Before you start thinking that it’s only Wednesday and the weekend is sooooo far away, let me brighten your spirits.
Not only am I going to give you my secrets for making the most beautiful Loaded Veggie Summer Rolls, but we’re also gonna tackle how to make the easiest cashew butter. You can use it for the cashew tahini dip recipe below, on toast, or anywhere else your heart desires – and sure, that might mean on your finger, on a direct flight into your mouth. It’s a two-fer – no, a three-fer kind of day.
See? Wednesdays aren’t so bad.
My adventures in DIY nut butter started with my Vitamix, and as much as I love it dearly, I always find that nut butter tends to get trapped under the blades so I can’t blend it completely. This time around, I used my food processor and it worked like a charm. To get started, all you need is some cashews and a bit of coconut oil.
I’ve talked in the past about soaking nuts in order to make them more easily digestible, but that’s not something you want to do here, unless you plan to dehydrate them after. While soaked cashews are great for making things like cashew milk, any moisture in the nuts will affect the life of the cashew butter. If they’re wet, the butter will go bad faster, and nobody wants that, right?
For this batch, I’ve roasted raw unsalted cashews. This does 2 things – brings out their flavour, and if you do need to soak your nuts for digestibility, it’ll help to remove that moisture. Once they’re golden and toasty, you’re all ready for the food processor.
Know that patience is a virtue here, and it WILL turn to butter. You just have to have a little faith, and give the food processor a rest every so often because, well, we don’t want to start any fires. From start to finish, the step-by-step photos you see above happened over a span of about 10 minutes, pausing every 2-3.
Before you know it, she’ll be ready!
Silky smooth, nutty, creamy, and ready to serve all of your nut butter needs. The addition of 1 tbsp coconut oil is totally optional and will help create a slightly thinner consistency. Whatever you do, do NOT add water. Just like soaking the cashews, this will add moisture, but it’ll also make your nut butter go bad faster.
Of course, you could get fancy with cinnamon, maple or other flavourings if you like, but for the purposes of the Cashew Tahini Dip I’m about to share, I left mine plain.
Moving right along, let’s chat about these Loaded Veggie Summer Rolls. The dip is dead easy – just blend the ingredients together in your food processor. But I know the rolls can look a little intimidating if you’ve never made them before, so I’ve got 3 of my best tips for beautiful summer rolls to share with you. As someone who used to notoriously over-fill my rice wraps, I’ve learned a few tricks to allow for maximum fillings and minimal torn wraps. Here they are:
Tip 1. Spiralize, julienne or shred your fillings
Back to that poking thing, making your roll fillings as soft and flexy as possible will help to avoid piercing the rice wraps. For the rolls below, I chopped up the purple cabbage and peppers into really small pieces, spiralized the zucchini into noodles, and used a julienne peeler for the carrots which were the pokiest veggie of them all.
Tip 2. Double or triple up your rice wraps
This is the one thing that will facilitate the process the most. By doubling up, you’re making a stronger wrap that can withstand more stretching and poking from the fillings. I still recommend soaking them in a bowl of hot water one at a time – that way you won’t end up with a soggy, rice papery, sticky mess. But after that, layer one on top of another, offset a few inches to give you a little extra rolling runway.
Tip 3. Line the middle of each wrap with green leaf lettuce
This happens after soaking and layering, just before you place your fillings on top. Pull any stiff stems out of the lettuce (toss them in a salad or smoothie), then go crazy with your veggies, fruit, herbs and chilies. You want the patch underneath the fillings to have a smooth lettuce leaf underneath. Why? Like the double wrapping, we’re building a stronger wrap by doing this and making a barrier to avoid piercing. Remember, more flexible fillings in a strong wrap mean you can make bigger summer rolls, and therefore get more bites that work like shuttles for the cashew tahini dip (which is delightfully dreamy, by the way.) ?
Feeling good about this? I am! It only takes a few to get the hang of it, and then you’ll be (pardon the pun but I just can’t resist) on a roll. ? The final result is one I’m sure you’ll get compliments on!
Packed with veggies, fresh herbs and sweet mango, these Loaded Veggie Summer Rolls with Cashew Tahini Dip are a perfect healthy summer appetizer.
- 16-20 rice paper wraps
- 1 large zucchini, spiralized
- 1 large carrot, grated or cut with a julienne peeler
- ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ mango, thinly sliced into strips
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped or shaved purple cabbage
- ¾ cup loosely packed mixed fresh mint, basil and parsley
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 small red bird’s eye chili, de-seeded and very finely minced (optional)
Cashew Tahini Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup natural cashew butter
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- Toss all ingredients for the cashew dip in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a small bowl.
- Lay out all ingredients to fill the wraps, prepared as indicated above, on a tray or in bowls for easy access.
- One at a time, soak two rice wraps in a bowl of warm water until they soften completely. Lay the first one flat on a smooth surface, following with the other with about ½ of the wrap overlapping the first. (Layering will help prevent punctures and make the rolls more durable.) Arrange some of the fillings in a pile at the end nearest to you. Fold the edge nearest you over your fillings, then fold the left and right sides in as if making a burrito. Continue rolling away from yourself until the wrap is completely rolled up. Set it seam-side down on a plate.
- Repeat for the remaining rice wraps until you’ve used up all the fillings. Serve with the bowl of cashew tahini dipping sauce on the side.
If you need to make these ahead of time, wrap them in damp paper towels and keep them sealed in a Ziploc bag or container with a lid.
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So tell me… what recipes have you been making for potlucks, picnics and parties this summer?