I can just imagine myself in Rio de Janeiro right now, sipping on some pina coladas and laying on the beach (and even eating some of the gluten-free tropical fruit sushi I share below). So when Sprouts asked me to share a recipe my readers could make for their summer Olympic viewing parties, I jumped at the chance to channel the tropics in this fruit sushi adventure celebrating the host country of Brazil.
Sprouts Farmers Markets provided me with all the ingredients I needed and compensation to do this post. I’m an avid Sprouts shopper and could not be more passionate about a brand. I’m grateful for this partnership with Sprouts and am excited to share my recipe with you!
Creating fruit sushi takes a bit of time – so I’m going to try to explain things step-by-step. Don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.
Once you get the hang of it, you’re going to love making this naturally gluten-free and oh-so-delicious dessert at your Olympic viewing party or for any occasion too! Your guests are going to go crazy for it, and they will admire your mad sushi rolling skills too!
(Before you get started, I recommend you purchase a bamboo sushi mat*. It’ll make your life easier. They are less than $5 on Amazon.)
Make the Perfect Sweet Sushi Rice
The first step is to create the perfect sushi rice. What you’ll need is short grain rice labeled “Sushi Rice.” It’s very important to use sushi rice as it has a high starch content and is sticky or “glutinous” (not to be confused with gluten – rice is naturally gluten-free). When making your sticky rice, make sure you rinse the uncooked rice well with cold water about 5-6 times until the water runs clear.
In my recipe, I use 2 cups of sushi rice + 3 cups of water + 3 Tbsp. sugar + pinch of salt. I add all the ingredients to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, I give it a quick stir, reduce the heat to low/simmer, and cover for about 20 minutes.
Once the rice is finished cooking, I remove it from heat and take off the lid. I also mix the rice a few times to allow it to begin the cooling process. The rice will cool in about 20 minutes. You can speed up this process by laying out the rice on a baking sheet.
Once cooled, you’ll want to add 1 cup of Sprouts organic coconut milk + 1 Tbsp. of vanilla. Mix everything well and set aside.
Create the Fruit Stuffings and Toppings
The next thing you want to do is cut up the fruits into the desired shapes. Here are my suggested fruits and shapes – the sky’s the limit so do not feel like you have to use my suggestions. Any fruit you like will work!
- Peel off skin of mango (discard), and then peel about 5-6 strips of mango (using your peeler) and set aside.
- Cut strawberries into long sticks.
- Cut kiwi two ways, one half into slices and one half into strips.
- Peel and then cut papaya and pineapple into long strips.
- Cut blackberries in half lengthwise.
You’ll want to crush some toasted shredded coconut by rolling a rolling pin over the bag. You’ll also want to prep the fruit tape (I used Annie’s Really Peely Fruit Tape*) into desired length (about 3-4 inches long) so each segment is long enough to wrap around the sushi roll. You’ll need 8 pieces to cover a full-length sushi roll.
Sprouts carries both toasted coconut chips and Annie’s Really Peely Fruit Tape, and you’ll have no problem finding a HUGE selection of fresh fruits at Sprouts too!
Design Your Fruit Sushi
Place your bamboo mat on a clean and dry countertop. Cover the mat with cling wrap. The cling wrap is essential to keeping the sticky rice in place (otherwise it’ll stick in the bamboo mat and won’t hold together well).
Next, you’ll want to place a large scoop of the sushi rice on the mat, and then shape it into a rectangle that takes up two-thirds of the sushi mat. Once a thin layer of the rice is in place, gently press it down so it sticks together and stays in place.
Line up strips of papaya, pineapple, kiwi and strawberries on the lower third of the rice. Using your bamboo mat as your guide, gently roll up the bottom of the rice rectangle over the top of the fruit, and gently but firmly continue to roll your sushi.
Once rolled, you have a few options for the wrap:
Mango Rolls: Coat the sushi roll with the peeled mango strips. Then cut into 8 sushi bites.
Coconut Rolls: Roll the sushi roll in crushed coconut (or GF graham crackers) until well coated. Cut into 8 sushi bites.
Fruit Tape Rolls: First cut the sushi into 8 bites, then cover each individual roll with a piece of the fruit tape.
When cutting the sushi roll, use a wet, serrated knife. You will want to wet the knife every 1-3 cuts to ensure clean cuts. Be gentle.
The leftover rice makes fantastic sushi bites. To create fabulous sushi bites, simply grab a small handful of rice (using wet hands) and shape into small, rectangle bite-sized pieces. Top each bite with fun designs, such as a slice of kiwi topped with a half blackberry (looks like fish eggs). You can get creative and have fun with your designs!
Brew the Perfect Fruit Sushi Dip
No sushi is complete without its own dipping sauce. I make a sweet and colorful raspberry dipping sauce from scratch. It is so good – I could seriously drink this stuff. Alas, I have to employ some willpower and save it for the sushi!
To make a raspberry dipping sauce (from scratch), add two pints/containers of raspberries + 3 Tbsp. sugar + 1 cup water to a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower heat to medium to allow raspberries to continue to gently boil for about 7-8 minutes. Once the raspberries are broken down, remove mixture from heat.
Next, you’ll want to strain the seeds from the sauce by pouring the mixture through a colander and into a large bowl. Once the seeds are removed, add the raspberry sauce back to the pot. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and then add a cornstarch slurry (1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 3 Tbsp. water). Whisk mixture for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened, then remove from heat and set aside until sushi is assembled and ready to go.
OK, I know that was a lot… whew! That said, this dessert is sooo worth the effort! It’s loaded with fresh, sweet fruits, and your friends will be oohing and aahing all night long. Pat yourself on the back – you deserve it for a job well done!
Thank you again to Sprouts for sponsoring this post and allowing me to create an amazing (naturally) gluten-free recipe for my readers. What an awesome thing you’ve done for me and the gluten-free community. Yay Sprouts!
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