Most, if not all, are familiar with apple crisp–a favorite fall recipe of many kitchens. However, Cherry Crisp seems to be more elusive.

Apple crisp is my favorite recipe, but, recently I have been experimenting with eating more “warming” foods according to traditional Eastern cultures (to skip this section, scroll down for the recipe). In Asia, many believe that the type of foods you eat can either warm your organs or make them cold–the principals of Yin/Yang.

According to Acupuncture Today, each organ in the body has an element of yin and yang within it. Some organs, such as the liver, are predominantly yang; others, such as the kidneys, are yin. Even though an organ may be predominantly yin or yang in nature, the balance of yin and yang is maintained throughout the body, because the sum total of yin and yang will be in balance.

It is important to note that the body is not always in an exact balance of yin and yang. Even when the body is healthy, there may be subtle shifts from one state to the other. When a person gets angry, for instance, the yang state may dominate; when that person has calmed down and resumed to a peaceful state, yin may become dominant.

Foods affect this principal and can keep the body in balance when eating foods the body many need more of. For example, if your liver’s yang is weak, you may need more warming foods. Trying to get rid of a cold? Drinking tepid water, warm broths (bone broth), and warming foods will keep you healthy.

Warming foods include:

Apricots, Cherries, Dates, Coconut Milk, Red Meat (any meat really), Raspberry, Ginger, Garlic, Walnuts, and Basil to name a few.

Cooling foods include:

Apples, Bananas, Strawberry, Lemons, Soybean, Cucumber, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Green Tea and Yogurt to name just a few.

Hence, the reason I decided to make Cherry Crisp instead of Apple Crisp. And, I’m glad I did, it is so delicious, so warming and soothing to the body–my husband couldn’t stop licking his lips. Ok, so here is the recipe (and, for those of you who don’t care about warm vs. cold foods, a good dollop of natural vanilla ice cream goes really well with this.)

Ingredients (Filling):

Courtesy of Red Mill
Courtesy of Red Mill

3 cups of pitted cherries (preferably organic, and for off season buy frozen pitted cherries). Do NOT use pie filling if it can be helped, doesn’t taste the same and very unhealthy.

3 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Brown Sugar

1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice (not a warming food, but it’s warmed during baking and measurement is small).

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients (Crisp):


3/4 cup Brown Sugar (Bob’s Red

Courtesy of Hodgson Mill
Courtesy of Hodgson Mill


1/2 cup of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (Hodgson Mill)

1/2 cup of rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Ole’ Fashion)

1/3 cup butter cold

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, gently toss first 5 ingredients together (the filling). Place in a greased casserole dish or 8 inch square pan.

In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients, using a pastry blender or fork (I use a fork and it works fine). The mixture should resemble course crumbs (like a crumble mixture). Spread mixture over pie filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown.

Serve warm, top with your favorite ice cream and enjoy! Leftovers can go in the fridge, and then just warm up servings in the microwave for 15/20 seconds:)





Published by smtraphagen

SM Traphagen is a writer and novelist. Her works have appeared on, Accounting Today Magazine, St. Reds Magazine, The Culture-ist Magazine, Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine, among others. With a fiction novel written, the hope is to expand the world of fiction in fun and creative ways. Her love of writing fiction and food have culminated in a website that blends the two, including Digestion Suggestion and Untold Shorties.

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