Best Quinoa Apple Crisp: Dairy-free & Gluten-free Recipe

Even though I’m personally finished my 10-day detox I’m still continuing to eat mostly gluten-free and dairy-free along with doing my herbal detox tea every single morning. This is why I created this dairy-free, gluten-free apple crisp because I LOVE dessert.

The other night, Walker and I went to a friends house for dinner and I brought this quinoa flake apple crisp. It was a crowd-pleaser and lucky for me I had one serving left for breakfast the next day.

You may be wondering why I used quinoa flakes for the crust instead of raw oats. Well as healthy as oats are, when “raw” they contain anti-nutrients including phytates and enzyme inhibitors that actually prevent absorption of minerals and are hard to digest. This can result in a variety of problems when consumed regularly including digestive problems and skin issues (typical food sensitivity symptoms). If you properly soak and ferment oats, they can be very delicious and healthy. From time to time I eat granola that likely has not been properly soaked, but it’s certainly not the norm.

If you are eating one minute or quick oats, definitely ditch those if you want to keep insulin in check, blood sugar balanced and reduce your chances for belly fat, despite those handy packages being under 200 calories. That is NOT real food. To learn more, read this really great article from Mark’s Daily Apple on Are Oats Healthy?

The topping on this dish was crispy, sweet and you won’t miss your dairy/sugar/oat-filled crisp one bit — that’s my personal promise to you!

Best Quinoa Apple Crisp



  • 1-1/2 cups quinoa flakes (You can buy these at the health food store).
  • 1/4 cup sulfite-free dried cranberries or 6 medjol dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (this is sooo worth adding if it’s not a regular in your kitchen pantry, go get it! :)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (use any. I used a mixture of pecan, almonds, cashews)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • Optional: 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • Drizzle of real maple syrup (about 1-2 tbsp)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all in ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, excluding the coconut sugar and maple syrup. Give it a little taste test and add the coconut sugar if you think it needs it. Hold off on the maple syrup till the end — see below.


  • 5-6 organic apples, washed and thinly sliced (leave the peel on, most of the fibre and phytonutrients are contained within the peel)
  • 2 tbsp water or apple juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Method: Place all your ingredients into a large baking dish and mix together. Taste test one of the apples. If you want it sweeter, add the coco sugar. Place apples onto baking dish. You may use a small round deep baking dish or a 13×9″ rectangular. It all depends how thick you want the crust. Sprinkle the crust evenly over the apples and drizzle maple syrup over top. Bake for 35 minutes or until the apples are tender. I personally like the apples to have a little texture, so you may wish to bake for longer.

Serves 6-7 with some coconut milk vanilla ice cream or for breakfast with some coconut milk. EnJOY!


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Leave a comment
  1. Nichola Reid Jan 29, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Thank you for this recipe, I was looking for a recipe to make that used quinoa flakes. Can’t wait to try this.

  2. Corinne Jan 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    This looks delicious! I just have a question though, I make oatmeal from rolled outs myself, what is your thoughts on those? (They’re not the instant kind) As these wouldn’t be considered raw right? Your thoughts would be appreciated :)

  3. Gluten Free Foods Feb 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    I like this recipe because this is very healthy.

  4. Broker Consultant Personal Feb 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information

  5. Healthnut Nutrition Feb 26, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m going to make it this weekend for sure! Dessert and breaky love it!

  6. The Fair Seas Spice Co. Mar 4, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Great recipe. Thanks for posting. Love the use of cinnamon and cardamom. More people need to get on board with this versatile spice. I would also suggest adding a hint of freshly ground clove for a little extra depth. I use the the three spices together every morning in my breakfast oatmeal.

  7. Mindy Apr 20, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I have this in the oven right now. I am addicted to cinnamon so I added a bit more. I am in love with quinoa flakes!

  8. Kerry May 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Hi! I am very interested in what you said about oatmeal. I give my son 1 minute oats with fresh fruit several times a week for breakfast. Is there a healthier option? He is 20 months. He has trouble with really chewy things.

    • Kate McDonald-Walker May 22, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Kerry,

      We really like quinoa flakes as an alternative to oats.

      Kate – Joyous Health Team


  1. March Recipe Challenge: surprise ingredients and the Harvest Box | Life in Vancouver, My Kitchen and Other Adventures - Mar 19, 2013

    [...] Quinoa flake apple crisp. Not your traditional apple crisp but delicious nonetheless! Great for breakfast, snack or dessert.  [...]

  2. My Top 5 Must-Have Veg Items | Very Mich - Jun 28, 2013

    [...] 1. Quinoa: this ancient (and delicious) grain…. or seed (???) is so amazing for many reasons like… it’s gluten-free….. it has a high protein content- it contains essential amino acids making it a complete protein which can be paired optimally with many foods. And it has this sneaky ability to be transformed successfully into both a sweet or savory dish. It goes well with seasoned vegetables and in salads. I also love having quinoa for breakfast- cooked and mixed with some applies, cinnamon, and vanilla almond milk! One of my fav bloggers, Joyous Health, transforms quinoa into some of the most delicious treats and soul-warming meals on her site. Check out her delish Quinoa Apple Crisp here! [...]

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