Home-Made Hummus, Smoothies and More


Joanne Irwin

Joanne Irwin

After ten years of eating a near optimal, whole foods, plant-based 4Leaf kind of diet, I have made some significant improvements for 2013. It all began when I saw Joanne Irwin conduct a “PCRM Cancer Project class and cooking demo” on Cape Cod back in October.

I saw how easy it was for Joanne to prepare that fresh home-made hummus; she also inspired me to start including smoothies as a routine in my life. Up until then, I had been consuming store-bought hummus that contains way too much olive oil, tahini and fat—and with enough preservatives to make it last as long as a Twinkie.

So when I got back home, I dug around in my basement for a “mini food processor” someone had given me a few years ago. After discovering that it was missing the top, I ordered a new mini-Cuisinart for less than $50.

My unit came with two containers and two sets of blades.

My unit came with two containers and two sets of blades.

Then, during a visit to my daughter’s house in Georgia in early December, she showed me her brand new Ninja processor. She said that it had great consumer reviews (about the same as Vitamix) but at a fraction of the cost. So I ordered one and have started making hummus and smoothies on a regular basis.

This is the unit that I bought. Just checked and it can be purchased on Amazon for $45 delivered (if you have Prime). Click here if you’d like to purchase this unit on Amazon.

Fresh Hummus. Not being a big recipe guy, I just play around with the ingredients that I like until I settle on what works for me. For hummus, I start with fresh chickpeas in a bag. After soaking them overnight, I simmer them for about 45 minutes the next day. I then put half the batch in the freezer and make fresh hummus with the other half.

My Ninja on the kitchen counter with the hummus all ready to process.

My Ninja on the kitchen counter with the hummus all ready to process. Notice the motor sits on top so the food goes easily to the bottom without having to push it.

Yesterday, I put my chickpeas and about a half cup of water in the bottom of the pitcher. Then I added five collard leaves followed by some Braggs Liquid Aminos, lime juice, one plum tomato, and five olives. Less than one-half minute later, I had enough fresh hummus for two days. I find that it tastes better when fresh, so I keep my batches small.

Healthy Smoothies. When I first started eating a superior diet in 2003, I bought a Jack LaLanne Juicer and used it for several years. Ultimately, I got tired of wasting all that fiber and cleaning the juicer—so I retired it to my basement. Now, with my new Ninja, I find that I don’t waste the fiber, I can combine fruits and veggies and the clean-up is nothing but a quick rinse with warm water.

Yesterday, my smoothie of the day included one cup of frozen blueberries, one frozen banana, four large collard leaves, and one pear—mixed in one half cup of water and one half cup of unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk. Very tasty, very easy and super healthy anytime of day. Both my hummus and my smoothies are high in the 4Leaf range with well over 90% of the calories from whole, raw plants.

Consecutive daily blogs

Consecutive daily blogs

The Bottom Line. Great value, great nutrition, lots of fiber and hassle-free. But it’s not a Vitamix. My son said that my hummus and smoothies were not quite as “smooth” as the ones he makes on his Vitamix—but he said that my little Ninja did a very nice job—at a fraction of the price of his processor.

Still using canned beans and chickpeas in your recipes? You will probably shift to the much “greener,” cheaper and healthier dry bags of beans after reading this first blog.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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5 Responses to Home-Made Hummus, Smoothies and More

  1. Joanne Irwin says:

    Oh, Jim, and thanks the PR Plug. Glad you enjoyed the hummus. I want to try your recipe. Sounds yummy! Be well.

  2. Lisa says:

    I make smoothies when my fruits and veggies are looking kind of ‘icky’ because they’ve been in the frig a little too long. It’s better than tossing them. Soups a good choice to make also for those veggies that aren’t so fresh. If anyone is in need of other healthy recipes ideas I highly recommend Happy Herbivore. I love her new Abroad cookbook. Also, her meal plans are simple, affordable, delicious, and super easy. She even makes a grocery list for you!

  3. Donna says:

    I’ve been leery of smoothies since I heard Dr. Esselstyn comment about how it affects the fiber. Here is an article with a line from Dr. Esselstyn. “To Smoothie Or Not To Smoothie.” http://www.lanimuelrath.com/diet-nutrition/to-smoothie-or-not-to-smoothie-the-skinny-on-blending-your-fruits-and-greens/

    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      While at Dr. Esselstyn’s farm this past summer, I remember that he and Ann weren’t too keen on smoothies. And I get the part about the fiber and the natural saliva. So, you’re probably right; not a good idea to overdo it when it comes to smoothies. But, for me, I think it’s a pretty healthy snack when you compare it to things like popcorn or chips. Thanks for your comment. Be well, Jim

    • Joanne Irwin says:

      I’ve also read Dr. Esselstyn’s advice on smoothies. However, my personal feeling and that of many others in the field, is that consuming adequate amounts of fruit and veggies is difficult for many individuals. Time and again I hear, “I don’t have time. I don’t like to cook.” So, what’s the alternative – more processed, junk food? Smoothies are a good way to enhance nutrition. What’s s better way to start the day……bacon and eggs or a tasty, nutritious smoothie followed by a bowl of heart, healthy oatmeal with ground flax and berries? I go for the latter!
      We can become so scrupulous that we miss the main goal – consume a whole foods,plant based way of eating. When we create daily meals from the new four food groups – fruits, veggies, grains and legumes, you can’t go wrong. Far better than the standard American diet (SAD) that is taking far too many folks, including children, down the path of disease and obesity. We’re at a fork in the road in this country. Eating the plant based way is the road less travelled, but once you’re on it, you’ll be flying faster and with more zest, energy, health, and enthusiasm, than those who take the path labeled ‘SAD’.
      Thanks, Jim, for the Ninja advice. Last night I was watching Montel Williams and he demonstrates a machine that mirrors the VitaMixer in every way, except cost. It’s half the price. Happy, healthy eating, everyone!

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