Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp Recipe

Ali Segersten Sep 25, 2009 134 comments

We really are not just about sweets here. Really, we're not! But this week it seems we are, huh. Hope some of you enjoyed the White Nectarine Ice Cream I posted last weekend. More main dish recipes to come next week I promise!

Since I will be going out of town for four days I thought it was high time for another delicious giveaway. This awesome giveaway is for 2 pounds of coconut sugar! I used coconut sugar from Essential Living Foods to make this fabulous gluten-free apple crisp.


What is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is a low glycemic granulated sweetener with a glycemic index of 35. Compare that to honey of 75, agave nectar of 30, pure maple syrup of 54, or sugar (sucrose) of 95. Coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar as it is also called is made from the dried sap of the coconut palm blossom. Sounds lovely doesn't it? But what does it taste like?

I find the taste mild with slight molasses undertones, possibly even a little like maple syrup. The flavors marry well with spices, which will be quite perfect for your autumn baking needs. Coconut sugar can be substituted 1 for 1 in baking. Use it where you would use brown sugar, Sucanat, or white sugar. I used it in my apple crisp recipe with absolutely delicious results! I have used it before in cookies and muffins and it works great. I have also used it to proof yeast with great results as well. Those with cane sugar allergies will find this sugar suitable for their needs.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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My friend, Shirley(GFE), told me about your mission! Hope I win. The nectarine ice cream looks divine.

Sounds amazing! Where does one buy coconut sugar?

I love crisps, especially gluten free....beautiful!

I also posted this on my facebook page. Hope you have a great time at the conference. Can't wait to hear who wins the coconut sugar. Thanks!
Jennifer Richardson

I would love to win the coconut sugar -- never tried it before. Thanks for a great giveaway!!
Jennifer Richardson

Wow! I'm excited to experiment with coconut sugar!

Thank you for the inspirations and great information. I have enjoyed your blog for quite some time and today I received your cookbook. Can't wait to dive into the book!

I have been hearing a lot about coconut sugar lately. I have heard it is pricey. Any suggestions about where to purchase it? We are dairy free and gluten free and I am so excited to have found your blog and I am going to order your book this week:)

This is a great site. A friend just referred me -- I plan to check it out regularly. I can't have refined sugar because of a food intolerance so am always looking for things like this. It sounds delicious!

The recipe looks fabulous. I started using Agave Syrup 30 years ago before it was mainstream. I am now very interested in Coconut sugar as I am now leading a Whole Life lifestyle. Keep up the excellant work and wonderful recipes

Thank you!

Your recipe is a welcome treat. There's a dearth of recipes using coco palm sugars on the Internet, though it's a direct substitute for many other sweeteners.

Holy cow! Everyone wants some coconut sugar! Seeing as I am the queen of coconut I would LOVE to try it. I've seen so many delicious recipes using it and now your coconut apple crisp?.... I have got to find some but I've yet seen it in a shop!! Would be a great birthday gift to myself :)

mmm. This looks great! I haven't tried coconut sugar yet but I've really been wanting to! Where is the best place to get it? The only places I've seen it are pretty expensive!

This looks AMAZING! I am insulin resistant and am always looking for a good, healthy sugar substitute - I'll have to try it! :-)

My husband is a Crisp Fan and I am allergic to cane sugar. I look forward to trying this. Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

This sounds wonderful, and the combination of Italian prune plums and apples - well, I know what I'm buying tomorrow at the Farmer's Market!

I'm currently trying to lick my computer screen. Darn. I guess I'll just have to make it myself!
Dana Tift

I just used up my first bag of coconut sugar and I LOVE it! Not to mention the health benefits (but you did:)...AND I just bought a huge bag o'apples to make a crisp this weekend. Will have to restock when I win the drawing (fingers crossed...)

coconut sugar sounds wonderful!

looks great! I'm nursing and can't use oats, is there a substitute for chrisps?

SO excited to try this! My husband is gluten intolerant and loves Apple Crisp. I made him my own version of peach crisp last week and he loved it even though it did not turn out quite right, I am sure he will love this recipe even more!

The recipe looks great. I can't wait to try it!

Ali you are amazing!!! Stoked to try out coconut sugar, I never have!
Happy cooking, ~Victoria Kieburtz

Thank you for your great work-Teresa

I can't wait to try this recipe! I have 40lbs of organic apples coming in next weekend. I hope it cools down a little so that I can get to baking and canning:) It's 95 here in Tucson.

That crisp looks amazing. Coconut Sugar??? That sounds absolutely heavenly. I am always looking for granulated sweeteners to replace sugar (the liquid varieties just aren't the same sometimes), and coconut is probably my 2nd favorite food, behind avocados (which would not make a very good crip). So, perfect! I wonder how it would be in cinnamon rolls?

I just got your cookbook and am loving it! This recipe looks good too. I just bought a huge box of Italian plums. I think I'll try making the version with plums. Thanks for the great recipe and giveaway.

Thank you for your wonderful blog Ali. I love your innovation and incorporation of not so common ingredients into your recipes.

