Growing up, my family gravitated towards the chocolate-y kind of desserts, like chocolate cream pie, chocolate cake, and chocolate brownies. It was a safe flavor that everybody enjoyed and there were always lots of pre-made options to choose from.
Even on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, we opted for chocolate or vanilla desserts rather than fruit desserts, so I don't really enjoy the "classics" like apple pie or fruit trifle.
As I've grown older and tried new flavors, I've come to love a really good homemade fruit dessert like these Strawberry Crumble Bars, this easy Lemon Blueberry Loaf Bread, or a fresh batch of my Dark Chocolate Strawberry Muffins. In fact, I've even come to prefer fruity desserts over more traditional desserts!
And let me tell you, today's recipe for Healthy Strawberry Crisp takes it all. It's warm, sugar-free, jammy strawberries bubbling under a salty, crispy, pretzel oat crumble that smells AND tastes like summer. It's quite literally the perfect dessert!
The process is really quite simple: you make the strawberry layer and the crisp layer, then you bake it all together in the oven.
However, because there's a few non-traditional ingredients in this recipe, there's a few extra steps. Don't worry, the total time commitment isn't that much more than normal and the extra TLC will take your healthy strawberry crisp from an average dessert to a 12/10 dessert!
Start by making the pretzel flour. Measure out the pretzels (I do it by weight) and add them to a food processor like this one. Pulse until you're left with a fine flour and some distinctive crumbs. Leaving these crumbs in tact will really bring out that beloved pretzel flavor!
Once the pretzel flour is ready, combine all your dry ingredients for the crisp topping, including the quinoa, in a small bowl. Mix together your wet ingredients until smooth, then pour over the dry ingredients and cut in until a crumble mixture forms. It should resemble wet sand. Place the crisp in the fridge to "marinate" until the strawberries are ready.
In another bowl, toss the fresh strawberries with all remaining ingredients and pour into a prepared baking dish, including the juices. Make sure the berries are in an even layer so they all bake the same! Finally, crumble your crisp topping over the strawberry layer. Cover with foil.
Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and the strawberries are bubbling around the edges. Et voila! The best strawberry pretzel dessert you've ever smelled!
A crisp is a fruit dessert with a topping made from rolled oats, flour, sugar, and butter. A crumble is also a fruit dessert, but the topping doesn't include oats and doesn't get as crispy during baking. A cobbler is a fruit dessert with a biscuit-like topping and more resembles a pie. This Berry Cobbler from Broma Bakery is a great example of a cobbler!
Because this Healthy Strawberry Crisp is made with fresh fruit, it needs to be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend no longer than 72 hours.
Technically yes, but it tastes best fresh. Remember that the crisp doesn't last longer than 72 hours, so if you do plan to make it ahead of time, I recommend no more than 24 hours in advance.
I don't recommend using frozen strawberries because they retain too much water, which creates excess liquid that dilutes the sweetness of the dish. If you can't find fresh berries, thaw until room temperature, then rinse and strain out any excess liquid. Dry with paper towels and let sit out until you're ready to prepare the recipe.
I know you'll fall in love with this fun twist on a Healthy Strawberry Crisp! You'd never know that it was gluten-free, refined sugar-free, or had quinoa hidden throughout the crisp. But don't worry, the pretzels are obvious and delicious!
Be sure to leave a star rating and review if you try this recipe! It helps me and other readers know how you liked it and what types of recipes I should make in the future. Happy baking!
This Healthy Strawberry Pretzel Crisp is naturally sweetened with fresh strawberries and honey, then topped with a gluten-free pretzel oat crumble. Each bite is sweet, a little salty, and refined sugar-free. It's the perfect dessert for spring!
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