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Heaven on a plate

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

This apple-berry nutty crumble is aromatic and delicious, and the best part is – it won’t send your sugar levels crashing.

Apple crumble has always been a family favorite as far as holiday desserts go. First, it’s really easy to make a large amount when you’re expecting a big crowd. Second, the prep is really simple, and most of the work happens in the oven. And third, after a 2 or 3-course meal, it’s a light dessert that won’t send your guests over the edge.

And, of course, it’s really delicious!

While the traditional version of the recipe includes butter, sugar, and flour – I wanted to create a recipe that was gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. Plus, when it comes to desserts, I am always mindful of keeping the glycemic load to a minimum so as not to throw our blood sugars into a tizzy.

That’s why I’ve chosen low-glycemic fruits, paired with a generous amount of nuts for their protein and fat value, as well as some ghee, which adds a delicious buttery taste without the dairy. Plus, this recipe relies on natural sugar, mainly from the fruit, with a tiny bit of added real maple syrup.

And don’t forget the cinnamon – studies have shown that cinnamon can mimic insulin by helping move blood sugar into the cells[i], as well as helping increase the body’s insulin sensitivity[ii].

So, here’s my take:

Apple-berry nutty crumble

(Serves 4-6)


For the fruit bottom:

1 cup blueberries (can use frozen, no need to defrost first)

2 medium apples, cut into 1/2” cubes

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds or goji berries (optional)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp lemon juice

For the crumble topping:

1 cup nuts of choice (mix up 2-3 of your favorites like almonds, walnuts, pecans)

¼ cup gluten-free oats*

2 tbsp maple syrup (or raw honey)

1/4 cup ghee (or coconut oil)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

*To lower the glycemic effect of this dish, or if you just don’t have oats on hand, omit the oats and replace with an additional ¼ cup of nuts


  1. Heat oven to 180°C.

  2. Place all fruit in 9x9 Pyrex dish, add cinnamon and lemon juice, mix together, and then flatten down in an even layer.

  3. Prepare topping – Put nuts in a food processor and blend just until they’re finely chopped (make sure not to over-process into a flour). Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add in oats, maple syrup, and ghee and mix everything together.

  4. Using your hands, crumble the topping over the fruit, dispersing it evenly.

  5. Pop the dish into the oven and bake for 30-40 min.

[i] Jarvill-Taylor, JK, Anderson, RA, & Graves DJ, “A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition,

[ii] Solomon, TP, Blannin, AK, “Effects of short-term cinnamon ingestion on in vivo glucose tolerance,” Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, November 2007,

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