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Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

‘Tis the season for caroling with close companions, cozy-ing up on the couch, and cooking (and consuming) all the comfort foods. Amidst all the traditional holiday foods and treats, I prioritize incorporating nourishing foods into my diet. Between all the cookies swaps and parties with smorgasbords of rich and decadent dishes, this nutritious seasonal Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger, sweetened only with maple syrup and fresh fruit, really hits the spot for breakfast, brunch, or even as a better-for-you dessert without weighing you down.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I look forward to the “most wonderful time of the year” all year long. Bright lights, cheery music, cookie swaps, tasteful (and not so much) red, green, “Silver and Gold” decor, gatherings with friends and/or family, traditions, and celebration of Jesus’s birth are just a few of the many things I look forward to this time of year!

Another thing I look forward to during the Christmas season is the FOOD. Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, homemade fudge, peppermint bark… maybe I just look forward to seasonal desserts?

Merry, Berry Good For You, and Bright

As much as I love sugary, gluten- and dairy-filled, rich desserts, sometimes a fresh, seasonal fruity crumble is what really hits the spot. And the fruit that shines brightest (much like Rudolph the Reindeer’s nose) this time of year is the cranberry! This tart berry, whether dried, fresh, frozen, or cooked, contains a wealth of nutrients and is a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes this time of year, including my Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger.

First things first, any berry (blue-, black-, straw-, mul-, huckle-, cran-, you get the picture) is “berry good for you,” but this time of year cranberries are in season and at their absolute berry best! Not only are these beautifully bright and tart berries a good source of fiber and vitamin C, but they are suggested to have antibacterial properties that help promote urinary tract health and prevent tooth decay. Additionally, cranberries contains polyphenolic flavonoids (antioxidants) that may help lower inflammation in the body and protect against some heart diseases.

Pucker Up for Cranberries

Cranberries can be prepared and consumed in a variety of ways, including dried, cooked, and even raw. However, it’s important to note that these red beauties are quite tart with little to no sweetness on their own. Most methods for preparing raw cranberries include adding sugar or another sweetener like maple syrup to tone down the tart.

Pairing tart cranberries, whether raw or cooked, with sweeter fruits like pears, apples, or grapes and citrus fruits like lemon, orange, and lime is a great way to naturally balance out the sour with sweet.

Cranberries work well in both sweet and savory dishes, especially when paired with sweet, juicy apples like in this fruity crumble recipe! Cran-apple is a classic fruity combo that has withstood the test of time, but the addition of fresh lemon and spicy ginger takes this seasonal classic to the next level! Shake things up this season with my nutritious, seasonal Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger – a classic flavor combo with a sophisticated twist.

CRAN-tastic Breakfast, Brunch, or Seasonal Dessert

When I think of this recipe a few words come to mind: fresh, sophisticated, nourishing, seasonal, contrasting textures, special, colorful, warm, flavorful, filling, and zesty. I don’t know about you, but just writing out those descriptive words makes me want to make this crumble right now. It's perfect for breakfast or brunch paired with protein rich Greek yogurt, but also doubles as a hearty, seasonal dessert. Just pair with your favorite vanilla ice cream!

Cranberries and apples are a match maid in heaven, and the addition of citrus and spice to the fruit mixture in my Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger enhances the natural sweetness of the apples while balancing out the tartness of the cranberries. The gluten free crumble topping is hearty and delicious, packed with shelf stable and fiber rich oats, omega 3 filled walnuts, and just the right amount of sweetness and spice. The prep is simple, but the results aim to impress!

What’s in This Recipe?

  • Apple – contains fiber and energizing carbohydrates

  • Cranberry – good source of fiber and vitamin C, has antibacterial properties and contains antioxidant which help fight against inflammation and disease

  • Cinnamon – has antioxidant properties, may help lower blood sugar

  • Ginger – can use ground or fresh, contains gingerol

  • Cassava flour (tapioca starch or cornstarch also work)

  • Lemon zest contains prebiotics which can promote a healthy gut microbiome

  • Lemon juice – contains vitamin C

  • Maple syrup – natural sweetener, rich in manganese

  • Vanilla extract – adds flavor

  • Old fashioned oats* – contains energizing carbohydrates and rich in fiber

  • Walnuts – contains heart healthy ALA omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, fiber

  • Unsweetened shredded coconut – contains healthy fats and fiber

  • Coconut oil – contains fat

  • Sea salt – brings out the sweetness in this recipe

This seasonal crumble, much like my Pear Apple Crumble, is nutrient dense AND delicious. As both a foodie and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), it is my aim to create foods that nourish both the body and the soul. And my plant-based Cran-Apple Crumble has both my dietitian and foodie stamps of approval! It’s filling and fueling enough to have for breakfast, but sweet enough to satisfy any after dinner cravings. Just bake, top with Greek yogurt or vanilla bean ice cream, and dig in!

Notes: This recipe is naturally vegan and can easily be made gluten free* with certified gluten free oats. If you’re making this ahead, pop it in the oven at 200oF around 15 minutes before serving to reheat. To reheat individual servings of leftovers, microwave desired amount in a microwave safe bowl on high for about 1 minute.

Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 40 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 cup sliced gala apples (3 small or 2 medium apples)

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced (1/2 t ground ginger will work)

  • 1 tbsp. cassava flour (tapioca starch or cornstarch also work)

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Crumble topping ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats*

  • 2/3 cup raw walnuts

  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tbsp. cassava flour (tapioca starch or cornstarch also work)

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.

  2. In a pie dish, combine the filling ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until all of the fruit is fully coated.

  3. Next, add the oats, walnuts, and coconut to a food processor. Grind for 1-2 seconds at a time until the oats, walnuts, and coconut are chopped, but not fine. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and grind for 1-2 seconds at a time until combined.

  4. Top the the fruit mixture with the crumble mixture, and bake for 40 minutes until the fruit begins to bubble and the topping starts to brown.

  5. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately.

  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. See reheat instructions here.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you make this Cranberry Apple Crumble with Fresh Ginger or any Hope For Balance recipe, tag me at @hope.for.balance and use the hashtag #hopeforbalance for a chance to be featured in my Facebook or IG stories. I LOVE seeing your creations!

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