My Favorite Peach-Blueberry Crisp (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Who doesn't love dessert? I'll be honest, when I changed my diet a couple of years ago, I was may more intrigued by the "healthy" desserts I found on food blogs than the savory dishes. I already had a handle on cooking, but grain-free, dairy-free baking is a whole different ball game. I actually think one of the first "paleo" recipes I ever made was a Paleo Coffee Cake. "Healthier" treats can actually be a great gateway drug into living a healthier lifestyle. One common concern I hear from people when I suggest eliminating certain foods from their diet is that they won't be able to eat some of their favorite foods, including dessert, which is totally understandable. Finding recipes that use real, whole-food ingredients or eliminate certain allergens like dairy or gluten, can be really encouraging for someone who is attempting to make a longterm lifestyle change. No one wants to go without dessert for the rest of their life.
These days I don't do much baking. If I'm going to have a treat I prefer ice cream, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate, or if I'm really treating myself, the gluten-free blondie from Baked & Wired in Georgetown in DC is my jam. Their cupcakes are also DELICIOUS (they have GF options if you can't do gluten at all) and if you're ever in the DC area, you have to make time for a visit.
There are times, however, when I like to whip up a homemade baked dessert. Potlucks, Sunday dinner, and family gatherings all desperately need some kind of homemade dessert in my opinion. Preferably something warm, that pairs well with ice cream. I have two criteria for any homemade dessert that I make. First, it must be gluten free. Second, it has to be made with all real food ingredients.
Let's talk about the first criteria for a moment. I don't have a severe gluten allergy or intolerance, but I do find that if I eat a lot of it and repeatedly, that I feel weighed down and heavy. Small amounts, like a few bites of a cupcake, don't bother me at all. But, when I eat larger amounts, like multiple slices pizza from my favorite restaurant, I'm left feeling heavy, my stomach feels irritated, and I just don't feel my best. So, when I do eat gluten, I try to reserve it for the foods that are absolutely delicious and can't be replicated without it. Right now that list includes: pizza from Matchbox, cupcakes from Baked & Wired, donuts from Duck Donuts, fried chicken, and either my mom's, Chavez's mom's, or Chavez's mac & cheese. Yes, the mac & cheese needs those qualifiers. You can't just eat everyone's mac and cheese. Y'all know that. Of course this list may change over time, but for right now these are the only foods that I feel are really "worth" the gluten.
Secondly, I'm all about real, whole-foods desserts. I don't think that my real food "philosophy" should fall apart just because I'm treating myself or my family to a dessert. If I'm going to eat whipped cream, I'm whipping up real whipping cream and adding my own sweetener to it, we're not doing Cool Whip. I'm not using artificial sweeteners (please put down the chemical laced Splenda y'all) and I'm going to try to use the freshest highest quality ingredients I can find. It's not about perfectionism for me, it's just about using the best I can find at the time. A real, homemade dessert is not an every week or even every month occurrence in my house, so when I do make one, I don't feel bad about spending a little extra time and occasionally a little extra cash to ensure that it comes out delicious.
When it comes to my dessert criteria, this Peach-Blueberry Crisp meets all of my requirements. It's gluten free and made with only real food ingredients, plus it's incredibly easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. The crisp topping and soft fruit are the perfect combination. One of my favorite things about this dessert is that there's only 1 cup of sugar in the entire thing. Which means, that you're only getting just over two and a half tablespoons of sugar per serving. It also means that the naturally sweet fruit flavor isn't overshadowed by excess sugar and that it pairs perfectly with some real deal vanilla ice cream. I like to pop this in the oven while we're eating dinner, so it's finished by the time everyone is ready for dessert. As always if you make it, let me know what you think!
Want More? Check out My Favorite All the Healthy Things Treat Recipes
For the Peach-Blueberry filling:
- 2 1/2 cups sliced fresh or frozen peaches
- 6oz fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar/coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scant tbsp lemon juice
For the Crisp Topping:
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats oats
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 8 tbsp butter/coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar/coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss the peaches and blueberries with the corn starch/arrowroot flour, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice until well combined. Pour the filling ingredients into a 9 inch pie dish.
- Now, make the crisp topping. In the same bowl, place all of your topping ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together and forms large clumps. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over top of the peach-blueberry filling.
- Bake the crisp for around 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown and the liquid is thick and bubbly around the edges.
- Serve it warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream!