Kid-friendly Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

Recipe: Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

by Erin Fletter
Photo by itaci/
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

Spring Rolls + Papayas!

Our Fruit Salad Spring Rolls use rice paper wrappers or "bánh tráng" (pronounced "baan trahn") to surround the fruit. The Vietnamese created these gluten-free wrappers to make their spring rolls or "gỏi cuốn" (pronounced "goy kwan"). These wrappers help distinguish Vietnamese spring rolls from the spring rolls of China and other Asian countries.

Your kids are probably familiar with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, but papayas might be new to them. It's a tropical fruit that tastes like a cross between a cantaloupe and a mango, and their color is similar, too! After cutting a papaya in half, look at the large black seeds. They are edible, and they are very spicy! Before you discard them, be sure to try one!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • dice :

    to cut foods into small pieces of equal size so that the food is cooked evenly or looks uniform and pleasant when used in the recipe.

  • juice :

    to extract or squeeze out the juice of a fruit or vegetable, like a lemon, orange, or carrot, often cutting open or peeling the fruit or veggie first to access its flesh.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • peel :

    to remove the skin or rind from something using your hands or a metal tool.

  • roll :

    to use a rolling pin to flatten dough; use your hands to form a roll or ball shape; or move a round food, like a grape or a meatball, through another food, like sugar or breadcrumbs, to coat it.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Large baking dish


Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

  • Spring rolls:
  • 1 1/2 C strawberries
  • 2 firm bananas
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1 large papaya or 3 to 4 kiwi fruit
  • 1/2 lemon or orange, optional
  • 1 drizzle honey, optional
  • 1 pinch sea salt, optional
  • 12 or more rice paper wrappers (1 or 2 per person), 22 cm (about 8.5") in size
  • warm water to fill baking dish or skillet
  • Dipping sauce:
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 C yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub coconut cream or dairy-free/nut-free yogurt)**
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1/2 lemon or orange, juiced

Food Allergen Substitutions

Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

  • Any of the fruits: Substitute with another fruit that is tolerated.
  • Dairy: Substitute coconut cream or dairy-free/nut-free yogurt. 
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.


Creative Fruit Salad Spring Rolls with Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce

slice + dice

Have kids slice and dice 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, 2 firm bananas, and **{[1 handful of blueberries** into small bite-sized pieces in a large bowl.

scoop + peel

Cut 1 large papaya in half, then scoop out the black seeds and discard them. Next, peel the green skin away from the papaya. Chop into bite-sized pieces and add to the other fruit. If you wish, squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon or orange and add 1 drizzle of honey and 1 pinch of salt over the top of the fruit to add more flavor and keep the fruit from discoloring.

tear + squeeze + mix

Make your dipping sauce! Have kids tear up 1 handful of mint leaves and add to a small bowl. Measure 1 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and add to the bowl with the mint. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon or orange into the bowl and mix together. Set to the side.

fill + dip

Next, you'll prepare the 12 rice paper wrappers. Fill a large baking dish with warm water. Next, dip one dry rice paper sheet into the warm water very quickly (less than 5 seconds) and then dry it with a paper towel. Notice how quickly the rice paper goes from brittle to pliable. Repeat with the remaining wrappers one at a time.

scoop + roll + serve

Add a scoopful of fruit salad mix in the middle of each softened wrap. Once the fruit is on the wrap, fold up the bottom and tuck it under the fruit. Fold in each side (like you would with a burrito), then roll the wrap to the end. It should seal itself since the rice paper wrapper is damp. Eat whole or slice in the middle at an angle. Serve with the Honey Vanilla Mint Dipping Sauce.

Surprise Ingredient: Papaya!

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Photo by KAMONRAT/

Hi! I’m Papaya!

"I'm a tropical favorite and provide lots of vitamin C! I'm sometimes called papaw or pawpaw, but you probably know me as Papaya. I look a bit like a pear-shaped melon, have a taste and texture similar to a cantaloupe, and will add a tropical quality to your salad!"

History & Etymology

  • Although its origins are uncertain, Papaya is native to tropical America. It was first cultivated in Southern Mexico and Central America, an area called Mesoamerica. It is also native to southern Florida. 
  • India grows the most Papaya worldwide, followed by the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • The word "papaya" comes from late 16th century Spanish derived from an indigenous word.


  • The botanical name for Papaya is Carica Papaya, a member of the Caricaceae family. The Papaya is a flowering plant but is considered a small tree. It usually grows to about 10 to 15 feet, although a tree in Brazil broke a world record in 2021 at over 47 feet. 
  • Papayas are large berries that grow in clusters near the top of the trunk, below the umbrella-like branches. They are oblong, and their rinds are initially green, turning yellow as they ripen. They can range from 3 to 20 inches long and weigh up to 20 pounds; however, their average length is 6 to 7 inches, and their weight is 8 ounces to a pound. The color of their juicy flesh ranges from dark yellow to salmon or orange. 
  • The black seeds found inside Papaya are edible and spicy, pepper-like in flavor. Papaya leaves and unripe Papaya have papain, an enzyme that can tenderize meat by breaking down its protein. That's why some meat tenderizers include papain. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Choose papaya fruit that is mostly all yellow, perhaps with a little green, and gives a little when gently pressed. 
  • You can use ripe Papaya in salads, soups, salsas, sauces, and smoothies, or eat it by itself. 


