It’s finally becoming spring here in Toronto, which means naturally we’re craving more and more fresh foods but eating salads day in and day out can get tiring. Enter Summer Rolls! Summer Rolls are delicious way of eating lots of raw veggies and they’re creative because you can always switch up the ingredients that you use based on individual taste and craving! Today I’m sharing with you my personal favourite combination and the best part; the Spicy Peanut Sauce for dipping!
I love including raw red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, spinach, avocado and seaweed into my Summer Rolls. While vegetables are important to include in your diet regardless if they are cooked or raw, it’s important to have variety. If you eat primarily cooked veggies, it’s even more important to slowly introduce raw back into your diet. Some fruits and veggies (such as asparagus and tomatoes) are excellent cooked, the vitamin C in the peppers featured here actually breaks down once they’re cooked heated over 375 degrees. In the spring and summer while the weather is heating up, it is also great to include raw foods into the diet as they will cool down the body and keep you more hydrated.
As mentioned, peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C is crucial for keeping the immune system healthy, the heart healthy and is excellent for beautiful skin. Spinach is extremely high in calcium, vitamin K, folate, the list goes on and on! Spinach contains dietary fibre that is going to keep your blood sugar regular and hunger in control. Carrots contain beta-carotene an antioxidant and vitamin A. Beta-carotene is essential for optimal eye health and will also give you beautiful skin! Avocado is chock-full of hearth healthy fats, that will keep your skin, hair and nails healthy, beautiful and strong! Seaweed, our final super veggie, is not only delicious but fantastic for your health! Seaweed helps purify the blood, is highly anti-oxidizing and detoxifying, contains more bone-building calcium than milk and on top of all this, seaweed (not surprisingly) alkalizes the body!
Now that you know why I like to include these veggies you may want to make similar rolls or choose favourite veggies of you own! All you need to make delicious summer rolls are the veggies of your choosing and rice paper. Rice paper can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores (if not, at health food stores). I found mine in the aisle that also contains Asian condiments which will be helpful to know for the Spicy Peanut Sauce.
To make Summer Rolls you will need; rice paper, veggies and a large bowl of warm water (to soak the rice paper for rolling). That’s it!
1. Cut all your veggies into matchstick pieces.
2. Put one sheet of rice paper into the warm water (read instructions on package for how long rice paper should be immersed). Remove rice paper.
3. Arrange veggies into the centre of the rice paper.
4. Neatly roll veggies into paper (as you would a burrito or wrap).
If I could give a couple hints, they would be to arrange your leafy greens before your peppers and carrots and to not over-stuff your rolls. The more veggies you have loaded up on your rice paper, the harder it’s going to be to neatly keep the rolls together!
Next, let’s learn how to make our Spicy Peanut Sauce.
Remember that I mentioned the rice paper was found with the Asian condiments? You may want to add these to your grocery list as well if you don’t already have them in your cupboard!
– 1tbsp 100% Pure Sesame Oil
– 1tbsp Rice Vinegar
– 1tbsp Reduced-Sodium Tamari (or Soy Sauce)
– 1tsp Sriracha (or other highly spicy hot sauce)
– 2tbsp 100% Peanuts Peanut Butter
All you need to do is add all these ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. You can add more peanut butter to get a thicker consistency (which is what I like to do) or start with 1tbsp peanut butter and slowly add if you prefer a more watery consistency!
Now all you have to do is enjoy! Let me know how you like to prepare your Summer Rolls! Do you have any favourite recipes for spring and summer? Let me know!