A Better Apple Dessert

Apple crisp is one of the most delightful fall treats, but the high amount of sugar in many recipes makes it a choice to be cautious of. Full of whole grains and walnuts, this dessert is a satisfying, well-rounded dish that delivers nutrition with your dessert. Because it has slow-burning whole grains and a touch of omega-3s, it also makes a reasonable afternoon snack to keep you full and energized in between meals.

Apple Crumb Squares

Apple Crumb Squares

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A cross between traditional apple crisp and more cake-like apple crumb bars, this dessert will meet your cravings for a luscious fall treat. A tart, firm apple like a Granny Smith provides the best combination of taste and texture, but the recipe can be made with whatever fruit you have on hand. Pears or berries would also work wonderfully in this simple, flexible recipe.

Servings: 8 (151g )

Prep Time: 25 min.

Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ¼ cup apple-juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9″ square or 7″x11″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk oats, flours, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in the oil and apple-juice concentrate with a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Press 2 cups of the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices.
  4. Mix the walnuts into the remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle over the apples and pat into an even layer.
  5. Bake until the top is golden and the apples are tender when pierced (30-35 minutes). Cool completely on a wire rack.