  • A serving of papaya provides 75 to 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and 10 to 20 percent of folate (B9). Papaya is also a good source of vitamin A and lycopene, an antioxidant.
  • Some cultures call the papaya tree "the medicinal tree" because its seeds and leaves have been used to make medicine. 
  • Papaya can aid in digestion due to the papain enzyme; however, some people are allergic to papain and should avoid papaya and products that have papain, like some meat tenderizers and cosmetics.


What are Rice Paper Wrappers and Spring Rolls?

Photo by wanchai/
  • Rice paper wrappers originated in Vietnam, where they are called "bánh tráng" (pronounced "baan trahn"). They are thin, almost translucent, and made with rice flour, tapioca flour or starch, water, and salt. They are traditionally dried using sunlight.
  • The wrappers have almost no taste or smell, so they become the silent support to the tasty ingredients inside. These typically include pork, shrimp, and vegetables. 
  • In southern Vietnam, they use the wrappers for "gỏi cuốn" (pronounced "goy koon"), also called spring rolls, salad rolls, or summer rolls. These rolls are served fresh, not fried.
  • When shopping for rice paper wrappers, the name on the package may be spring roll wrappers; however, if the ingredients include wheat, they aren't proper rice paper wrappers.
  • Spring rolls are a filled, rolled appetizer or small dish found in East and Southeast Asia countries. Depending on the region, the rolls may be fresh or fried, use different wrappers, contain assorted meat and vegetable fillings, and go by various names.
  • For example, in Indonesia and the Philippines, spring rolls are called "lumpia," and in Vietnam, fried rolls are called "chả giò" (pronounced "tshah zheeyoh") and, as we learned above, fresh rolls are called "gỏi cuốn." Spring rolls served with a sweet, hot chili oil is customary to the Sichuan Province of China.

Let's Learn About Vietnam!

Photo by Le Manh Thang/
  • The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is in Southeast Asia. Its government is a Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic. China is on Vietnam's northern border, Cambodia and Laos border it to the west, the Gulf of Thailand is southwest, and the South China Sea borders it on the south and east. The country is long, narrow, and shaped like an "S." At its most narrow point, it is only 30 miles wide.
  • Vietnam's total area is 331,699, and the population in 2019 was over 96 million. Hanoi is the capital city, and Ho Chi Minh City is the largest. 
  • The national language is Vietnamese, and French is spoken as a second language by many older, educated residents of former South Vietnam due to French colonial rule. Minority groups may speak different languages in various parts of the country. English is also frequently taught in schools.
  • The Vietnamese language has six different tones. The meaning of a word will change with a change in tone. This makes their language somewhat challenging to learn.
  • Vietnam has been under the rule of other countries throughout its history, first under China from 111 BCE until 939 CE, when an independent dynasty appeared. The French colonized Vietnam in 1887. Then, in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France. However, France claimed power again during the First Indochina War, but Vietnam was victorious in 1954. The Vietnam War began soon after, and the country was divided into communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam. After the war, which the North won in 1975, the country was reunified as a socialist state.
  • Vietnam exports the most black pepper and cashews in the world and is the second-largest exporter of rice and coffee.
  • There are several floating fishing villages in Halong Bay on the northeastern coast of Vietnam. Boats and houseboats are tied together, where people live, work, shop, and go to school, so inhabitants rarely have to put their feet on land.  
  • Due to the narrow streets and expensive cars and taxes, Vietnam has about 50 million motorbikes on the roads every day. Some people have two motorbikes, one for work and one for pleasure. 
  • Popular sports are football (soccer), table tennis (ping-pong), volleyball, badminton, and martial arts. 
  • Vietnamese cuisine consists of five basic tastes (elements): bitter (fire), salty (water), sour (wood), spicy (metal), and sweet (earth). It is known for its fresh, healthy ingredients, and rice is a staple, as it is in many Asian countries. Spring rolls, "pho" ("fuh"), a dish with noodles, broth, herbs, and meat, and "banh mi," a sandwich on a baguette filled with meat, cucumber, cilantro, and pickled veggies, are three well-known Vietnamese dishes found in the United States.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Vietnam?

  • Family is very important in Vietnam, and children may live with their parents and grandparents, and maybe even aunts and uncles. 
  • Since children make up almost a quarter of the population, schools are overcrowded, and the school day may be either a morning or afternoon shift six days a week. School uniforms are required. Primary school is required from ages six to eleven, and after exams, it is determined whether a student will go on to a secondary school or a vocational school. 
  • Kids who live in rural parts of the country may need to help with crops or livestock, and you might see them leading or riding domesticated animals, like water buffalo. 
  • Sports they participate in include soccer, badminton, tennis, karate, swimming, and cycling. In addition, kids may play group games like Cat and Mouse or Dragon and Snake or board games like "O an quan."
  • Kids may eat similar things for breakfast and lunch, such as pho, spring rolls, or banh mi, although they may eat oatmeal or pastries for breakfast in the cities. 

That's Berry Funny

Why are bananas never lonely? 

Because they hang around in bunches!

THYME for a Laugh

What are the members of a papaya family?

Papaya, Mamaya, and Babaya!

THYME for a Laugh

What’s a ghost’s favorite fruit? 


Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call strawberries playing the guitar? 

A jam session!

THYME for a Laugh

What is a gymnast’s favorite food? 

Spring Rolls!

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