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.


Basil Sun Dried Tomato Spread with Basil Oil

Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Spread (pictured)

  • 1 cup Basil Walnut-Cashew spread (see below)
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  1. Stir sun-dried tomatoes into spread. Use as a dip, or a topping on crackers or veggies.

Basil Oil:

  • 2 cups packed basil
  • 1 cup cold pressed olive oil
  1. Place basil and oil in blender.
    2. Blend until well combined.
    3. Strain.
    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
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor. Process until well blended.
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  1. Victoria wrote on January 29, 2012

    Susan, I love your Raw food sight. I am a newbie entering into the raw food world.
    I have reviewed a lot of your recipes and I have a question regarding the soaking of nuts. Is there a preference in container type? plastic or glass? When soaking nuts for 2 hours or more, do you cover the container with a lid or cheesecloth, or do you just leave container coverless?
    Thanks in advance for answering my questions; and I can’t wait to get started on some of your recipes.

    • Susan wrote on January 30, 2012

      I soak in glass, in the refrigerator and usually don’t cover. Cheers!

  2. denise wrote on August 22, 2011

    do i use sundried tomatoes and then soak them? or do i use oil soaked sundried tomatoes.

    • Susan wrote on August 22, 2011

      You can use either.

  3. Julie wrote on June 24, 2011

    I absolutely love this site! I teach in Northern Thailand (about 30 minutes from the Burmese border) and have year-round access to some wonderful fruits, veggies and herbs. Your site is blowing me away. Though I can’t get some of the ingredients, I’m going to experiment and see what I can come up with over here! THANK YOU SO MUCH. Going raw is a step-by-step process for me – but one I’m enjoying. I’ll be stopping by many times a week!

  4. Ronda wrote on May 2, 2011

    Can you substuite another nut into the basil walnut spread instead of cashews

  5. Jackie wrote on January 24, 2011

    Hi Susan :) I just got your rawmazing dessert cookbook and it looks fantastic . I am excited to start making all the delicious recipes in there . Thank you very much .

    • Susan wrote on January 24, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by and saying so! Enjoy it!!

  6. 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…

  7. Susan wrote on September 1, 2010

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

  8. Matthew Robbins wrote on September 1, 2010

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


  9. Susan wrote on September 1, 2010

    Yes, they are soaked.

  10. Matthew Robbins wrote on September 1, 2010

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


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