Simple, Adaptable, No-Waste Vegan Apple Crumble

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Writing this blog has forced me to figure out how to use up everything. 

In the old days, had I spied ugly apples at the grocery store—I rarely shopped at the farmers’ market—I likely wouldn’t have bought them. “Ewww, they have blemishes!” Not that the store would have provided the option. Only within the last few years have a limited number of grocery stores here in the US embraced the ugly fruit and vegetable trend.

Had I had fruit on hand beyond its prime, I may have composted it. My fruit peels and scraps definitely wound up atop the compost heap.

Had I needed—more likely, wanted—a new glass pie plate for making this crumble, I would have headed to the mall to buy it. I wouldn’t have opted for a secondhand dish.

How times have changed! How much happier I am!

Fruit crumble ingredients

Food that could have gone to waste instead becomes dessert

For the fruit crumble in this post:

  • I bought organic, not-so-pretty apples at the farmers’ market for $1.50/pound. Their “perfect” counterparts cost $3.50/pound.
  • After I cut up the apples, I tossed them in lemon juice that I had previously frozen. Before a trip earlier this month, I had several lemons on hand that would have gone south while I traveled north for 10 days. So I squeezed those and froze the juice. I was so happy to have lemon juice on hand this week as I had no lemons and needed juice for a couple of recipes.
  • The almond pulp came from homemade almond milk. I freeze this to use in baking later. I don’t buy almond milk because it is always packaged in Tetra Paks, which can’t be recycled where I live and even if they could be, recycling will not solve our garbage crisis. Not producing garbage will.
  • After I made the crumble, I used the peels and cores to start a new batch of scrap vinegar. I love this stuff! (Find the recipe here.) I use it for cooking and cleaning and haven’t bought vinegar in about five years. You don’t need to peel the apples to make this crumble but my daughter won’t eat it with the skins on. So into the scrap vinegar they go. I choose my battles.
Apple scrap vinegar
A jar within a jar keeps the scraps submerged—crucial for successful fermentation

I baked this crumble in a glass pie dish a friend gave me before she moved back to Canada this summer. It’s a deep dish, so it doubles as a mixing bowl. I tossed my apples and lemon juice it it to avoid dirtying an additional dish. When I cook, I use as few dishes as possible.

I’ve been baking this same basic crumble recipe for years, adjusting it to what I have on hand. I’ve made it with peaches, with berries, with peaches and strawberries, with rhubarb, with apples and rhubarb, with apples and berries and rhubarb… For this post, I chose Gravenstein apples—the only apple variety currently available at the farmers’ market, just now entering apple season. Crisp, sweet and tart, Gravenstein apples taste delicious in crumbles and pies. I have more apples on hand and some quince so I think I’ll try that combo next.

Recent farmers’ market haul with apples and quince and all sorts of good stuff

If you don’t have almond pulp, skip it or add almond flour if you have any. It renders a slightly crunchy texture. The topping also tastes delicious with a handful of roughly chopped pecans tossed in. However I make this, my kids and I always gobble it up.

A quick snap for Instagram earlier this week

Unfortunately the kids descended upon the crumble before I could get a good shot of it intact. Oh well. At least it’s an authentic pic.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Use-It-Up Vegan Apple Crumble


  • 8 medium apples peeled (if desired) and sliced
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup leftover almond pulp from making almond milk
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Toss the apples in lemon juice, arrange in a 9-inch glass pie dish or square baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Combine the flour, almond pulp if using, oats and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add coconut oil and use a fork to work it evenly into the dry mixture until the topping looks crumbly. Sprinkle onto the fruit.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit is soft.

Check out my cookbook here!

Canadian cover

11 Replies to “Simple, Adaptable, No-Waste Vegan Apple Crumble”

  1. […] via Use-It-Up Vegan Apple Crumble — The Zero-Waste Chef […]

  2. That looks so delicious I can almost smell it!

  3. I’m an apple a day gal – and have been my entire life. I buy a bushel (or two) of seconds from nearby orchards every year and slowly make my way through them. Many of the smaller ones get eaten out of hand, there is lots of pie, crisp, applesauce and my favorite – fried apples for dinner as we use up the apples that need to go quicker than others. The price works out to be less than 50 cents a pound, although with the local cider scene picking up steam, there’s more competition for seconds from the local orchards.

  4. Cheri Shields says: Reply

    I only recently came across your blog and have been devouring the archives. Read a post – go do something on my to do list. Repeat. Thank you so much for all the time and energy you put into this, I am slowly but surely putting your ideas into practice and am happy to announce that there are now 9 pints of roasted tomatoes in my freezer. I canned 7 pints the next day. Freezing roasted is so much easier ( here’s hoping our power outages are few and short…).

    Thank you. Thank you. Consider me a new zero waste convert taking baby steps to reclaim my household.

  5. That’s looks really awesome stuff. We really need this kind of innovative food art so that we can use the more food rather than making them garbage.

  6. I’ve been lurking on your website for a long time, taking and applying a lot of your ideas (sauerkraut, roasted tomatoes, frozen food in glass jars, etc.). Time for me to finally leave a comment!

    I tried your crumble recipe yesterday with plums (with a few other changes to use leftovers I had). It was truly delicious, everyone in my family loved it. Thanks for sharing all your tips and tricks!

  7. Pattie Beaven says: Reply

    Looks amazing. Going to try this with my family this afternoon with peaches and rhubarb. Thanks a lot!

  8. Teresa Tschida says: Reply

    Love that this uses coconut oil rather than butter!

  9. Just tried this. Its amazing. You can get fancy with it and drizzle caramel over it if you want. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oooh that sounds fabulous. Thank you for the idea. And I’m so glad you like this!

  10. Made a version with rhubarb & blueberries this weekend. Instead of coconut oil in the crumb, I used peanut butter. Wasn’t disappointed! Thanks for sharing!

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