Spiced Cranberry Apple Crisp, Thanksgiving Dessert with a Twist


I know Halloween was just a week ago, but Thanksgiving is around the corner! I had another enjoyable evening a few nights ago teaching a wonderful group of students how to make some Thanksgiving recipes with a twist. Besides being tasty variations on the standards, these also happen to be kinder to your waistline and metabolism.  We chopped and minced our way through several sides and finished with dessert, because Thanksgiving is a special occasion, after all! Dessert was this cranberry apple crisp I created for Culinate last year.  What’s new with this crisp?


Apple crisp is a traditional fall favorite with cinnamon-spiced apples and a crumbly, crunchy oat-based topping.

The Twist:

I’ve given a modern and slightly exotic holiday twist and nutrition boost on the classic by upping the fruit content with vitamin C-rich cranberries.  The base of fruit, especially if you don’t peel the apples, adds to your 7-a-day.  I’ve also subbed olive oil for butter and added sweet spice with not only the usual cinnamon, but cardamom as well.  Together with the oats, which are whole grain, I’ve added crunch with pipettes to create a wonderful texture.

Huge thanks to all of you who came to class the other night.  In case you missed it, I’ll be doing one more cooking demo in time for Thanksgiving, with a different menu of recipes.  If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area/Peninsula/Silicon Valley, please join me for my next event, Wednesday 11/19 at 6:30 PM at the Foster City Library (FREE)! I’ll be announcing next year’s lineup soon on my events page, so please visit www.Facebook.com/TheDoctorsSpicebox for updates (and please grace my page with a “Like” while you’re there).  Thank you!


Spiced Apple Cranberry Crisp

from The Doctor’s Spicebox

spiced cranberry apple crisp crop

Serves: 8


3 medium to large tart apples (I prefer Pink Lady), cored and chopped into ½-inch cubes

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed

½ cup sugar

½ Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground cardamom

¼ tsp. salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch metal or glass baking pan.
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the apples and cranberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon until the fruit is evenly coated. Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan.
  1. In another bowl, stir together the oats, pepitas, maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, cardamom, and salt. Use a spoon to evenly scatter the oat topping over the fruit in the baking pan.
  1. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden.


Nutrition Info:


147 ca

24 g carbs

5 g fat

3 g protein

26 mg sodium

16 g sugar


If you’re interested in more exciting Thanksgiving recipes, take a look at these other on the blog:

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Thanksgiving Couscous 

David Tanis’ Spice Cranberry Apple Relish 

Gateway Brussels Sprouts

Vegan Pumpkin Pie 


3 responses

  1. Pingback: Healthy Thanksgiving: a Cornucopia of Vegan Sides | spicebox travels

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