Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce

by Gena on September 22, 2009

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Hi guys!

I’m back, and in spite of the fact that I have officially disgusted all of my coworkers with nose blowing, I’m all better! Thanks for the good wishes :)

On Sunday, I hinted at a new sauce I’d be sharing this week. Well, mystery revealed: it’s a creamy hemp basil sauce, and it is delicious!

Every now and then, a recipe that I don’t expect to be stellar ends up becoming a favorite of mine. I suspect that this is soon to be true of hemp basil sauce. It began on a whim, and it was a happy, yet unanticipated success. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have expected it to be great: it involves hemp (a favorite ingredient of mine), basil (probably my favorite herb), and I modeled it on my cashew alfredo, which I love. But I wasn’t sure that the delicate flavors of basil and oregano would pair well with the nutty, distinctive hemp. Fortunately, they did!

The key ingredient in this recipe is hemp butter. What is hemp butter? Well, it’s just like almond butter or any other nut butter, but the base is hemp seeds (so in this regard I guess it’s a cousin of tahini, another seed spread). I don’t think I need to sing the praises of hemp seeds to most of you blog readers: thought of as the most nutritious seed on the planet, hemp (and hemp butter) is high in protein, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. It’s also an eco-friendly industrial crop that lends itself to numerous products (from clothing to concrete), and it’s worthy of major consumer support.

For these many reasons, I consider hemp butter a terrific alternative to typical nut butters. The taste is less immediately accessible—it’s less sweet—but as soon as you grow accustomed to it, I think you’ll find (as I have) that it’s delicious. Unfortunately, hemp butter is tough to find. There are a few brands on the market: Manitoba Harvest makes one, and you can always make your own. Recently, I discovered a new brand, and I’m so glad I did. The maker is Rejuvinative Foods, and hemp butter is but one of many incredible products they offer.

What makes Rejuvinative Foods so special? To start, all of their nut butters are unheated and processed at low temperatures. Even more exciting, Rejuvinative uses nut and seed bases that go far beyond the typical almond or hazelnut. These include black sesame tahini; sunflower and pumpkin seed butters; cashew butter; ambrosia (a delicious mixture of brazil nuts, coconut, raisins, pistachios, almonds, sesame seeds, hazlenuts, poppy seeds, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg); and luscious chocolate, which is a combination of almond and sunflower seed butters and chocolate. Holy. Yum.

As soon as I stumbled on the Rejuvinative website, I couldn’t wait to have a taste. And the kind people at rejuvinative were kind enough to oblige me! A few days ago, I received this generous assortment of treats:

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That’s hemp seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, luscious chocolate, hazelnut butter, and ambrosia. Wow.

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Since it was the first product that interested me, the hempseed butter was the first product I tried. I had been planning to use it in a dessert sauce, but I quickly realized that the relatively un-sweet hemp flavor might easily lend itself to a savory recipe. And with that, creamy hemp basil sauce was born.

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Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce
(yields about 1 1/2 cups — possibly a bit less)

½ cup hemp butter
½ cup water
1 tsp lemon
1-2 dates (pitted)
1 tsp oregano, dry
½ tsp thyme, dry
¼ cup fresh basil, packed
¼-1/2 tsp salt (start with ¼ and then adjust to your taste)
1 tbsp olive oil

Procedure:

Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor, magic bullet, or Vitamix until well mixed. Adjust water if you’d like it thinner—but keep in mind that it will thicken in the fridge.

I served this sauce over spiralized carrots and zucchini (I recommend using 1/4 cup per person as a “pasta” sauce), but it would be equally scrumptious served over kelp noodles, over steamed or grilled vegetables, or as an alternative to mayonnaise in wraps, sandwiches, and slaws (I think carrot and cabbage slaw would be incredible with this stuff). It’s sweet and rich, but the basil keeps it light. It paired especially well with the carrots!

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I tossed and served alongside a big ‘ole salad:

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Since the meal above, I’ve opened a few other Rejuvinative samples. Faves thus far are the ambrosia and the Luscious Chocolate, which are both amazing. The chocolate spread, in particular, is total decadence, and I cann’t gush enough about it! Scooped on some medjool dates, or on top of some banana soft serve, it makes for a heavenly dessert.

Hope you’ll all check out the Rejuvinative website and support their raw, homemade, and extraordinary products. Nut butters are versatile and nutritious, and when they’re made with this much integrity and love, a worthy investment in a high-raw diet.

Night all.

xo

P.S. Have you tried carrot fries yet?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

lk - healthy delicious September 22, 2009 at 7:08 pm

this basil sauce looks fantastic! I’ve never heard of hemp butter before, but I’ll keep an eye out for it at the co-op – I’m intrigued!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

It was wonderful to talk to you today, Gena. Wonderful.

Another thing that looks wonderful….that luscious chocolate. Would that be chocolate hemp butter? OMG. Ambrosia, I have never had it, have no idea what it would even taste like but just the name sounds sinful :) The chocolate though…mmmm, hmmm. I need to get on that, stat.

