South Asian cuisine is bursting with flavour, while remaining full of nutritional ingredients. For instance, spring rolls are often cooked with refined flour and then deep-fried. But in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, summer or spring rolls are generally consumed with rice paper wraps. In fact, the stuffing is of freshly sliced vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, red, green or yellow bell pepper, cabbage, olives. jalapenos, or any local seasonal vegetable available.

Rice paper is sold dry, so they store well and are easy to use with the required amount of preparation. Replacing high-calorie refined flour with rice paper can help you enjoy the spring rolls without feeling guilty. Including rice paper rolls in your diet is a healthy choice, as the thin sheets won’t make you sleepy or feel heavy on the tummy. It works great with lunch snacks, or even on the go meal preps.

Vietnamese spring rolls with ingredients such as carrot, violet cabbage, sausage, vermicelli, tofu, salad, herbs stuffed into rice paper before rolling. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock Images)

* Rice paper rolls are a better substitute of bread and is also easily available in Indian markets and online grocery stores like Amazon. While rice paper rolls are generally a lot lower and often under 100 calories per roll, if you compare it with other pita bread then the calories will be higher than this.

* It’s super easy to use. Simply dip the dry rice sheets in water for 10 seconds. You don’t have to fry them and the rolls are fresh and tasty at the same time.

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* Traditionally, rice paper wrappers are filled with cooked rice or rice noodles, which make the meal substantial. However, if you are looking for more fibre then vegetables, such as leaf lettuce, sliced peppers, cottage cheese, tofu can be your pick for the rolls. A diet high in fibre can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller with fewer calories consumed. It can also help reduce cholesterol and lower your blood sugar levels.

Traditionally, rice paper wrappers are filled with cooked rice or rice noodles, which help to make the meal more substantial. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock Images)

* If you wish to add a boost of protein along with the fibre rich vegetables, you can choose healthier low-calorie options, such as shrimp, baked tofu or cottage cheese in place of higher-fat ones, such as beef. Protein helps you feel fuller with less food and fewer calories consumed, reducing your risk of overeating, which can cause weight gain.

* The wrappers don’t need to be cooked before using once they’ve been softened. It stays fresh three to five days if kept in a sealed container in the fridge. Vietnamese summer rolls, meanwhile, include fresh herbs to boost flavour while staying low in fat and salt.


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