Rainbow Carrot Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Rainbow Carrot Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce ~ easy Vietnamese summer rolls are a healthy, vegan, low carb and gluten free appetizer or light meal!

rainbow summer rolls on a black plate

These fresh summer rolls make me feel healthier, skinnier, completely recharged and more in tune with the Universe…and I didn’t have to guzzle any lemon juice and cayenne pepper to get there. They qualify as vegan, gluten free, and raw, too, so even Gwyneth would approve.

I’m kicking off the season for these rolls with a simple rainbow carrot version. It’s a reminder that you don’t need to get fancy with a lot of different ingredients, as long as you’ve got fresh, crisp, colorful veggies, they will be delicious. I think the rolls themselves are all about texture, anyway, with the crunch of the vegetables and the chewy wrapper. The real flavor resides in the dipping sauce.

rainbow carrots

Rainbow carrots are getting pretty common, I’m so glad to see that they even come in large bulk bags now, just like regular carrots. These carrots are heirloom varieties, not modern hybrids, and in fact the original carrots were purple and white, not orange. These varieties are harvested early because on the whole they tend to get a more ‘woody’ core as they mature. I don’t think they’re quite as sweet as orange carrots, but that doesn’t bother me, sweetness isn’t’ my first priority when it comes to vegetables.

Rainbow Carrots cut in thin sticks

You’re going to want to cut thin, matchstick slices so that your rolls have a pleasant crunch and aren’t too difficult to bite into. It’s harder to do that with slim, young carrots because they have more round surface per square inch. Don’t worry about being perfect, just try to get the pieces as thin as possible.

greens on a rice paper wrapper

You’ll need some kind of green for the bottom layer of your roll. You can use sprouts, lettuce, spinach, or watercress, like I did. Lay it out with the outer edge facing down, because that side will show through in the finished roll and you want it to be pretty. Make a little pile of carrot sticks on top of the greens.

rainbow carrot sticks

Wrapping the rolls seems tricky at first, but it’s really a matter of confidence. If you waiver, the wrapper will sense your stress and will go all lopsided and loose. The wet rice paper seems delicate but it’s quite elastic and forgiving. Just show it who’s boss.

rainbow summer rolls lined up

Chop the finished rolls in half using a very sharp knife, and serve with a brightly flavored dipping sauce, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.

rainbow summer rolls on a plate

Here’s the thing about these rolls. At first they seem really complicated and fussy, but it’s really easier than throwing together a salad. The wrappers come in dried form and keep forever, so if you can get comfortable with the process, you can whip these up in a flash with whatever fresh vegetables you’ve got. And I find that once I accumulated the basic Asian condiments in my cupboard, (which also keep forever) I always have the makings for a great sauce.

Rainbow Carrot Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Other summer rolls to try ~

rainbow carrot summer rolls
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4 from 3 votes

Rainbow Carrot Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Rainbow Carrot Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce ~ easy Vietnamese summer rolls are a healthy, vegan, low carb and gluten free appetizer or light meal!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Yield 9 rolls
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • assorted rainbow carrots
  • watercress leaves
  • 9 " spring roll wrappers find them in the Asian food section or online

sauce

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter I used unsalted and unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp chili sauce
  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup water
  • dash of sesame oil

Instructions

  • Peel and cut your carrots into very slim matchsticks, about 5" long.
  • Put a few inches of warm water in a large shallow dish, like a pie plate. Dip a spring roll wrapper into the water and let it soak for about 15 seconds. Remove and lay it on a cutting board or other flat surface. Arrange a few watercress leaves, right side down, in the center of the roll. See photo above.
  • Pile on some carrot sticks, but not too many or it will be difficult to wrap up. See diagram above.
  • Wrap the roll up, starting by folding in each side, then rolling up from the bottom. Set aside and cover with a damp paper towel while you finish the rest of the rolls, being careful not to let them touch each other as they sit, or the wrappers will stick to each other.
  • Cut the rolls in half with a sharp knife and serve with Peanut Sauce on the side.
  • To make the sauce, combine everything except the sesame oil in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for a minute or two. Add more water if the sauce seems too thick. Taste it and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. Add the sesame oil after you take the sauce off the heat.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Notes:

  • Because of the coconut milk this sauce will become very thick when it’s chilled. Bring it to room temperature, or heat it briefly in the microwave to bring it back to liquid form before serving.

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16 Comments

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  • Reply
    Katrina
    October 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The spring rolls, themselves, may be gluten-free, but be careful with the sauce … it notes “soy sauce” which is FULL of gluten. A great alternative for that is GF tamari sauce, also found in the Asian foods section. Also, not entirely sure about the “fish sauce,” either.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 3, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Good point, I’ll correct that!

  • Reply
    Momma Jo
    July 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    We are raw juicers. Busy on the run juice travels well. We are slowing down and the summer weather splendid (rare) rice paper wrapped meals will be on the menu. BTW Thanks for the tip on where to find the wrappers…one less stressful hunt.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      I can’t get enough of these rolls, the hotter it gets the more I love them!

  • Reply
    Milk and Honey
    March 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t do detox or juice diets either, but I do like to break up my happy consumption of butter and chocolate with a healthy lunch from time to time. These lovely rolls look amazing. Those colours… like eating healthy sprinkles.

  • Reply
    Unknown
    May 24, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I’m half Asian & your recipe for peanut sauce is pretty authentic. Well done. Just so happens I bought rainbow carrots the other day!

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