I associate “spring rolls” with the appetizer you find in Chinese restaurants. A greasy, fried pastry of sorts with some indistinguishable vegetable filling. Not something I want to be eating anyway. I know the uncooked, cold rolls are sometimes called “spring rolls” too, but I’m sticking with “summer rolls” for mine so they have none of those connotations. Besides, they’re so colourful that they’re perfectly summery!
I’m a huge fan of beans and legumes and another way to enjoy them is sprouted! You can sprout almost any seed, legume or grain and eat them raw. They’re incredibly healthy- packed with fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes, not to mention they taste delicious. You might be a little intimidated by the process but I promise it’s so easy and you don’t need any fancy equipment. Here’s a great guide, including a video.
It’s pretty fun watching the little tails grow and the sprouts come alive! If you don’t have a garden or are too impatient to grow vegetables, sprouting is perfect for you, as within a couple of days your sprouts will be ready to eat.
You can eat them any way you like- add them to salads, make raw hummus from sprouted chickpeas. Sprouted grains like buckwheat and quinoa are delicious for breakfast too, eaten like cereal with non-dairy milk and fruit.
I opted for lentil sprouts this time as I had a nearly-finished bag of green lentils I wanted to use up. They added the perfect crunch and boost of nutrients to my summer rolls.
Mise-en-place is important when making your rolls. It makes life much easier if all your ingredients are ready before you get going. Let your imagination be your guide with your choice of fillings. Fresh herbs are not optional in my opinion though as they really bring these to life. As you can see from the picture below, I changed my mind at the last minute and added some sliced avocado for a nice texture contrast.
The Best Summer Rolls:
3/4C Shredded carrot
3/4 Shredded beetroot
1/4C Fresh coriander (leaves only)
1/2C Lentil sprouts
1/2 Medium mango, thinly sliced
1/2 Small avocado
Rice Paper Wrappers (I got mine from a local Asian store but you should be able to find them in health-food stores and supermarkets too)
This is a variation on the sauce I used for my 10-minute Raw Peanut Noodles, but a mini batch, just enough for these rolls.
1T Peanut Butter
1T Non-dairy milk
1/2t Lemon/lime juice
1/2t Agave nectar
1/2t Grated fresh ginger
Dash of cayenne
As mentioned, have all your filling ingredients chopped and prepped.
Fill a large shallow dish with warm water (bath temperature). Dip one rice paper wrapper in the water and leave a few seconds to soften it. Rice paper rolls vary hugely in size and thickness but don’t leave it in there too long. It should still be slightly firm because when you lay it out it will continue to absorb the water on its surface. Lay wrapper carefully on a flat surface, being careful not to get it stuck to itself (It might take a couple of tries before you get the hang of it- they are very delicate).
Layer your fillings down the centre of the rice paper circle, make sure you’ve got a bit of everything in there. Add a little sriracha and a squeeze of lime if you like. Fold the ends over the filling and then tightly roll the sides around to create a parcel.
Repeat until all your fillings are used up.
Whisk together ingredients for sauce and serve alongside rolls for dipping.
(Makes 4 large Rolls/Serves 1)
It’s like a salad in held-held form! These make a great packed lunch as they travel well but don’t keep them in the fridge for more than a few hours as the wrappers tend to harden up.
Have you tried sprouting or making spring/summer rolls before?
What are your favourite sprouts?