Who loves apple crisp? The cinnamony-syrup covered apples, topped with bites of buttery, crunchy oats. Mmmm. I have been known to eat apple crisp for breakfast or dinner as well as dessert. And after this post, you might consider an apple crisp breakfast too!
Here’s some good nutrition news about apple crisp:
Apple crisp can totally count as a serving of fruit
Right off the bat, if you’re eating an apple crisp (or any type of fruit crisp) you’re eating some fruit! Recommendations for daily fruit intake vary from 1 cup to 2 1/2 cups. Even a small serving of crisp will probably have at least 1/2 cup of fruit, which will give you a good portion of your recommended fruit intake regardless of whether you’re aiming for 1 cup or 2 and a half!
Apple crisp can be a source of whole grains
Most apple crisp recipes I am familiar with include oats (quick or rolled) as part of the delicious crumbly topping. Both of those forms of oats are whole grains, which compared to refined grains, have higher fiber and more protein. The USDA recommends at least 1/2 of your daily grains be whole grains. So there you go, by eating apple crisp, you’re moving toward that goal!
Now that you’ve got fruit and whole grains, all you need to make a meal is some protein, maybe some vegetables or calcium
- For breakfast, serve with some scrambled eggs or a scoop of yogurt for protein
- Apple crisp + slice of sharp cheddar cheese is a classic combination that provides protein + calcium and you should try it if you haven’t
- For a vegetarian/vegan breakfast option, serve alongside a handful of nuts and a calcium-fortified beverage
- Serve the above options in the evening for a breakfast-for-dinner option
- Pork + apples is a winning combination. Some pork chops + steamed or roasted vegetables + this crisp …*chef’s kiss*
- Serve alongside your favorite sausage and a green salad
Ways to make your apple crisp even more nutritious:
- Use whole wheat flour as the flour portion in the recipe for even more whole grains
- Don’t peel your apples. A large part of the fiber in an apple is in the skin. (Plus, this way you don’t have to spend all that time peeling apples)
- If you want to replace some of the saturated fat with unsaturated fats, replace the butter with a plant-based substitute like Smart Balance which has more unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids
Now, I just want to say that apple crisp is a magical food that will solve all of your problems or that you can eat as much as you want because it can do no wrong. Like any food, balance is key.
The main thing I want you to take away is that this cozy dessert has plenty to be happy about. So next time you’re enjoying some cinnamonny, crumbly, apple-y goodness, rejoice in the ways it is nourishing you!
If you are inspired and want to make your own, here’s the recipe I usually use. And if you need a gluten-free option, here is a gluten-free apple crisp recipe from Cookie and Kate.
This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.