In honor of you, when I was at the groc store today after we spoke, I picked up some veggies to roast. Even though it’s 103F, I will be roasting a couple things tomorrow night I think. I dont think raw sweet potatoes would be very appetizing now would they :)

xoxo
averie

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Alison September 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Glad you’re feeling better. The sauce looks really interesting. It has a greenish tinge – I thought it might have avocado in it. Is hemp butter pretty expensive?

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Gena September 23, 2009 at 6:53 am

Hi Alison —

The green is from the hemp butter and also the basil. You can find hemp butter for about $10.00 online.

Gena

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Casey September 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Yum, yum yum! I tried the carrot frie dthe other niht and they were fabulous!! Thanks Gena xxx

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BroccoliHut September 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Fantastic! I am such a hemp fanatic (hemp protein and hemp milk are my current faves) that I would love to give hemp seed butter a try. Thanks for the rec!

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Glidingcalm September 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

OH WOWEEEEEEEE! Can you just come over and make me dinner sometime?! :) And i would try carrot fries, but I don’t know if my spiralizer will work with that!

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Teresa September 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Ok I love love raw almond butter, but hemp butter is my number one favorite nut/seed butter. Ever since I sampled it at the SF Green Festival a few years ago it has been a staple for me. I absolutely love it paired with cinnamon (a very rare treat is when I have it on Ezekiel cinnamon raisin english muffins).

Although I’ve only had the Manitoba brand, and I’ve never been brave enough to make a sauce with it (out of fear of spoiling it). With your awesome recipe I seriously can’t wait to give it a try! If only my cheap spiralizer could do carrots :(.

It looks and sounds delectable. Thanks!

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GirlonRaw September 22, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Man! You are one talented lady!!!! Every dish I try of yours in amazing. I cannot wait to try this one when I touch down. The colours look fantastic as well!

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Shelby September 23, 2009 at 2:59 am

This sounds so darn tasty! I will have to pick up some Hemp Butter as soon as I can find some!

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VeggieGirl September 23, 2009 at 4:11 am

You were totally right (as always) that I’d be pleasantly surprised by your new recipe!! Mmm :)

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Whitney @ Lettuce Love September 23, 2009 at 4:19 am

Your recipes are always worth trying! It looks super yummy!

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Lauren September 23, 2009 at 5:59 am

This recipe sounds delicious!!! I have never had hemp seed butter! I am totally missing out!! :)

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Delphine September 23, 2009 at 6:47 am

I’m going to try this tonight! I adore hemp butter and I have some carrots and zukes I need to use! mmmm….

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happyherbivore September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am

YUM!

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KRISTEN'S RAW September 23, 2009 at 11:06 am

Yum! I’m a hemp girl for sure… one of my fave sayings is “Got Hemp?”

Pics look delicious as usual Gena! :)

Cheers XOXO!
SEE YOU TONIGHT!!!!!

Kristen

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~Jessica~ September 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Looks delicious! And so glad that you’re on the mend and feeling better.

*hugs*

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Eira September 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I’m going to try this tomorrow! Thank you :)
Btw, if anyone is interested, Hempini in the UK can be found through the Fresh Network website or directly from Detox your world.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) September 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Must get my hands on hazelnut butter.

P.S. – I also need to get my hands on some carrots ASAP. ;)

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) September 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

HOT DAMN. I can hang with this recipe. For sure.

PS. What is up with everyone being sick right now?? So glad to hear you’re feeling better, but I totally caught a cold after all. Feels like death!

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Earth Mother - In The Raw September 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Wow. I feel like Christmas just came early! Thank you for turning me on to Rejuvinative Foods. Just explored the site. Yowza! I’m so excited. Amazing products!

I suspect your Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce is going to become a new fave of mine. What a fab idea! Never would have thought of combining basil w/ hemp butter. You da bomb! :D

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Menden @ Skinny Menny September 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Mmmm, that sauce looks delicious. I’ve never heard of hemp seed butter before…very interesting!

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rhodeygirl September 24, 2009 at 4:46 am

Hi Dear! I tested your soft serve… here is my post about it! http://rhodeygirltests.com/2009/09/23/genas-raw-banana-soft-serve-ice-cream/

We loved it!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 24, 2009 at 6:54 am

That looks really good. The whole dish looks great! Gotta try!

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astrorainfall September 24, 2009 at 7:23 am

I just made this sauce for zucchini noodles. Big yum, I must say. It’s got a sweetish flavour that has quite a bit of depth with the oregano and basil. I didn’t have hemp butter so I used hemp seeds and put in 2 tbs of cashew butter to get that creamy consistency. Love your recipes!

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Ricki September 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm

So glad you’re better! A nasty cold seems to be making the rounds (I’m working on ridding myself of it right now). I will have to try that sauce with the last of my fresh basil from the garden. I’ve got hemp seeds, not butter, but will process my own! :)

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evergreen September 25, 2009 at 8:15 am

Glad to know you are feeling better:)

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I loved it!

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Jess of Veg Out! October 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I just bought hemp butter this past weekend! Can’t wait to try this!

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