Spring Rolls Combine Colors, Flavors of Season

When I think of spring dishes, I think of bright beautiful colors and flavors. One of my favorite spring meals to make for my family, friends and Nourish Café customers is spring rolls. I think of spring rolls as mini salad burritos, and I tell everyone that! They are so versatile too, for those picky eaters or people with dietary restrictions.

Spring rolls are traditionally made dairy and gluten free, and can easily be made vegan or keto friendly. I don’t ever eat soy or peanuts for health reasons, so I use coconut aminos for my soy sauce substitution in recipes, if needed. There are a lot of nut and seed butters to use in place of peanut butter or peanuts in recipes. I have even made fruit filled spring rolls with a sweet ginger sauce as a dessert for friends. I also have made spring roll bowls as a weekly special at Nourish Café & Market, which is much more time efficient in a restaurant setting than rolling individual spring rolls. We have spring rolls on our Easter or Mother’s Day catering menus every year because of the bright colors, and they are always a hit! Spring rolls are also very high in vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. 

CoMo in the spring is full of colorful produce from our local farmers. From Happy Hollow cabbage, Three Creeks cucumbers, Share Life carrots, Raw Roots Turmeric ginger, Sullivan Farm carrots and Sellmeyer bell peppers to The Sage Garden lettuces. I love using local organic cilantro, garlic and ginger when I can in my sauce. The veggies inside a spring roll can be changed easily to fit local seasonal produce. 

I usually marinate my shredded cabbage before using it, but I don’t recommend using too much green curly kale because it usually tries to expand its leaves in the roll and ends up tearing them. I love celery, but I don’t like to use produce that can get thread-like fibers stuck in my teeth, or that can pull out all the other fillings on accident, so I cut these items very thin. Bulky produce like cauliflower or broccoli crowns also are best if cut thin so the filling is easier to roll up. I love adding rice noodles, bean sprouts and cilantro stems in my rolls. I also sometimes add chicken, shrimp, anchovies or salmon to my spring rolls. 

I like to drizzle my dipping sauce inside each of my rolls so you can get sauce in every bite, plus dipping it in the sauce if you really love it, like I do on my veggies. In a spring roll bowl, I would use an organic white, brown, jasmine and/or sprouted rice since I don’t use the rice papers. For my sauce, I rotate between almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter and tahini. Check out my simple spring roll and almond sauce recipes for your next spring get-together!

Spring Rolls

Kimber Dean
Grain Free | Paleo | Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8  Spring Roll Wrappers
  • 1  Red Bell Pepper Sliced Thin
  • 1 Cucumber Sliced Thin
  • 3 3 Carrots Thinly Sliced
  • 1 cup Purple or Green Cabbage Thinly Sliced

Instructions
 

  • Prep the spring roll wrappers. Fill up a medium size bowl with some warm water and place the wrappers into the water so they are fully submerged. Let them sit in the water for 4-5 minutes. This will help soften them up and make them more pliable for folding. 
  • Mix the sauce. Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Assemble spring rolls. Lay the spring roll wrappers on a flat surface. Lay out the veggies and the sauce near the wrappers like an assembly line. Take one of the wrappers and lay it flat. Near the bottom of the wrapper, layer on some of the bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, cabbage and a slight drizzle of the sauce. Roll it up by folding in the sides of the wrapper, then fold up the bottom over the veggies and continue rolling it up nice and tight like a burrito. Be careful not to overfill the wrapper or it may tear. Continue until you have made all of the spring rolls. 
  • Slice and serve with the remaining dipping sauce.

Almond Butter Spring Roll Sauce

Kimber Dean
Grain Free | Paleo | Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup Almond Butter
  • 1 cup Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger Powder 
  • 2 ounces Lime Juice
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor, and blend on high until smooth. 
  • Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until used. It will keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 4 months in the freezer. 
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