Hi! I just got back to Raleigh after being out of town for the past 5 weeks, spending most of that time in Arkansas for an internship. On my drive home, I stopped for a few days in Atlanta and my next post will be all about Atlanta adventures. For now, though, I wanted to share a recipe for this healthy mixed berry crisp before summer’s over!
I came up with the recipe while I was housesitting for my grandparents in Arkansas. I wanted to use some of my free time to bake and test a few recipes for the blog, but I was the only one there to eat the things I made. What a dilemma, right? 😉 The berry crisp turned out even better than I expected, and after several days of eating it all by myself in Arkansas, I’m actually planning to make it again for a family dinner tomorrow night.
I used inspiration from a few other recipes to come up with my recipe for this summer-y, healthy mixed berry crisp. For the filling, it’s just berries, lemon juice, and cornstarch. I actually found organic cornstarch in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, which is a plus if you have a WF nearby and don’t want to have buy an entire box of cornstarch that’ll end up sitting around in your pantry.
For the topping, it’s oats, almond meal, pecans, cinnamon, butter or coconut oil, and just a dash of maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. I used coconut oil and added coconut chips to the topping, which is totally optional, but it’s a fun twist on traditional berry crisp if you’re a fan of coconut.
Since berries are so naturally sweet, especially when baked, there’s no need to add extra sweetener to them. They also have a wide range of healthy benefits, which you can check out in this post about blueberries from Foodal.
To make the crisp, I mixed the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl, added them to my baking dish, and then used the same bowl to mix together the crumb topping ingredients. After 10 minutes and using just one bowl and spoon, the berry crisp was ready for the oven.
The filling is naturally sweet and juicy, the topping is crunchy and delicious, and there’s no refined sugar in the whole dessert. As much as I sometimes tend to turn my nose up at “healthy” desserts (i.e. applesauce substituted for oil in chocolate cake), berry crisp lends itself very well to healthy adaptations and you’d never know that this one’s on the healthier side. It’s not a low-calorie recipe by any means, but it’s made with all real ingredients.
I loved topping my healthy mixed berry crisp with homemade whipped coconut cream, but of course, regular homemade whipped cream or ice cream would also be wonderful. When served warm, the berry crisp slowly melts the ice cream or coconut cream on top and it’s just incredible. Hope you love it as much as I did (do!)
If you try out the recipe, feel free to let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (see Note if using frozen berries)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (~ 1/2 lemon, depending on its juiciness)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) or 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together berries, lemon juice and cornstarch. Add to buttered or greased 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.
In the same bowl, mix together oats, pecans, almond meal, coconut flakes or chips, cinnamon, butter or coconut oil, and maple syrup or honey. Mix until mixture comes together and add to top of baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has lightly browned and the filling is beginning to thicken. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the filling to thicken. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
*If using frozen berries, increase cornstarch to 4 tablespoons to account for the extra liquid the berries will release during cooking.
**I bought just the right amount of organic cornstarch in the bulk bins at Whole Foods for something like $.20.