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Peanut Passion Sauce

 Recipe from eat, drink & be vegan.
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP.

1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter (see note)
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and cut in small chunks (see note)
2 medium cloves garlic, halved (see note)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the ‘heat’!)
3 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (zest lime before juicing, see below)
2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp lime zest (see note)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
warm or hot water, plain non-dairy milk, or light coconut milk (to thin sauce as desired, see note)
In a food processor, blender, or with a handblender and a deep cup, combine all ingredients except cilantro and water or milk and purée until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (If not using a processor, first grate garlic and ginger, then whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.) If serving as a dip, keep sauce thick. Stir in cilantro, or use as a garnish. If using sauce to toss with soba noodles, steamed vegetables, or to drizzle on grains or greens, add water or plain non-dairy milk to thin as desired, and use fresh cilantro as garnish (see notes).

Notes:

1) You can substitute almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter for variety, or if peanut allergies are a concern.

2) If using this sauce as a dip for raw veggies, you can reduce the garlic and ginger to taste so the heat won’t be as intense.

3) For soba noodles: Using an 8-oz (230-g) package of noodles, toss ¾ cup Peanut Passion Sauce and ¼ - 1/3 cup plain non-dairy milk or light coconut milk (or a combination of milk and water) with cooked noodles. After noodles sit, you may need to add more milk or water, since they will absorb sauce. Add steamed broccoli or other veggies, top with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

4) To make an instant bean dip: Purée ¾–1 cup white beans or chickpeas with ¼ - 1/3 cup Peanut Passion Sauce. Add 1–2 tsp lime juice to taste, and 2–3 tsp water to thin, and 1 extra tsp sesame oil if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.