Grain-free Spring Rolls? How can that be done?
Although I haven’t gone completely grain-free, I’m always looking for ways to substitute the grain in my favorite dishes. Thinly shaved cucumber makes a nice substitute for traditional spring roll wrappers. You can fill them with any vegetables (or even some fruits) you have in the fridge.
For the sauce: I enjoy miso but find that it can be overpowering. Many recipes add a whopping amount of honey or sweetener to tone it down. Cashew butter does a better job of balancing the miso and of course it’s totally yummy.
For a sweeter more kid-friendly version you can fill the rolls with apple, pear or even strawberries. I love the combination sweet and savory so I like these best with apple, bell pepper and carrots. Sweeten up the sauce with more coconut palm sugar or honey if it’s too tangy for your little ones.
These spring rolls should be used immediately. They become soggy when they sit. If need be, you can get all the ingredients ready ahead of time and assemble at the last minute.
Grain-Free Spring Rolls
Makes about 12 rolls
1 english cucumber
assortment of your choice of vegetables: red, yellow or orange bell pepper, avocado, carrot, sprouts, shredded broccoli stalks (packaged broccoli slaw works well), sugar snap peas
your choice of herbs: cilantro, mint, thai basil
3 Tbsps gluten-free red miso
2 Tbsps cashew butter
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsps coconut palm sugar (agave, honey or brown sugar can be substituted)
2 Tsps warm water
Prepare the cucumber slices:
Use a vegetable peeler to peel a strip of skin (lengthwise) off both sides. Then cut it in half.
Place one of the halves on the cutting board with one of the peeled sides face up. Starting at the cut end, press the peeler down firmly and shave a strip from end to end continuing to press down for the whole strip.
Place the strips on an absorbent kitchen towel. Allow them to sit on the towel while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will absorb excess moisture to keep the rolls from getting too soggy.
When you get to the seeded center of the cucumber, flip it over and cut strips from that side. I find that the center, more seeded part is too delicate and watery so I save that part to put in a salad.
Make the sauce:
If you refrigerate your cashew butter, heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. You can adjust the flavor to your liking by adding more vinegar or sweetener.
Prepare the filling vegetables:
Cut the filling vegetables into thin 2″ sticks.
Assemble the rolls:
Lay 2 strips of cucumber side by side with a 1/4″ overlap. Lay a mixture of vegetable strips on one end of the cucumber. Top the veggies with some herbs and about 1 teaspoon of sauce. Roll it up starting at the end with the vegetable strips.
Serve with a bowl of sauce for dipping.