Our version of peach melba transforms this timeless dish into a colourful drink that tastes as good as it looks. And the addition of a refreshing shot of aloe vera juice ensures that it’s bursting with nutrients to support your wellbeing. We can all raise a glass to that!
What is peach melba?
Peach melba is a classic dessert that dates back to the end of the 19th century. The French chef Auguste Escoffier invented the dish while working at the renowned Savoy Hotel in London. He created it in honor of Australian opera singer Helen Porter Mitchell, who was performing in Wagner’s Lohengrin in Covent Garden. She was better known by the stage name Dame Nellie Melba, which she took from her hometown of Melbourne. In its original iteration, the peach melba consisted of fresh, tender peaches served over a bed of vanilla ice cream. A garnish of spun sugar topped the dish off with an elegant flourish. Most strikingly, Escoffier presented the peach melba on top of a swan carved from ice. This was a nod to the bird’s inclusion in the opera. In later versions of the dessert, he omitted the swan and added a sweetened raspberry purée on top. Over the years, people have developed many different varieties of peach melba. Some replace the peaches with other fruits such as pears, apricots, or strawberries. Others use melted jam instead of raspberry purée. Nowadays, you can also find peach melba cake and peach melba pie if you want a more substantial dessert. As you’ll see below, our own peach melba recipe departs from the original in a few key ways. We’ve taken out the ice cream and added aloe vera juice, transforming the peach melba into a refreshing, wellness-boosting drink. Whichever way you make it, peach melba is a fresh and fruity dish with plenty of opportunity for customization. Plus, it’s full of ingredients that have the potential to boost your wellbeing. Let’s take a closer look at the titular peach, before discussing the details of our peach melba recipe.
Pretty as a peach: the fruit’s health benefits
In addition to their delicate floral sweetness, peaches offer a wealth of possible health benefits. For example, research indicates they can support our cardiovascular health by helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.(1) This in turn reduces the risk of developing heart disease. The fruit may also contribute to healthy digestion thanks to its high levels of fiber. This encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and helps food move smoothly through the digestive system. In addition, peaches are rich in potent plant compounds like carotenoids, polyphenols and caffeic acid, which might have anti-cancer properties. Test-tube studies have found these compounds can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.(2) While some evidence links higher peach consumption with a lower risk of cancer, more research is necessary to clarify this.(3) Many of the plant compounds in peaches, such as gallic acid and chlorogenic acid, are powerful antioxidants. These help to protect our cells against oxidative damage.(4) Experts have linked such damage to ageing and numerous chronic diseases, making this an important potential benefit of peach melba. Interestingly, some compounds in peaches may additionally work to boost the health of your skin. For instance, studies suggest they could help your skin to retain moisture more effectively, which improves its texture.(5) The fruit’s antioxidant properties also help in this respect, defending your complexion against signs of ageing. Finally, research indicates that peaches could even reduce allergy symptoms. They do so by inhibiting the release of histamines (which trigger such symptoms) and limiting inflammation.(6) So if you suffer from hay fever, you’ve got a great excuse to whip up a peach melba! Time to show you how to make it.
Introducing our fresh and vibrant peach melba recipe
What’s brilliant about this peach melba recipe is that, as well as being delicious, it’s quick and easy to create. So, grab your ingredients, and allow us to talk you through it! There are two principal components to the dish: the currant purée and the peach shake. For the purée, place the red and black currants into a high-speed blender with the almond extract and agave nectar. Feel free to use maple syrup or honey as an alternative sweetener if you prefer the taste. Whizz the mixture thoroughly until it’s puréed. Then set it aside, and clean the blender so you’re ready to make the shake. Next, add the peaches, aloe vera shot, oat milk, orange juice, and two teaspoons of agave nectar to the blender. You can always swap the oat milk for another plant-based variety if you like. Coconut milk adds a tropical vibe to peach melba, while almond milk pairs well with the extract in the purée. Blend the mix until smooth, and then you’re ready to serve. When choosing the glasses for your peach melba, we recommend opting for transparent rather than colorful ones. This ensures you can fully admire the drink’s stunning red and orange hues. Pop in some ice cubes for a refreshing finish, then pour an equal amount of currant purée into both glasses. Top this off with the peach shake. Give each glass a gentle stir so the two mixtures start to combine, but the layers are still distinct. The result should be a gorgeous transition from red to orange, like a sunset in your glass. Our peach melba is best enjoyed fresh, before the ice cubes dilute it too much. Making an ice sculpture of a swan to go with it is optional!
