Plums give a fresh, tangy taste to a classic crisp

A good place to start when looking for more healthy desserts is fruit, which not only packs plenty of its own no-added-sugar sweetness, it also tends to have gobs of fiber and nutrients. Enlarge photo

MATTHEW MEAD/Associated Press

A good place to start when looking for more healthy desserts is fruit, which not only packs plenty of its own no-added-sugar sweetness, it also tends to have gobs of fiber and nutrients.

When we think of winter desserts, we often think of spiced flavors and butter-laden richness.

But while that butter may bring comfort at the end of a chilly winter day, it also adds tons of unnecessary fat and calories. But winter treats don’t need to put a chill on healthy eating.

A good place to start when looking for more healthful desserts is fruit, which not only packs plenty of its own no-added-sugar sweetness, it also tends to have gobs of fiber and nutrients.

For this dessert, we chose tangy citrus and sweet plums. Plums naturally caramelize beautifully, adding deep flavor to the dish. To complement the fruit and bring out its natural sweetness, we add just a touch of honey.

Everybody likes a good spiced crisp topping, but nutritionally it often doesn’t add up. Crisp topping usually makes a good start with healthy fiber-rich oats, but goes downhill with a pile of sugar and butter.

To remake this topping, we stayed true to its oat roots, but added a handful of healthy-fat almonds, a generous dose of spices and a touch of honey.

For a creamy topping we opted for a spoonful of fat-free plain Greek-style yogurt. It adds the creamy dairy mouth feel that whipped cream offers, but with no added fat and a great serving of calcium. We sweetened it up just a touch with honey and a couple drops of almond extract.

Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients in this recipe. It comes together quickly and most of it is done right on the stove.