Old-fashioned apple crisp with way less butter

By: Carolyn Malcoun  |  Thursday, October 21, 2010

I was at my mother-in-law's last weekend and she made an amazing apple crisp for dessert one night. Mmmmmm, apple crisp! I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but when fall comes around, I start craving apple crisp, apple pie, apple bars—pretty much any kind of apple dessert.
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As we were cleaning the kitchen after dinner, I took a peek at the recipe on her windowsill. The first ingredient? 1 1/2 sticks of butter. For a crisp that filled a regular-size pie plate. I could feel my arteries clogging.
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It was one of the best apple crisps I've ever had, but I knew I could make apple crisp just as amazing with a fraction of the butter. Take our recipe for Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp (recipe below), which will save you 286 calories and 9 grams of fat (8 of which are saturated) over typical versions.
This is how we made it healthier:
  1. We added fiber.
    We swapped out white flour for whole-wheat flour, which has three times as much fiber as white flour. Adding more fiber to your diet could help you lose weight.
  2. We cut fat.
    We left a couple tablespoons of butter in the topping for its rich flavor but replaced the rest with canola oil, which swaps saturated fat for heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. How Healthy Is Canola Oil Really?
  3. We boosted flavor.
    • Adding apple juice concentrate to the topping intensifies the apple flavor without adding fat or many calories.
    • Toasting the nuts in the topping adds another dimension of flavor plus vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fats.
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Here's the recipe—enjoy!
Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp