Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Sugar-Free Mango-Blueberry Crisp (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free)

Sugar-Free Mango-Blueberry Crisp

I am a night baker and a stress baker. As the sun goes down or my stress level rises, my immediate response is to reach for my apron, fire up the oven, and pull out the mixing bowls. 

Take last night, for example. I had a lot to do - laundry, starting the daunting process of packing my possessions for yet another move, answering emails, paying bills, the list goes on. But rather than attending to any number of tasks on my to-do list, I decided to bake. The fresh mangos and blueberries hanging out in my kitchen were calling my name, beckoning me to take part in their juicy sweetness. I heeded their call. Truly, I adore fruit desserts above almost all other desserts. Especially when those fruit desserts are grain-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free.

Really darlings, trust me, it's not hard to make a delicious dessert without grains or sugar. This easy crisp is a great example! I chose a combination of mango, blueberry, and grated fresh ginger for the filling, thickened with bit of arrowroot starch.  For the topping, I diverted from the expected rolled oat topping and chose a mixture of coconut, chopped cashews, and quinoa flakes. Since the fruit is so sweet already, I merely helped it along with a modest amount of stevia extract powder. Throw it in the oven and hooray, a sugar free crisp is born. And it's really good. My housemates both went in for hearty seconds. I somehow refrained to a single serving (?!?!), and relished in each sweet bite. And to top it off, the crisp looks really lovely: bright orange mango contrasting against the deep indigo-hued blueberries, covered in a flaky layer of spicy sweet golden coconut, toasted nuts, and crisp quinoa flakes. It's delicious on the eyes, right?

Just in case you aren't in the know, quinoa flakes are totally boss. Light, flavorful, and flakey (imagine that), quinoa flakes are made from the none other than the fabulous quinoa seed. Quinoa is a wonderfully versatile seed that grows on a plant related to beets and spinach. These tiny seeds behave much like a grain, and are delicious, low glycemic, high in protein, and amino acids. Quinoa can be enjoyed as a whole "grain", as a flour, or in flake form. The flakes are excellent in baking and in porridges, and they make a great substitute for rolled oats in crisps. Quinoa flakes can be found by the hot cereals at a natural foods grocer or in the "natural" section of well-stocked supermarkets. Some natural grocers and food co-ops even have them in bulk!

This recipe is part of this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring blueberries. It is our last SOS before Ricki and I take our summer break, so get cookin' and submit your recipe!

Sugar-Free Mango-Blueberry CrispSugar-Free Mango-Blueberry Crisp 

Mango-Blueberry Crisp

Yield: 6 servings 

If you do not have quinoa flakes, feel free to substitute an equal weight of rolled oats or millet flakes (if available). If you make this with oats, the dessert will no longer be grain-free, but it will still be delicious!

Crisp Topping

  • 1/4 cup/45 g melted virgin coconut oil
  • scant 1/4 cup/60 g applesauce
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia extract powder (I used NuNaturals brand)
  • 1 cup/80 g shredded unsweetened coconut
  • scant 1/2 cup/40 g quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup/70 g chopped cashews (or other nut or seed)
  • 1 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch unrefined salt


  •  4 cups/660 g chopped fresh champagne mangos (from about 4 small mangos)
  • 2 cup/280 g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp/30 g lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp/16 g arrowroot starch/flour 
  • 1 Tbsp/17 g grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/16 teaspoon/pure stevia extract powder (I used NuNaturals brand)

Pre-heat oven to 375º F, and lightly oil a 10-inch round baking dish (or similar size). 

In a small bowl, toss together ingredients for topping until mixture is evenly moistened and mixed. Set aside. 

In a large bowl combine mango, blueberries, lemon juice, and ginger.  Sprinkle in stevia and starch/flour, and lightly toss.  Transfer fruit mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over the top of the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is browned. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

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Reader Comments (6)

Stunning! I love, love that topping mixture--it would be so good atop pretty much any fruit (or on its own, actually). Gotta make this one! And I, too, am a stress baker. . . though I don't necessarily wait until evening. Morning, afternoon, midnight--they all work for me. ;)

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

How Lovely !!! I appreciate you filling me in on Quinoa flakes since I've never had them , I can only imagine that this special desert Rocked everyone's world . Everything you create has that effect ...you are such a master when it comes to choosing the ingredients you combine. I too can really relate to being stressed and looking for something sweet . So sorry to hear you have to move again that is a ton of stress . Good luck with everything . BIg Hugs ...thanks for this fun post .

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Hi!! THis looks delicious. Your blog is so amazing and so helpful for someone like me. I am so happy I found it.
Whenver I get stressed I bake too...When I had exams a couple of months ago - I made 24 cookies, 32 muffins, 2 cakes, and a pudding in one day!!!!!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersophie

Nice website! Greetings from Glory Foods.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergluten free puddings

Coconut, chopped cashews, and quinoa flakes? What a marvelous combination. Simple yet fabulous desserts, with two of my favorite fruits! This recipe is going to be a sure hit during parties.

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYoga Teacher Training

Made this for breakfast this morning, used hemp hearts instead of quinoa flakes because thats what I had and added strawberries. Delicious, except I dumped a little too much cardamom in, oops. I will definitely make it again for a healthy bf. Thanks!

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMandi
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