Healthy Fruit Crisp: Simple for people who don’t have time to cook.
When I was growing up, my grandmother used to make cooked fruit for dessert, ALL THE TIME! She kept it in large pickle jars in the refrigerator. Sometimes, if we were lucky, we were able to have some for an after-school snack, or maybe even sneak some for breakfast. Because she gave this to us for dessert, we thought of it as a decadent treat. I didn’t realize until much later in life that other kids were eating sugary, often packaged, desserts every night!
My grandmother cooked fruit on the stove, until it was basically mush……but I loved it. There were various combinations, depending on what was in season. I grew up in Southern California, so there was some sort of fresh fruit in season all year round. If there wasn’t any fresh fruit on the trees or bushes in Grandmas yard, she sent us over to Uncle Harris’ house to get some for her. In this fashion, the jars were always full and there were interesting combinations. I remember being especially fond of pear and rhubarb, or any combination that included cherries.
I got my love of fresh, wholesome food from eating at my Grandmother’s house. I had no idea what a trend setter she really was. She would prepare food when it was convenient for her, so that getting dinner on the table every night (and a homemade dessert) looked effortless. She made the fruit compote for our dessert ahead of time—so it always looked like she was cool, calm, collected, and present for us. She made serving a large family dinner look like a breeze….and when the extended family would stop by after dinner for “coffee and….” there was always something delicious available.
I call this a healthy fruit crisp for several reasons. First, there aren’t any unhealthy ingredients. No sugar (of any variety), no hydrogenated oil, or other unhealthy fats, no packaged and processed ingredients. Secondly, this fruit crisp has a whole lot of goodness packed into one skillet. Fruit and berries with all their antioxidants, fiber and vitamins make up the bulk of this recipe. Healthy fats in the form of chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. Lots of omega-3s there……plus those same ingredients add much needed protein to this, making it a solid choice for breakfast as well. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that adds fiber and antioxidants; oatmeal has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and blood sugar levels and is an awesome choice for those looking to lose weight.
Delicious Fresh Fruit as a foundation for a healthy crisp.
What I’ve learned over time is that it IS possible to have my grandmother’s chilled vibe going, while sticking to my need to nourish friends and family with healthy food….but you’ve got to be prepared. You’ve got to be realistic about your priorities, you time availability and your agenda. If serving high quality, healthy, homemade food is a goal of yours, then you’ve got to have an arsenal of “go to” recipes when you just don’t have time.. This recipe for healthy fruit crisp is one of those. I love that it is super adaptable and you can use any fruit that is in season. I love that it is refined sugar free, yet tastes sweet and delicious. I love that it takes about 5 minute to throw together and pop in the oven and I especially love that it makes me think of my childhood and of my grandmother.
Dear Grandma Blanche, I think I’ve finally mastered the cooked fruit dessert…..and it’s worthy of sneaking some for breakfast too!