who says you can’t have your dessert for breakfast? | guilt-free vegan apple crisp!

isn’t it interesting how food has a certain time of day in which its “normal” or acceptable to eat?

mom said you can’t have cake for breakfast, so the world created pancakes.

pudding was an unacceptable meal, so recently we have been introduced to ‘chia pudding’ and ‘avocado pudding’

are you getting my drift yet? all of these delicious things, we’ve been told aren’t substantial enough to be classified as one of our meals. well, unfortunately it was no lie. HOWEVER, perhaps i will make it my mission to change this sad truth.

for years now i’ve been making the same version of my favorite apple sauce. made purely with honey crisp apples in all of their glory, adding just a hint of spice to take them up a notch and topping it with some homemade granola. what does this have to do with anything? well, it’s fall. and fall calls for a warm and cozy apple crisp. but i couldn’t just tease you with the promise of apple crisp and just give you a recipe for apple sauce and granola, that would be cruel.

this apple crisp recipe i’m about to introduce you to is surely a game changer. you’ll want it to be a part of breakfast, lunch, dinner and your after dinner treat; the best part is, you totally COULD do that (but then you’d just have to make it again. the best things are savored, i think)! i think my timing is pretty spot on, too, being as this is thanksgiving weekend for us folks in canada.

so let’s get to it, shall we?


the peeling and chopping of the apples is really the only ‘labour intensive’ part of the job of making an apple crisp. i would even go as far as to say that apple crisp making is mess-free, but i won’t. messes don’t matter while you’re cooking – if you’re busy being concerned about mess-making while you’re baking/cooking, your concerns are being misplaced. focus on making a badass dessert, and deal with the “mess” later.

end rant.


i decided to chop my apples into mismatched pieces because i wanted good texture. some mushy apples are good, and some crunchy apples are good – you don’t want the whole thing to be the same throughout (or i don’t, at least. constant mushy texture makes me nauseous. TMI??)!


this apple crisp is heavy on the crisp, because it’s so dang good (and good for you!). i omitted the corn starch called for in a traditional filling – don’t need nun’na that! i also cut down the flour content of the crisp by almost 100% by using a mixture of rolled oats and quick oats. the rolled oats stand up to the cooking and the quick oats break down more and absorb the liquid (much like the flour would have). i didn’t omit the flour completely – i used a small amount super nutritious, high-fibre, gluten-free (coconut) flour to assist in some of the moisture absorption and to add a nice crumb.

am i making you drool yet?



“Guilt-free” Vegan Apple Crisp!
(vegan, gluten-free optional, soy free)


  • 6 medium honey crisp apples (or a mixture of your choosing. i’d recommend a mixture of tart and sweet, like the honey crisp)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • dash of lemon juice (optional)


  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free oats if GF)
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (” “) (alternatively, you could process GF rolled oats into a finer texture in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (can sub other GF flour if GF, or another whole grain flour if not gluten-sensitive)
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/3-1/2 cup coconut sugar (can sub. brown cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, chilled
  • 1 tbsp earth balance, chilled (i use soy-free) (*can sub more coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Place measured amount of coconut oil and earth balance in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan with virgin coconut oil, earth balance, or other mild flavour oil.
  3. Peel and chop your apples. Nothing fancy here, I chopped my apples in various sizes for a difference of texture throughout the crisp. Mix apples and remaining filling ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl and pour into baking pan. Set aside.
  4. In the same bowl as you used to mix your apples, mix together your oats, flour, walnuts, choice of sugar and spices. Mix in pieces of chilled coconut oil and earth balance thoroughly with your fingers (or a pastry cutter if you’re fancy). The crisp mixture should be slightly sticky, and the oil and butter should be mixed in thoroughly – it’s okay if a few small chunks remain.
  5. Scatter the crisp mixture on top of the apples. It’s going to seem like there is way too much, but trust me here – the apples are going to cook down, some of the crisp mixture will absorb liquid, and some will remain crispy.
  6. Bake at 370 for 50 minutes to an hour. After about 20-25 minutes your crisp should have reached it’s desired “golden point”, so cover it with tinfoil and allow it to cook for the remaining amount of time – until apples have softened.
  7. Once apples are soft, remove from the oven and place dish on a cookie rack and allow to cool. Enjoy warm.

**NOTE: I decreased the amount of ‘oil’ substantially when compared to traditional crisp recipes. I substituted butter for coconut oil, increasing the overall health factor. To preserve some of the classic buttery taste in a traditional crisp, I added the tablespoon of Earth Balance – you can omit this, but you will lose some of the flavour it provides.


i am surely going to be enjoying this apple crisp all weekend long, and it’s going to be hard to not make this EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK for the remainder of fall.

happy crisp-ing!


5 thoughts on “who says you can’t have your dessert for breakfast? | guilt-free vegan apple crisp!

  1. I like to defy these rules and eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast! This looks yummy!

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