snap a picture of the final product because I did a terrible job cutting the bread, but I finally busted into the coconut sugar that I bought a few weeks ago and wasn’t sure what to do with.

Coconut Sugar

Lunches and Dinners

Kale and blood orange salad

Kale and blood orange salad

Turkey tip salad

Turkey tip salad

This chicken and artichoke skillet recipe in salad form

Chicken Artichoke Salad

Skirt steak quesadillas

Skirt steak quesadillas

Feta and spinach stuffed chicken with leftover veggies

Stuffed Feta and Spinach Chicken

Shrimp lettuce wraps with green apple slaw

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Green Apple Slaw

Lightened up moussaka

Lightened Up Moussaka

Special Occasions and Out to Eat

Valentine’s Day dinner: homemade pita chips with gouda cheese, roasted beet and goat cheese salad, lamb chops, roasted potatoes, and asparagus

Vday Dinner 2014

A couple of sushi nights in. Who are we?!


Dinner at Koreana, a Korean BBQ restaurant in Central Square. We ordered scallion pancakes to start, and then got steak and scallops with a ton of different sides. The food was decent, but didn’t wow us.


A much more impressive meal out was at Mead Hall in Kendall Square. I am obsessed with this place! They have a ton of craft beers on tap and an awesome menu. A nice mix of splurges and healthy items, but it’s all fresh and good quality. We ordered oysters to start, a pretzel for some carbo loading, and I got the salmon with seared kale, root veggies, and drizzled goat cheese for my meal.

Mead Hall

Tavern on the Square brunch. It’s an all you can eat buffet. If you haven’t gone before, I recommend it! I liked that not everything was fattening and gross. I got yogurt with fruit, granola, and coconut, multi-grain nut pancakes, and a sweet potato and goat cheese frittata.

Tavern on the Square Brunch

Remember these are just the highlights! I don’t capture every crumb. 😉

–Let’s chat–
What have your food highlights been lately? Anything fun to share?