These coconut wraps are the quickest and easiest lunch ever! They are filled with crisp veggies, fresh herbs, and served with a savory-sweet cashew dipping sauce. They are light, satisfying, and paired with the dipping sauce, they are incredibly flavorful. The wraps are vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and nut-free.
Note: The term "coconut wraps" can be a little confusing. Not only are the coconut tortillas made from fresh coconut meat sold under the name "coconut wraps", but the actual term "wrap" means a soft type of bread rolled around a filling of choice. In other words, a tortilla would be used as the wrapping in a wrap. So, in this post, I will be referring to the coconut product as tortillas and the wrapping with filling as wraps.
When it comes to packing a quick and easy work (or school) lunch in advance, I use tortillas and other types of flatbread a lot! The number one problem with making wraps ahead of time is that tortillas tend to absorb moisture from the filling ingredients and get soggy. This is particularly true when using wet ingredients, such as spreads, dressings, pickles, tomatoes, or even cucumbers. The longer the wrap sits, the soggier it gets.
So, how do you prepare a wrap that is just as good at lunch as it was when you assembled it?
Here are a few tips:
Use "Low-Moisture" Ingredients
The most important thing to prevent wraps from getting soggy is to use ingredients with the least amount of moisture possible. This doesn't mean low in water content, but rather dry to the touch. Leafy greens, sprouts, celery, carrots, snap peas, fresh herbs, tempeh, etc. are all great options. Tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, olives, avocados, dressings, and sauces are the least ideal. You can still use wet ingredients in your wraps, but pack them separately and add them to the wraps at the time of consumption.
If you choose to use cooked ingredients, such as roasted vegetables, toasted seeds, or cooked legumes, let them cool completely before assembling the wraps. Warm ingredients tend to give off condensation, so cold or room-temperature ingredients are best.
Choose Ingredients that Act as a Protective Barrier
Ingredients that block water absorption should go down as the first layer. Hearty leafy greens, such as collard or chard, have large sturdy leaves that make an excellent impermeable barrier between the wrap and the filling ingredients. Make sure the leaves are completely dry, then place one layer of greens right on top of the tortilla and one layer of greens on top of the filling. Using two layers of greens ensures that the entire tortilla is protected when you roll it up.
If you're not a fan of leafy greens, another option is to lightly mist olive oil on the inside of the tortilla. This may seem counter intuitive but oil-based ingredients play a crucial role in keeping the wraps intact and sogginess at bay. The same works with butter and other oil-based spreads.
Assemble the Wraps at Lunchtime
It’s a little extra work at lunchtime, but if you really value dry wraps, assembling at lunchtime is worth it. If I know I won't be eating the coconut wraps right away, I pack the coconut tortillas and the filling separately. These particular coconut tortillas absorb moisture readily, so they are not ideal for meal prep.
Tips for Making Coconut Wraps
The best part about making your own wraps are the infinite ways you can assemble them. You really don't need a recipe to make a flavorful wrap. Just remember that contrast matters when it comes to both flavor and texture.
The filling ingredients I typically use fall into three categories:
- Leafy vegetables: some of my favorite leafy greens for wraps include collard greens, Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, mizuna, and mesclun. Hearty leafy greens tend to have thick and fibrous stems, so it's best to just use the soft and juicy leaves and reserve the stems for smoothies, soups, or stir fries.
- Root vegetables: you can use both raw and roasted vegetables in your wraps. I usually stick with raw carrots, daikon, beets, radishes, or turnip. You can cut them any way you like - julienne, ribbons, slices ... Just remember that the smaller the cut, the more moisture will seep out.
- Sprouts: some of my favorite sprouts include alfalfa, broccoli, cress, radish, and snow pea shoots. If you're using homemade sprouts, make sure they are completely dry before you add them to the wraps.
- Hummus: chickpeas spreads come in a dizzying amount array of flavors. Try to pick a flavor that will complement the other ingredients.
- Baba ganoush: roasted eggplant dip with tahini is a great alternative to hummus.
- Tempeh strips: admittedly, tempeh is not everyone's favorite. However, when it's prepared right, it can elevate your wrap to a new level. I make maple-glazed tempeh, for instance (the recipe is in my cookbook), and it works wonderfully in wraps.
Herbs & Seasonings
- Fresh herbs: leaves of fresh mint, basil, parsley, or cilantro are a great way to add a nice, fresh kick to a lunch wrap.
- Dressings & sauces: there are so many options when it comes to dressings and sauces for wraps - herb-infused olive oil, mustard, Thai peanut sauce, barbecue sauce, ranch ... whatever you go with, add it to your wrap at the last moment, so it doesn't get soggy.
- Salt & black pepper: this is optional, but if you are using ingredients, such as avocados, cucumbers, or tomatoes, they always benefit from a light sprinkle of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
How to Make Coconut Wraps
- Prep all your ingredients. Choose a few ingredients that go great together, but don't go overboard with too many things. You don't want to overload your coconut wrap. Raw vegetables should be washed, patted dry, and cut into bite-able pieces. Fresh herbs, particularly cilantro and parsley can hold quite a bit of sand and grit in between their leaves, and need to be washed and patted dry as well. Store-bought sprouts are typically ready to use - washed and dried. If you are using homemade sprouts, make sure to dry them thoroughly.
- Assemble the wraps. Spreadable ingredients go first (unless you're meal prepping the coconut wraps, which I don't recommend. However, if you absolutely need to prep the coconut wraps ahead of time, leafy greens should go down first to act as a protective barrier). Next are leafy greens, followed by other filling ingredients. Any flavor enhancing ingredients, such as herbs, spices, dressings, and sauces, should go last. When finished with the ingredients, roll up the coconut tortillas around the filling ingredients. You can tuck the ends of the tortillas in (I usually do), but you don't have to.
How to Serve Coconut Wraps
To turn the coconut wraps into a more filling lunch, consider serving them with a dipping sauce on the side (just like you would serve summer rolls) and alongside a big green salad.
You can vary the fillings according to what is in season and available near you.
If You Love This Recipe ...
Try these summer rolls with fresh vegetables and fresh herbs, served with peanut dipping sauce. They are one of my favorite dishes to prepare because they are so versatile and refreshing. The homemade peanut sauce is where it's at though. It's seriously the best part of the dish! This entire dish is one very impressive appetizer, a healthy lunch, or a light dinner.
Another great option is to use flaxseed tortillas, almond flour tortillas, or even coconut flatbread as a wrapper. All these flatbreads are soft and pliable, but sturdy enough to hold a lot of filling.
Tools You'll Need
1. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 2. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 3. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Stainless Steel) | 4. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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- 4 coconut tortillas (coconut "wraps")*
- 4 leaves Romaine lettuce
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
- ½ cucumber, julienned
- 2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Prepare the cashew sauce. Add the cashew butter, tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, garlic powder, and ginger to a small mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Add water until you've reached a semi-thick sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, and ginger for a spicy bite. Set aside.
- Assemble the wraps. Lay a single coconut wrap on a flat surface. Add the Romaine lettuce, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, fresh mint, and fresh basil to the top third of the coconut tortillas. Do not over-stuff the roll or it might burst. Gently bring the top edge up and over the filling, then fold in the two side flaps (optional), and continue rolling until the roll is seam down. Repeat with the remaining wraps.
- Serve. Place the wraps seam side down on a serving platter together with the cashew dipping sauce. Serve immediately.
- Store. Leftover coconut tortillas and filling ingredients are best stored separately (coconut tortillas in the original packaging at room temperature, filling ingredients in an air-tight container in the refrigerator). Leftover dipping sauce keeps well covered in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.