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Old-fashioned apple crisp with way less butter

By Carolyn Malcoun, October 21, 2010 - 11:29am

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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.

Related: 7 Tricks to Add Flavor and Cut Fat and Calories

Here's the recipe—enjoy!
Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp

What’s your favorite apple dessert? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Healthy Cooking Blog, Dessert, Recipe Makeover, What's in season

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: What’s your favorite apple dessert?

Tell us what you think:

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