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Healthy Winter Fruit Crisp. Great choice for breakfast or dessert with no refined sugars, lots of whole grain and protein, coconut oil and olive oil, and ingredients that are nutrient packed.

Healthy Winter Fruit Crisp

Servings 8 -10


For the fruit:

  • 5 cups unpeeled chopped firm pears anjou or bosc
  • 1 cup frozen sweet cherries
  • 1 pitted date, chopped I used about 1 1/2 dates, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant oats)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup shelled raw sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons refined coconut oil melted
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or lightly coat a 13 X 9" baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, toss pears, frozen cherries, dates, orange zest, juice and apple pie spice until fruit is evenly coated. Sprinkle cornstarch over the mixture and toss again to evenly coat. 

  3. Pour fruit mixture into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.

  4. In a medium bowl, stir oats, pepitas, almonds, almond flour, whole wheat pastry flour cinnamon and salt until well mixed. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and olive oil and stir until well combined. (I used gloved hands for this.)

  5. Spoon oat mixture evenly over fruit mixture.

  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown. Cover the dish loosely with a piece of foil for the last 10 minutes of baking if you feel your topping is browning too quickly. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

*It is not necessary to peel the pears, unless you prefer it. The skin softens adequately while baking. Use a firm pear, like Anjou or Bosc. Bartlett pears won't hold up as well to baking.

*Want a higher fruit to topping ratio? Go ahead and double the fruit mixture. Just make sure your baking pan can handle the extra volume.

*The dates are optional but add a little more sweetness to the filling since we're not adding any other sugars. To easily chop them, I cut them in half. Remove the pit. Then, I use a clean pair of of kitchen scissors that have been sprayed with cooking spray to cut the dates into smaller pieces.

*I always have disposable kitchen gloves on hand. You can definitely use a spoon, but I find it faster and easier to mix the topping ingredients with my gloved hands. Then, I can also use my hands to place the topping on the fruit. No mess. No sticky stuff under my nails. 

*Feel free to use all coconut oil or all olive oil. I used refined coconut oil. One of the reasons is that it has a higher smoke point. I use a light olive oil for baking for that same reason as well as the milder flavor.

*I think this tastes best fresh out of the oven when the topping has a nice crunch to it. However, leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave. Still yummy, just not quite as crunchy.

Recipe adapted from Whole Cooking and Nutrition: An Everyday Superfoods Approach to Planning, Cooking and Eating with Diabetes.

All text and images are from The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2018