Your whole food, plant-based life.

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.


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  1. Anna wrote on September 19, 2010

    Just wondering – could I substitute almonds for walnuts? I set about making this and stupidly have soaked almonds instead of walnuts, but don’t want the almonds to go to waste and I don’t have a dehydrator to dry them out again. Oops!

    • Susan wrote on September 19, 2010

      Hmmmm…You could try…

  2. Susan wrote on September 1, 2010

    You don’t have to dehydrate them after soaking. Just soak them and then drain.

  3. Matthew Robbins wrote on September 1, 2010

    for how long and do they have to be dehydrated after soaking for this recipe?


  4. Susan wrote on September 1, 2010

    Yes, they are soaked.

  5. Matthew Robbins wrote on September 1, 2010

    Just wondering if you soaked the cashews and walnuts for the spread?

  6. Joan Bernard wrote on August 27, 2010

    I am transitioning to a Raw food lifestyle. I am happy to follow your site.

  7. JoanB wrote on August 27, 2010

    I was doing some research on the web on the health benefits of Basil and your site came up. Great recipe! I am amazed at the way you have incorporated this healthy herb in a wonderful recipe. I am sure your readers will be glad to know that basil has been found to have great benefits for the heart, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system. Published studies have also found it to act on certain strains of bacteria. Thank you for this recipe.

  8. whitney wrote on August 26, 2010

    I don’t have any sundried tomatoes currently so just made the basil walnut-cashew spread. Divine! I used it as a spread on a collard green wrap with tomatoes, cukes, yellow squash, red peppers, and more basil – very yummy – will have it for lunch again tomorrow! Perfect timing on this recipe! I’m going to make the Raw Goji Cacao Energy Bars tomorrow night. You continue to overwhelm me with the beauty of your pics, the relevant info, well designed site, and of course, fabulous food! Thank you!

  9. Faith Lubitz wrote on August 26, 2010

    Stephanie- I find I can estimate the total amount of a recipe by simply adding the amounts together- so, the basil-walnut spread makes around 2 1/2- 3 cups, and the version given here with sun dried tomatoes would make about 1 1/4 cups. – Faith


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