Healthy Fruit Crisp (with Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil & Agave)

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In my experience, healthy desserts taste like just that... not-quite-as-good versions of desserts that suffer, usually, from the removal of butter, sugar, oil, white flour, etc.  These ingredients are otherwise known as - all of the things that make our favorite desserts SO GOOD.

As healthy desserts go, I have found that fruit crisps are the easiest desserts to make "healthy" while doing minimal damage to their deliciousness.  Sweetness in a crisp usually comes from brown sugar or white sugar.  The great thing is, fruit is sweet on its own, and fruit makes up most of a crisp!  A delicious crisp topping usually comes from white flour, lots of butter, and sugar.  But I think you'll find that oats and nuts add a nice texture and make a suitable substitute.

If I'm being completely honest, and going on taste alone, I'd choose the white-flour, buttery, sugar-laden crisp any day.  But, since one must also consider summer, and shorts, and swimming suits... and well... calories... sometimes you just need a healthy dessert that still tastes good!

My friend Abby shared this recipe for Heart Healthy Fruit Crisp with me, and I modified it a bit based on taste and what I had on hand!  I used frozen peaches and blackberries, but you could really use any fruit you like -- fresh or frozen.  May want to use more or less chia seeds in the filling depending on how juicy your fruit is (berries might need more, apples may not need any).


Healthy Fruit Crisp

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients

Filling:
2 16oz bags sliced frozen peaches (no sugar added), thawed
1 16oz bag frozen blackberries (no sugar added), thawed
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

Topping:
2 cups oat flour (process rolled oats in food processor until course flour results)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt  
 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

TIP:  You can instead split the recipe into 2 8x8 foil pans (or the round ones pictured in this post - which I buy at the Dollar Tree).  This way, you can bake one to eat now and freeze one for another time!

In a large bowl, combine thawed fruit, chia seeds, and agave nectar (or honey).  Transfer the fruit to the pan (or pans, if you're using two).

In the same bowl (rinse it if you want), add oat flour, oats, walnuts, coconut oil, agave nectar, cinnamon, and salt.

TIP:  To make oat flour, process rolled oats in food processor until they become course flour.

Using a pastry cutter (or a fork), combine topping ingredients until crumbly.  Spread topping evenly over the fruit and bake for 30-40 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is browned.