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This healthy berry crumble is the perfect way to enjoy summer’s bounty! Packed with fresh berries, apples for added texture, and topped with a deliciously crisp and oaty crumble topping, this refined sugar free crumble recipe is bursting with flavour. You’ll love how simple this small-batch crumble is to make and that it comes together in less than an hour!
Table of Contents
- The best healthy berry crumble
- What’s the difference between a crisp and a crumble?
- Main ingredients
- How to make healthy berry crumble
- Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- More refined sugar free fruit crumbles
The best healthy berry crumble
If you haven’t yet noticed, I love a good fruit crumble. They’re so simple to make and I swear that you cannot mess them up. In fact, this healthy berry crumble is really the only reason I’ll turn on my oven in the summertime. Gotta take advantage of all those fresh summer berries!
Not only is this recipe PACKED with fruit, it’s also made a bit healthier thanks to using all-natural coconut sugar and honey instead of refined sugar. You can even reduce (or remove) the amount of honey used in the filling if your berries are particularly sweet.
Similar to all of my crumble recipes, this berry crumble is also small-batch. It’s baked in a small 16cm dish and makes two good sized portions. Top it with a little vanilla ice cream, and I can’t think of a better summer date night dessert!
What’s the difference between a crisp and a crumble?
In general, the only difference between a crisp and crumble is the addition of oats in the topping. A crisp includes oats, whereas a crumble leaves them out.
However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. And clearly, I’ve broken it with this recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this incredible berry crumble recipe:
- Plain flour: The base of our crumble topping – it helps hold all of the ingredients together and makes those glorious large crunchy bits.
- Rolled oats: Entirely optional, but I love the extra texture and nutty flavour oats give to the topping.
- Coconut sugar: To sweeten the crumble topping naturally.
- Unsalted butter: The best way to bring the topping together and create those large crunchy balls of goodness.
- Ground cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon lends a lovely warmth to this recipe.
- Apples: Adding a few diced apples gives the crumble a bit more texture and interest because berries often lose most or all of their texture once baked.
- Berries: The star of the show! I used a mixture of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for the crumble shown, but you can use any berries you like.
- Arrowroot powder: This helps the liquid thicken up into more of a sauce in the oven and keeps the crumble from getting too watery.
- Honey: Adds a little bit of sweetness to the filling to balance out the tart baking apples and raspberries.
- Vanilla extract: A little bit of vanilla tastes just divine in this recipe. Make sure you’re using pure extract and not essence!
- Lemon juice: Crucial to pull all of the flavours together and pull out the sweetness in the fruit.
How to make healthy berry crumble
Making a fruit crumble is one of the best ways to start baking. They don’t require a ton of skill and are very hard to mess up! Plus, they always taste delicious. Here’s how to make it:
Step 1: Make the crumble
Whisk together the flour, oats, coconut sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix in the melted butter until a crumbly dough forms.
Step 2: Make the filling
Toss together the berries, apples, and the other filling ingredients until well coated.
Step 3: Prepare and bake the healthy berry crumbles
Scrape the filling into a prepared baking dish, then top with the crumble mixture. Bake the berry crumble for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes and crisp up and then serve warm.
Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Why is my crumble topping not crunchy?
Two main factors result in a soggy crumble topping. The first is using too much butter in your mixture – make sure you’re following the recipe exactly to avoid this.
The second is using too much fruit in your filling. This can cause too much moisture to build up and seep into the topping. Be sure you’re weighing your fruit filling and don’t use more fruit than the recipe calls for to keep your topping crunchy and crisp.
Can I use frozen berries for this crumble recipe?
Yes! Just keep in mind that you may have to cook the berry crumble a little bit longer to ensure the fruit is warmed through. I would start with an extra 5-7 minutes.
How can I tell when a crumble is done?
You’ll know that a crumble is done cooking when the topping is browned and crispy and the fruit is bubbling up around the edges. You can also spear a piece of fruit with a knife to make sure it’s soft enough – the knife should slide through easily.
Why did my crumble sink?
The main reason crumbles and crisps tend to sink is either not using enough fruit or using fruit that is too ripe. You want to make sure you’re using firm baking apples and fresh (even slightly underripe) berries so they retain their shape and texture in the oven; eating apples tend to turn to mush.
The amount of fruit in this recipe may seem like a lot, but as they cook the berries and apples will naturally soften and sink. A little loss of volume is perfectly fine.
Can I freeze healthy berry crumble?
Yes. Although it’s best eaten the day it’s made, this healthy berry crumble can be frozen once cooked for up to 2 months. Allow the crumble to come to room temperature then wrap it up in freezer-safe food wrap to keep it airtight.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Use firm, tart apples. The tart flavour becomes muted as the apples cook down, but complement the sweetness of the berries perfectly. Firm apples ensure the crumble doesn’t turn to mush. I prefer Granny Smith or Bramley for this recipe.
- Choose your own berry adventure! I used a combination of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for the crumble shown, but use whichever berries you like best.
- Don’t have any honey? You can also use maple syrup or agave nectar for this recipe.
- If you don’t have arrowroot powder, corn flour will work. You may need to reduce the corn flour to ¾ teaspoon as it is often stronger than arrowroot powder.
- Check the berry crumble at the 15 minute mark and cover it loosely with foil if the topping is starting to look too brown.
- Let the crumbles rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the topping time to get extra crispy!
More refined sugar free fruit crumbles
If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Healthy Berry Crumble recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!
Healthy Berry Crumble Recipe (Refined Sugar Free)
This healthy berry crumble is the perfect way to enjoy summer’s bounty! This refined sugar free crumble recipe is packed with fresh berries, apples for added texture, and topped with a deliciously crisp and oaty crumble topping. You’ll love how simple this small-batch crumble is to make and that it comes together in less than an hour!
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp rolled oats (jumbo oats)
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 25 g melted unsalted butter
- 100 g baking apples, cubed (see notes)
- 250 g fresh berries (I used strawberries, blueberries + raspberries)
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tbsp unpasteurised honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and lightly grease a small 16 x 10 cm (6 x 4 inch) baking dish with oil or butter.
- To make the crumble, whisk together the flour, oats, coconut sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl using a fork. Pour over the melted butter and toss with the fork until all the mixture is coated and resembles wet, clumpy sand. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the apples, berries, arrowroot powder, honey, vanilla, and lemon juice until well coated.
- Scrape the fruit mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the crumble mixture.
Place the dish on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and golden and the apples are softened. At the 20-minute mark, check the crumble and cover loosely with a layer of foil if it looks too browned.
- Remove the crumbles from the oven and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt, or whipped cream.
- Make sure your apple chunks aren’t larger than 1.5 cm (½ inch). No need to peel! Just give them a good wash.
- If your berries are very sweet, you can reduce the honey in the filling or leave it out completely to suit your taste.
- These crumbles are best eaten on the day they are made.