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 Pear Berry Crisp (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)


I made this crisp to take along to a dinner with friends last weekend. In addition to sharing allergies, intolerances, restrictions, often waning energy levels, and pretty amazing cooking skills, we all share another thing: chronic illness. Lyme, Babesiosis, Bartonella, CFIDS, MCS, the list goes on. How we all manage to have so much fun discussing our symptoms, looking up lab tests and CPT codes online, and talking about our medications and supplements amazes me. It is a small group, just the right size, and the openness, honesty, and solidarity is refreshing. There's no drama, no judgement - just conversation and understanding. And despite it all, we laugh and joke and have a blast.  And don't be mistaken, we spend plenty of time talking about stuff other than Lyme. 

I feel blessed.  This group is just one slice of the community that I am proud to call my own, and I recognize how fortunate I am to have a support network.  Especially a support network that can cook!  :)

Truly, our Lymie dinners are nothing short of delicious. We bring contributions such as green Thai curry and jasmine rice, roasted pork loin with pears and sweet potatoes, baked salmon, roasted vegetables, and fresh vegetables with hummus and olive platters. This last dinner was lovely - spinach salad with all the fixings, charbroiled marinated shish kebobs, wild rice & ground pork dressing, veggies and hummus, and pear berry crisp. The crisp was my contribution, and rounded out a dinner that left us all satisfied and happy. All of us watch our intake of sweet things, so a sugar-free dessert like this was perfect!  Sweet fruit, spicy cinnamon, and a crunchy crumble topping - you can't go wrong!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Share it with people you love, and take a moment to appreciate the ways in which you find solidarity, community, and understanding. Be well.


Sugar-Free Pear Berry Crisp

yield 1 large or 2 smaller pans of crisp

If you have a nut allergy, feel free to substitute the cashews with a seed such as sunflower or pumpkin. 


  • 100 g (approx 1 cup) GF rolled oats
  • 120 g (approx 1 cup) lightly chopped raw cashews (or other nut/seed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia extract powder (I used NuNaturals brand)
  • pinch unrefined salt
  • 1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil (I used organic sunflower oil) 


Heat oven to 350º F and oil a 9"x13" baking dish, or two smaller baking dishes.

Make crumble by placing cashews and oats in a blender or food processor, and process until coarse crumbs appear. do not blend/process too long, or you will make flour! Transfer to a bowl and mix with other dry ingredients, then add oil and mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Set aside.

!uarter and core the pears, then cut into bite-size 1/4" thick pieces. Mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients, then transfer to prepared pan. sprinkle with crumble topping, and place in oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until top is browned and crisp and filling is bubbling a little. Remove from oven and let cool a bit before serving.

Great with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream!  And it is darn good cold too. 

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Reader Comments (9)

I already used up my stash of Summers frozen berries! Can't wait for the season to change and hunt for more, then I'll make this delicious sounding crisp!

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

Looks fabulous!

My fave kind of crisp (& I LOOOVE crisp) is a Pear Crisp (w/ berries or apples & cranberries for fall, you name it I love it). For awhile I was making an almond flour crust w/ agave & coconut oil but since I've tried hard to get away from agave (nectar of the devil, that stuff!, it raised my cholesterol!), I am trying to use barley malt or yacon syrup. I like your stevia idea b/c stevia doesn't raise blood glucose levels at all (or so i've read).

This summer I hope to do a nectarine & blueberry crisp ala giada de laurentiis, but "healthify" it up.

Have a great day!

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

Looks scrumptious! I can't wait to make a summer berry crisp!

I have a question for you about water kefir, how long have you let it ferment and still drank it? The only reason why I ask is because I don't do well with cane sugar and I'm not sure that letting it ferment 48 hours gives ample time for the kefir grains to eat all the sugar. The recommended time is from 24-48 hours, but I was curious if there were any benefits (or problems) to letting it ferment longer or if you tried that.

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Looks delicious! Berries with pears is heavenly. A question though...do you eat GF oats while on the ACD? I've read conflicting information, but I suppose it varies from person to person.

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

This looks delish! I can't wait to make it this spring.

P.S. just tagged you in my latest blog post :)

March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

thanks for all the great comments!

@Elisabeth - I avoided oats for about a year when I was on the ACD very strictly, then brought them in again. opinion seems to vary, but according to Whole Approach (I like their ACD plan), it is something that can be included in Phase II of the diet, after you've done a more strict, carb-limited plan for a period of 4-8 weeks or something like that. Ultimately, it depends on your body I think. If you notice a flare-up with oats, or if you feel better without them, avoid them. If you can eat them in moderation and not experience a problem, go for it. Good luck!

March 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterKim

This sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it out!!

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Yum! I featured this on my post about GF SF vegan recipes: http://www.greenwala.com/profiles/eco-vegan-gal/blog/14994-Wheat-free-Wednesday-5-Sugar-Free-Gluten-Free-and-Vegan-Dessert-Recipes

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEco-Vegan Gal

Greetings from Scotland! I enjoyed reading your articles.

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwheat free desserts
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo