Apple-Pineapple Crisp

If you’re into quick and easy desserts with no oil, flour or sugar, this is the ticket! Baked pineapple has a wonderful texture and flavor, and the soft fruit contrasts well with the crispy topping. Vary the fruit according to your taste and the season. Pears and berries would be great!

2 cups diced pineapple (about ½ a fresh pineapple or 1 14-oz. can)
2 cups diced apple with skins (2 apples)
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
¾ cups water, apple juice or pineapple juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice (optional)

1 ¼ cups rolled oats
¼ cup walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons water or juice
¼ cup dried, flaked coconut (optional)

1. In a bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients and toss well. Pour into an 8×8-inch pan (I don’t do any preparation for the pan; it doesn’t really need it).

2. Place all of the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse very briefly (5 to 10 times), just until ingredients are blended (you don’t want to break down the oats too much). Spread over the filling evenly, and press down slightly.

3. Cook at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6


Regular (whole) rolled oats work best (as opposed to quick or instant oats).

Chinese 5-spice is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, clove, and ginger. You can buy it wherever spices are sold, or online.

When buying pineapple in the can, read the label to make sure there is no added sugar. The brand I get at Whole Foods is Native Forest and the pineapple is packaged only in its own juice; and it’s organic.

Any apples will work but a good baking apple, such as Braeburn, Gravenstein, Red Rome, or Granny Smith is extra good. Substitute one apple with one Asian pear or some berries for variety.

I used walnuts here, but you can use any kind of nut, or leave the nuts out entirely.

The topping after baking is crispy and crumbly (since there is no oil); but if you prefer a moist crumble topping, add half of a ripe banana (diced) to the topping ingredients.

Coconut is a high-saturated-fat plant food, so I tend not to include it in very many of my recipes; but pineapple with coconut is such an amazing flavor combination that I made it an option here. But feel free to skip it if you are avoiding coconut.

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  1. [email protected] says

    Looks yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Bonnie says

    I’m allergic to pineapple but love the idea of an apple & ______ crisp that’s vegan and without sugar oil or salt… Any ideas of what I could sub in for the pineapple? Thanks!

  3. Miss R. Sailer says

    I tried this out for my first “straight up food” recipe and loved it! my parents loved it too. It was so easy to make and great to store to eat whenever. It is so easy to heat up a little in the microwave for when I was craving a little sweet something. And this dessert wasn’t too sweet, It certainly doesn’t need any sugar! I can’t wait to try making it with berries next time.

  4. Carol says

    Cathy, I made this recipe the other night – it’s quite possibly the most delicious dessert I’ve ever had. My husband loved it too! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  5. Millie says

    In your recipes containing water as an ingredient ,can almond milk be used as a substitute? Thank you for your
    delicious recipes.

  6. Laura says

    This is a wonderful recipe! We recently completely changed the way our family eats, to a more nutrient dense diet. This recipe was exactly what we needed, no dairy, no oil, no sugar, and it tastes great! Thank you so much for taking the time to create these recipes- and to so generously share them!!

  7. Cheryl says

    I made it this afternoon and o.m.g… so delicious. I made it with all fresh peaches, left out the coconut and five spice options.
    Next time I can’t wait to try it with boysenberries, will add the five spice then.

  8. says

    Cathy, this recipe is delicious. I doubled it for a dinner party, and added a cup of frozen blueberries. It was a big hit, and surprised carnivores that you can create a healthy dessert without flour, butter, sugar, and oil. Bravo!

  9. says

    I haven’t made this recipe in ages because I can’t eat oats anymore – even the gf kind. I used quinoa flakes this time, half expecting the quinoa flavor to be quite prominent, but the baking must have mellowed it out. It ended up being really good! I used 2 cups of honey crisp apple, 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1 cup frozen raspberries. Do you think a quinoa version of your baked oatmeal would work just as well?

    • says

      Hi Lynn, thanks for the feedback on quinoa flakes! :) Yes, I think they would work for the baked oatmeal. I haven’t tried it, and think it might now firm up as oatmeal would (?) as it cools, but give it a try and let me know. Thanks!

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