This healthy cranberry crisp is inspired by our shared wellness meals in Ahousaht, a community on the Northwest coast of modern-day Vancouver Island. While the recipe highlights the traditional low-bush wild cranberries if you don’t have access to them, any type of cranberry will do. One of the highlights of this recipe is the simple crisp topping made from only oats, making it flour-free.
Low-bush cranberries are an original Indigenous food that is harvested in late fall. They can be used in any recipe in place of regular store-bought cranberries. Both are tangy in taste and contain very little sugar compared to other berries such as strawberries and blueberries.
Vitamin C and Cranberries
Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to repair our body and keep our immune system strong. Antioxidants work by neutralizing the reactive and highly destructive molecules known as free radicals, which if accumulate, can lead to oxidative stress. Protecting against oxidative stress can protect us from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
A Diabetic-Friendly Dessert
Cranberries are naturally low in sugar, and this tangy berry won’t spike blood sugar levels as quickly as other berries. This crisp is sweetened with natural honey, which has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, meaning it has a lesser effect on blood sugar levels.
Free of Refined Carbohydrates
This dessert is free of refined-flour. Refined flour rapidly breaks down into sugar, and the fast spike in blood sugar levels is hard on our body. Using oat flour in the crisp topping in place of regular flour is a simple and cheap alternative. All you need to do is blend regular oats in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can purchase oat flour from most grocery stores.
This dessert is made with only 5-ingredients:
- Coconut Oil
- Shredded Coconut
- Cinnamon, ground
- Orange, zest and juice
Add 1 cup of oats, 1/4 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and 1/4 cup of honey to a bowl. Option to add 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon.
Mix the crisp topping ingredients until well combined.
Place all the cranberries on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the mixed crisp toppings to the cranberries. Mix the crisp toppings gently through the cranberries.
Bake the crisp for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.
Tips and Variations
Making It Gluten-Free
This crisp is naturally gluten-free, though oats can become contaminated with gluten during the processing process. If you are serving it to someone with a severe gluten intolerance, or who has celiac disease, you want to make sure that the oats are certified gluten-free.
Making It Vegan
This crisp can be made vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey. You may need 1/2-1 tablespoon more maple syrup in the topping, as maple syrup is not as sticky as honey. If your crisp mixture does not seem to be sticking together, start with an additional 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup.
Making an Orange Cranberry Crisp
I love the combination of orange and cranberry. To make an orange cranberry crisp, add the zest of one orange to the cranberry mix. I suggest adding the 1 tablespoon of honey as well as this will help the zest stick to the cranberries. Add about 2 tablespoons of the juice of the orange (or 1/2 an orange, juiced) to the crisp ingredients. Proceed with the recipe below.
Making An Apple Cranberry Crisp
Apple comes into season at the same time as cranberries, so naturally, they make a great pair. To make an apple cranberry crisp, use 3 medium apples, chopped. Add these to the baking tray (with the optional cinnamon and honey) and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Now add 2 cups of cranberries, and the crisp toppings as per the recipe and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Serving This Crisp
Here are a few of my favourite serving options for this crisp:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
- Coconut Vegan yogurt
- Vanilla yogurt
More Dessert Recipes
A few of my favourite fuss-free dessert recipes:
- Raw Chocolate Date Bar
- Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Raw Chocolate Brownies with Caramel Icing
- Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Seedy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Healthy Oat & Honey Cranberry Crisp
- 4 cups cranberries
- 1 tbsp honey optional
For The Topping
- 1 cup oats
- 1/4 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup of oats, blended)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Rinse the cranberries and lay on a single layer on a baking sheet. Option to add honey to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
- To make the crisp topping - first, if you are making the oat flour at home add 1/3 cup of whole oats to a small blender and blend until a fine flour is formed. If you are purchasing oat flour you can skip this step.
- Melt the butter or coconut oil on the stovetop. Add this to the 1 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of oat flour, coconut flakes (if using) and honey and mix until well combined.
- Add the crisp topping to the baking tray with the cranberries and fold n gently with the berries. Bake for 30 minutes or until it is golden on top. Let cool slightly before serving.
- Serve with some plain yogurt or some vegan coconut iceceam.