Garden Sushi Cups Recipe
Add variety to your vegan sushi repertoire. This simple tasty vegan sushi recipe contains 100% whole plant foods that you can grow in your garden. Garden Sushi Cups are heart-healthy, low-fat, low-sodium, dairy-free, gluten-free, and full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Read more about how to make this easy and nutritious plant-based recipe the whole family will love.
Kid-Approved Plant-based Recipe
This recipe was probably my fourth grade students favorite recipe of the year. The students really enjoyed making their own individual Garden Sushi Cups. Many students wanted to make seconds and thirds until all the ingredients were used up.
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Avocados Make Sushi Cups Amazing
The creamy green fruit of our warm-climate forest gardens, the amazing avocado, inspired this recipe. There is a very large avocado tree in the education garden and this vegan sushi recipe features their incredible goodness perfectly.
Avocados from the tree in our garden were greener and richer tasting than any I’d ever tasted from a store. Here’s the first one I cut into when experimenting with this recipe at home.
Avocados went on sale at the market just as we were making this recipe. It was good timing because I did have to purchase some. (Timing ripeness can be tricky, one week they all ripened and then the next I had to buy a few.)
The perfect time for trying this recipe is in avocado season when the prices are reasonable.
Simple, Affordable, Nutritious Ingredients
I used just four main filling ingredients: avocado, carrot, cucumber, and mango. There are endless possibilities for vegan sushi fillings. Radishes or shredded purple cabbage would add nice color and nutrition. For now, I’ll keep it simple and stick with my selection of four. These three fruits and a root compliment each other perfectly with black sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
Mangos Make Vegan Sushi Magic
Before experimenting making my own vegan sushi, I’d only had vegan sushi sold at natural food markets. This pre-prepared “veggie sushi” generally contained just three ingredients – carrots, avocado, and cucumber. Adding mango to the mix truly takes vegan sushi to a new level. Many students agreed with me saying the mango was their favorite ingredients. Mangoes are so tasty on their own so it’s no surprise they make this recipe even more delicious.
A Good Mango Cutting Technique
Here’s my three tips for cutting the mango into nicely shaped cubes.
- Slice the two bulky halves off of the seed in the middle of the mango.
- Cut lines vertically into the flesh of each mango half. Then cut lines horizontally to make squares.
- Scoop out the squares with a spoon with a nice crisp slicing edge.
Preparing the Other Fruits and Roots
Prepare the avocados the exact same way. Cut the cucumber into rounds and then chop the rounds into quarters. I prefer to shred the carrot for this recipe.
How to Steam Perfect Sushi Rice
Steam the sushi rice according to instructions.
- 2 cups of dry sushi rice to 2.5 cups water is the correct ratio.
- Turn off the heat after the water and rice have been boiling for a few minutes.
- Stir it well and cover the pot with a lid.
- The rice will steam the rest of the way to perfection.
- Come back in 10-20 minutes and you’ll be delighted with perfect sushi rice.
Other rice varieties will work for this recipe, but sushi rice is preferred for its stickiness and shape-holding factor.
Building Your Garden Sushi Cups
To build your garden sushi cups use your clean finger stop press the rice into the cup molds so that the rice sticks together and forms a stable cup. Then top with the fresh ingredients and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
Remove the Garden Sushi Cups from the muffin tins gently using a teaspoon and set on a plate or platter to serve.
Up the Green Factor – Wrap or Roll It
Another way to add more green vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to this recipe is to use a soft flexible lettuce leaf as an edible cup that holds the sushi. For a natural and nutritious cup, use a lettuce leaf beneath the rice. The lettuce leaf acts as your cupcake paper but you eat it with your sushi. The lettuce cup makes picking the Garden Sushi Cups up a little easier too.
This is the version my kids made on their own. I supplied the ingredients and after watching me make the first ones, here’s what they did.
They were pleased with their creation, had fun, and ate every last bite. Any type of soft-leaf lettuce will work. The lettuce growing in the education garden was particularly fresh and tasty. (I caught more than a few students nibbling the lettuce leaves alone).
Experiment with this recipe just a tad and create Garden Sushi Lettuce Wraps.
Simply put your sushi rice and ingredients on a soft flexible lettuce leaf. Wrap it up in the direction that doesn’t split the leaf.
Either way you wrap or roll it, this is a nutritious and tasty three-to-four-bite snack.
You can also wrap your sushi in Nori seaweed paper, the traditional wrap for Japanese sushi. My children and I think seaweed paper wraps are super tasty and many of my students really like them. Some students though were turned off my the strong smell and unfamiliar taste. Enjoy experimenting with whichever variety of vegan sushi you prefer. Here’s the modifiable recipe for you to try at home.
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