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Recipe: Sugar-free apple crumble

Posted on October 5, 2023 in Healthy You

photo of apple crumble

The flavors of fall — sweet apples, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, and roasted walnuts — don’t need sugar to create a delicious seasonal treat. In this recipe, we revamp a traditional apple crumble by ditching the sugar and adding ingredients to boost your oral health.

It’s not just the lack of sugar that makes this dish mouth friendly. Apples contain vitamin C, which helps prevent gum disease. Iron-rich walnuts also support the health of your teeth and gums, while bananas contain lots of teeth-strengthening potassium. Cinnamon has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties that may help prevent gum disease and cavities.1



  • 1 large banana, thinly sliced
  • 2 large apples, chopped
  • 2 dates, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Crumble Topping

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ounce walnuts, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray a small baking dish (such as an 8x8 inch pan) with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the sliced banana and chopped apples and dates in a medium bowl. Then, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and lemon juice. Toss until everything is evenly covered with the spices and lemon juice.
  3. Pour the filling mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble.
  4. While the filling is baking, prepare the crumble topping by mixing the oats, applesauce, walnuts, vanilla extract and salt together in a medium bowl.
  5. Once the filling mixture is bubbling, take it out of the oven and carefully (the dish will be hot!) top it with the crumble topping. Aim to evenly coat the top. Put the dish back into the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is golden. Let the apple crumble cool for 5 to 10 minutes. This dish is best served warm.


1. National Library of Medicine