Basil and Raw Food
It has been a very hot, wet summer in the Minneapolis area. Because of this, the growth of everything green has been amazing. Walking out the back door, I feel like I am walking into a jungle. I gave up on the weeds weeks ago.
One of the benefits of all of this rain and heat is that my basil has been extremely prolific. My plants are over 3 feet tall and sprouting leaves everywhere. Thinking about how much I pay for fresh basil in the middle of the winter, I quickly decided that none of this basil is going to waste. This week, I am going to bring you 5 recipes, including a basil pesto that is made in stages so that you can freeze it and pull it out in the middle of the winter!
Today we are going to start with a simple basil oil and a basil cashew-walnut spread. This is one of those great raw food recipes that will convert into a couple of different meals. A simple spread for veggies or flat bread and also a wonderful sauce for a raw “pasta” primaevra, which I will post tomorrow.
Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Spread (pictured)
- 1 cup Basil Walnut-Cashew spread (see below)
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
- Stir sun-dried tomatoes into spread. Use as a dip, or a topping on crackers or veggies.
- 2 cups packed basil
- 1 cup cold pressed olive oil
- Place basil and oil in blender.
2. Blend until well combined.
4. This will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Basil Walnut-Cashew Spread
- 2 cups cashews (soaked for 3 hours)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked for 3 hours)
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons Basil Oil (see above)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch Himalayan sea salt
- pinch ground pepper
- Place all ingredients in food processor. Process until well blended.
Stephanie wrote on August 26, 2010
How many cups of the spread does it make, approximately?
Susan wrote on August 26, 2010
Actually it makes about a little over 2 cups of the basic spread, and a little over a cup of the spread with the sun-dried tomatoes. As for keeping time in the fridge, since this has fresh basil in, I wouldn’t plan on keeping it over 2-3 days. It also oxidizes (changes color) and the taste will not be anywhere nearly a good as the first couple of days.
polly raichert wrote on August 26, 2010
You’ve done it again Susan!!!! Perfect timing for my forest of basil out in my backyard:-)
Also, thank you Jinny for easy instructs on the tomatoes. Those are prolific too and I’m having a hard time keeping up. Will get some of those in the dehydrator tonight. Thanks for the nifty tips once again. So glad i checked in today:-)
Dot D. wrote on August 26, 2010
Can I freeze my basil leaves to use during the fall and winter season?
Susan wrote on August 26, 2010
Freezing, yes. I will be covering that tomorrow.
Elle (thewaybyelle.blogspot.com) wrote on August 25, 2010
This sounds so yummy! I have to try it, especially since my mom has a huge plant of basil growing.
Faith Lubitz wrote on August 25, 2010
I love basil too! Last summer the $1 bunches at the farmer’s markets got me started and I found it was good in just about everything (not desserts imo) – I am very salt sensitive so am always looking for interesting herbs and spices to flavor things….basil totally does it! This year I discovered Thai basil which is also at the farmer’s markets, and that’s what I use now, it’s got a delicious flavor, a bit different from the Italian basil.
And I would say to Shannon- I make nut pate type mixtures all the time, use them in wraps made with collard leaves. The nut spreads last longer than a couple of days I have found, I would say 5 days would be safe…but of course smell and taste things as they get older to judge. The garlic and the salt are anti-bacterial in the recipe.
Catherine wrote on August 25, 2010
Thank you for this. I just acquired a large quantity of Basil and have been using it in salads and marinades, but using it in pesto will really help. Thank you!!
ruby wrote on August 25, 2010
do you need to soak the sundried tomatoes before putting into spread?
Jinny wrote on August 25, 2010
I cut my tomatoes length wise, put on dehydrator sheet, with sea salt and some type of Italian seasoning! Dehydrate over night or til fully dried, Yum!
I love basil and my plant is also growing well!