A holiday breakfast with spicy cinnamon cranberry cream melba, topped with sweet homemade crystallized ginger candy. An easy, feel-good meal.
Cinnamon Cranberry Cream Melba & Crystallized Ginger
Cinnamon Cranberry Melba with crystallized ginger strips is a festive dessert cup, cranberry compote topped with sweet vanilla hemp cream and crystallized ginger.
What is Cranberry Melba?
It's a festive cranberry twist on a traditional European dessert called "Peach Melba".
The traditional version is a creamy concoction served with a raspberry sauce. The French chef Auguste Escoffier invented "Peach Melba" in 1892 at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano Nellie Melba.
The original recipe is full of sugar, as you can guess, and served with dairy ice cream. Not my melba, haha!
I use hemp cream instead of dairy and tone down the sugar. And I top it with fresh ginger, freshly coated in a homemade coconut sugar. Instead of refined sugar so it keeps the ginger candy relatively healthier than store-bought crystallized ginger.
And as a parfait, it is so festive - doesn't it look like Santa's hat? Interested in making this? Here is the breakdown in detail.
How to Make Cranberry Melba
There are three parts to this dessert, all can be prepared ahead of time.
First make the hemp cream, recipe is below, also posted here. Then the cranberry compote, and last the crystallized ginger recipes.
All recipes are super easy, I assure you. Also, the recipes can be made ahead and refrigerated for a few days.
The hemp cream is simply blended fresh hulled hemp seeds or hemp hearts, easy to find in the seeds or superfoods area of any grocery store. Add in a little yogurt for thickness and perhaps a sweetener like maple syrup to taste. The result is like cashew cream, only with different nutrition, primarily protein.
To make the cranberry compote, use fresh cranberries as well as canned cranberry sauce for extra creaminess. Squash the fresh cranberries and combine with the canned for a creamy thick treat.
How to Make Crystallized Ginger
To make homemade crystallized ginger, simply slice fresh ginger, and treat it with coconut palm sugar and basically dry it.
Not only is this a pretty jar to serve for brunch or dessert. It will leave your guests feeling great.
Cranberries are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Hemp has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help metabolize fat and repair muscles, especially after exercise. Crystallized ginger is high in iron and other detox qualities. Although, of course, it is dipped in sugar so it is a candy.
Here are a few more ginger recipes. Ginger is a great detoxer, as well as an antiseptic. Try these recipes that depend on ginger:
Chocolate Spice Cake
Spice khao soi thai soup
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Cinnamon Cranberry Cream Melba & Fresh Crystallized Ginger
Cinnamon Cranberry Compote
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 1 cup cranberry sauce whole berry, unsweetened
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2-3 knobs of ginger peeled and sliced
- ¾ cups water
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
Ahead of Time: To Make the Crystallized Ginger
- Boil ¾ cups of water and drop in the ginger slices, simmer for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water, and pour in the sugar, turn off heat, stir the ginger strips in the sugar until coated well.
- Lay the coated strips on a parchment overnight.
- Store in a dry, airtight container at room temperature - I'm not sure how long they would last since they have sugar on them. I’d say only a day. But if you refrigerate them, they become soggy.
Ahead of Time: To Make the Homemade Hemp Cream
- Blend up 1 cup hemp hearts with water and a pinch of salt.
- Add in ½ cup yogurt, and 1 tsp vanilla, and blend until creamy.
- Keeps in refrigerator for 3 days. Notice you don't have to soak the seeds prior as you do with almond and cashew milk recipes - that is a big time-saver!
Ahead of Time: To Make the Cranberry Compote
- Simmer the water and fresh cranberries, pressing down on the sizzling cranberries with a glass to burst them. Don't let the mixture dry, just heat and mush up.
- Pour into a blender along with a cup of unsweetened whole berry cranberry sauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Blend briefly. It should remain a bit muddled, not perfectly smooth. Taste test to see if you need the maple syrup for sweetness and add if you need it.
- Refrigerate up to a week.
Assemble the Dessert
- When you are ready to assembly this spicy chilly dessert, fill dessert glasses with cranberry compote, and follow with the hemp cream, topping with a few slices of crystallized ginger. We served ours along with our chocolate truffles and hot tea!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.