Peach is undeniably the key ingredient of this peach melba. However, the other fruits in the recipe also bring a delicious flavor and extra health benefits to the drink. For example, both red and black currants are high in anthocyanins, which are what give them their rich color. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants, and additionally help to reduce inflammation.(7) Research has linked chronic inflammation to several harmful conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, making this an important benefit. Turning to the orange juice in our peach melba, you’re probably already aware that it’s high in key nutrients. These include vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Not only is vitamin C an antioxidant, it also enhances the body’s ability to absorb iron and supports the immune system. Oranges also contain citrus flavonoids, such as hesperidin and naringenin, which offer potent cardioprotective effects. For instance, they can work to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.(8) Evidence further suggests drinking orange juice may decrease the risk of kidney stones thanks to the potassium citrate it contains.(9) Studies additionally indicate that a diet high in citrus fruits, such as oranges, could help reduce the risk of cancer.(10) However, further investigation is required to clarify this. To get the maximum benefit from the orange juice in your peach melba, choose fresh juice with no added sugar.
The power of aloe vera
As we mentioned earlier in the article, adding aloe vera is what makes this peach melba recipe stand out. The shot brings a light and refreshing flavor to the drink, with just a hint of bitterness to balance the sweetness of the agave nectar. On top of which, it helps to support wellbeing in several ways. We’ve got a whole post on aloe vera health benefits, but here’s a quick recap. For starters, aloe vera is a traditional digestive aid that might be useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.(11) It may also improve blood sugar levels in people with pre-diabetes, although further study is required to confirm this.(12) One of the key nutrients behind aloe vera’s impressive health benefits is the acemannan polysaccharide. Research indicates that this has a positive influence on the immune system and is a potent antioxidant.(13) Moreover, aloe vera can help to alkalize the body, counteracting overly acidic diets and the associated negative effects on wellbeing. Aloe vera additionally has a number of benefits for skin health. Studies suggest it can improve skin elasticity and boost the production of collagen, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.(14) Such effects are particularly notable when used topically. For instance, thanks to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, aloe vera may help to promote the healing of burns and other wounds.(15) Finally, this powerful plant could even enhance your oral health. Research shows that using an aloe vera mouthwash can work to reduce dental plaque and conditions such as gingivitis.(16) Although we don’t suggest using our peach melba drink in this way!
All about our aloe vera shots
We craft our organic aloe vera juice shots from plants grown on small farms in the south of Spain. To ensure the greatest health benefits, we only use mature aloe plants, because these have a higher concentration of nutrients. Our team picks the best leaves by hand to order, then extracts the juice in a carefully controlled environment. We only use juice from the inner leaf, as it’s gentler on your system and has a lighter, more refreshing taste. Plus, of course, it offers the same key nutrients. Our shots are undiluted and unsweetened, so you can enjoy the plant’s natural flavor and get the maximum health benefits. On average, our aloe vera juice contains 1600mg of acemannan polysaccharides per litre, which is higher than many other products. To be as environmentally friendly as possible, we ship our aloe vera shots out to you in amber glass jars. You're then able to reuse or recycle these when they’re empty. There are all kinds of recipes you can use aloe vera juice in besides this peach melba. Our shots are perfect for mixing into smoothies and breakfast bowls for a nutritional start to your day. Alternatively, add one to a glass of water to improve its nutrient content and help your body hydrate more effectively. You can also enjoy your aloe vera shot neat for an instant burst