This looks delicious. I have tried so many of your recipes (the whole grain waffles are a staple in our house)and bought the cookbook too. Thanks so much for helping me to do the GF diet so much healthier than I use to. I was really looking for a place to learn about alternatives to white rice flour and loads of sugar to make things taste good. Thanks!!

Hi I've never posted before, but you have such wonderful healthy ideas, thank you for sharing!! I LOVE coconut sugar, it's my sweetener of choice, we've used it for apple crisp, blueberry crisp, love it in muffins,especially apple cinnamon.. It's great because it's low glycemic and can be used anywhere you would sugar without changes. If you're used to super sweet white sugar you muight need to add extra!!

Thank you Ali. I love crisps and have been enjoying your cookbook and blog for nine months now. Everything I have made has been wonderful and really helped me to stay GF. My three teenagers are enjoying your recipes as well. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and the give away.

Love the sound of this =D. I absolutely love apple crisp, and the coconut sugar sounds like a lovely addition!

This tasted so wonderful! Almost like brown sugar in the crisp, mmmmmm. I would love to try baking with this-and I will share on FB, pls enter me in drawing twice :) Thanks for all your hard work! JB

wow! this recipe looks absolutely amazing!! I might have to make this one for thanksgiving

50 comments! Phew! Sounds like the coconut sugar drawing will be exciting!

We are making nectarine ice cream today for a birthday celebration for a friend. I was looking up the recipe and a yummy apple crisp recipe showed up.

Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

As autumn settles in, this is the perfect time for this recipe. I can hardly wait to try it!

Hadn't heard about coconut sugar before, but I use coconut oil and coconut vinegar. I'll have to look for it.

I also posted your link on facebook and my blog! A great recipe to share with others...

Looks really good...would love to try coconut sugar. I have recently added coconut oil to our diets here.
I also shared this on facebook. Thanks for sharing your recipes and for this chance to win too. :)

This looks delicious -- I'll be trying it this weekend.

My 7-year old son just tested as intolerant to dairy, egg, gluten and soy so we have been using your cookbook and this site for our elimination diet -- they have been the best resource for feeding my very picky family. Everyone has been feeling great! Thanks so much for this terrific resource.


I can't believe I've never heard of this stuff but I definitely plan to try it! Just in time for Fall baking :-)

Ali, this recipe looks delicious... I have been enjoying learning how to do some baking with coconut lately and now am excited to try coconut sugar. Do they sell it at the coop yet, or do you have to order it online? JFL

I'm new to this site and already love it! I've tried a lot of the recipes with great success and looking forward to trying this apple crisp over the weekend!

I have been on the elimination diet for two months, and the constant, grinding joint pain from fibromyalgia has virtually disappeared. I had been gluten free for two years prior to this, but it turns out I have many food allergies and sensitivities that were unsuspected previously. Hooray for the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and for your blog!

I have been on the elimination diet for two months, and the constant, grinding joint pain from fibromyalgia has virtually disappeared. I had been gluten free for two years prior to this, but it turns out I have many food allergies and sensitivities that were unsuspected previously. Hooray for the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and for your blog!

Lara Gary

Please help! I'd really like to eat healthy but I dislike cooking and I only have an hour in the evening to prep, cook and serve. Is there somewhere I could go to get a month's worth of menus with shopping lists? Would anyone be willing to share their hard work?

Have to admit I had not heard of coconut sugar before and I love what I am learning from your cookbook as well as the website. I've started stocking my kitchen with gluten free ingrediants and just started on some of the recipes, love them!

There are no two way about it - apples+cinnamon= bliss. I grew up in New England and with the crisp days of autumn came bushels of apples sold on the side of the road. Home kitchens and church socials had every type of dessert you can imagine made out of apples but the best were always the expected - apple pie! Nirvana for my senses and top that slice of hot apple pie with a wedge of sharp Vermont cheddar cheese and I was in pure heaven.
Sadly that is not the best option these days and the coconut sugar sounds great for cleaning up my old favorite recipes even more - thanks so much for the feature.

I love your cookbook and blog! I used coconut sugar in a couple recipes lately...lavender lemonade and a dark chocolate coconut pudding. Would love to try more recipes with it!

Wow, I can't wait to try this, it's so awesome that you make these GFCF, my son hated his new diet till I found your site. Thank you!!

This looks wonderful. We've been making a lot of (low sugar) crisps lately. It's a great way to enjoy the plentiful fruit of the season in a healthy dessert.

I've been looking around for coconut sugar, but so far haven't been able to find it in our local stores. Looks like a great healthy sweetener - we're always on the lookout for low glycemic sugar alternatives. Thanks for the info about it!

THis crisp looks fantastic! I"ve been looking at coconut sugar at a local natural foods store here in Minneapolis (Traditional Foods of Minnesota), and have wanted to give it a try. They also sell coconut vinegar, which looks intriguing - have you tried? Oooh, I hope I win, I want to try the coconut sugar! And I want to eat your apple crisp!

Kim -

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