Wrap up the day in a sweet way with this low-sugar Grain-Free Berry Crisp
Summer is all about keeping things sweet and simple.
Keeping in line with our theme of kicking back, slowing down and enjoying meals with those you love, we’re sharing a Grain-Free Berry Crisp recipe that we know you’re going to love.
How do we know? Well, it has everything you love about a great fruit crisp – a sweet-tart fruit filling topped with a butter, crisp topping. And it’s made with far less sugar than most fruit crisps, which makes it not only ideal for dessert but if just so happens to have a little left over, it would make a totally legit breakfast topped with a little yogurt or a drizzle of full-fat coconut milk.
This recipe originally started as a freezer-friendly, all-purpose fruit crisp topping – a recipe for which I’d found in Eating Well magazine sometime in the early 2000s. Though I no longer have the recipe, and I’ve modified it to be grain-free (the original recipe called for oats and wheat flour) and very low in added sugars, I recall that the idea was that you could make up a batch and store it in the freezer so that the next time you wanted a fruit crisp you could just add a handful of topping to the fruit filling mixture and bake.
I still love that idea so if you feel inclined to make a double or triple batch of the topping for this recipe to keep on hand in the freezer, then, by all means, do it. I’ve just written the recipe for one crisp (baked either in a square baking dish or a cast iron skillet) to keep it simple.
Speaking of beginnings
Since “going Paleo” over 5 years ago and now maintaining a diet with few grains, we’ve made this crisp at our house countless times because it’s easy and I feel good about all of the ingredients. It’s also a great way to use up extra berries before they go bad. I’ve even made this Grain-Free Berry Crisp for breakfast or doubled the recipe for dessert so we’d have leftovers for the next morning. With just three tablespoons of maple syrup in the entire recipe (which works out to only 12 grams of sugar per serving), it’s far healthier than a lot of other super-quick, kid-friendly options commonly associated with breakfast, IMHO.
Just one bowl. And a pan.
Using the mixing bowl to mix the filling and then the topping keeps dishes to a minimum. You can either bake this in a cast iron skillet (we’re really crushing on this lightweight, smooth-surface skillet by Stargazer Cast Iron), 6 1-cup ramekins or an 8×8-inch glass baking dish. Either way, it’s going to be delicious and the perfect ending to your next meal.
But let’s not forget about sweet endings…
Though this Grain-Free Berry Crisp can make for a mighty fine breakfast, it’s actually best when served as a dessert still warm from the oven (notice I said warm, not hot, you want to let it cool a bit so the filling thickens a bit). We like ours served with a big dollop of organic whipped cream or this Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream if we’re feeling really fancy (and I’ve planned ahead).
A note about substitutions
This recipe has been tested with both ghee and coconut oil in place of the butter. Though butter yields by far the best results it CAN be made with ghee or coconut oil if that is your preference. The key is to chill the fat well so that’s it’s solid before mixing it into the dry ingredients. Though all three fats produced a tasty crisp, the topping made with butter was the crispiest and most flavorful through repeated testing (which, by the way, my family HATED….hahahaha. Totally kidding.).
For the Filling:
- 2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- Zest + juice of ½ lemon (~1 tsp. juice)
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
For the Topping:
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
- 3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter or ghee*, cut into small pieces (we recommend Organic Valley butter and ghee)
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- ¾ cup chopped pecans (raw or toasted)
*May substitute coconut oil for vegan option
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Grease 6 1-cup ramekins, an 8×8-inch glass baking dish or a cast iron skillet with coconut oil or butter. Set aside.
- Add blueberries and strawberries to a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, juice, maple syrup, vanilla and arrowroot starch. Pour over berries and toss to coat evenly.
- Divide filling among ramekins or pour into baking dish. Set aside while you prepare the topping.
- Wipe out the bowl you just used for the filling and combine almond flour through cardamom. Add butter pieces and using a pastry knife or a fork, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse sand with some pebbles. Stir in maple syrup and pecans.
- Divide topping evenly amongst ramekins or spread in a single layer over filling in baking dish or skillet.
- Place ramekins or baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any liquid that may bubble over) and bake 18-21 minutes for ramekins and 22-25 minutes for baking dish or skillet or until filling is hot and bubbling and topping is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand 20-30 minutes before serving.
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- Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
- Calories: 230
- Fat: 17g
- Sodium: 103mg
- Carbohydrate: 20g
- (Fiber: 4g
- Sugar: 12g)
- Protein: 3g
What’s your favorite easy dessert? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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