by Mary Duggan

I just love Jamie Oliver.  There are so many voices in the discussion about food; and I admire what many of them are contributing to our national debate. But nobody does it better than Jamie Oliver when it comes to taking it from discourse to the main course. Check out this Jamie O quote from a recent and fascinating Los Angeles Times article entitled, “Access to grocers doesn’t improve diets, study finds.”:

“If you go into most grocery stores across America, the majority of the store is chock-full of processed food calling out to you from the packages, ‘Pick me! I’m tastier and more convenient. And ringed around all this are good old veggies, with no instructions.”


I couldn’t agree more. I hear this CALL FOR INSTRUCTIONS all the time from sincere folks who really want to eat healthier and go to the produce aisle only to be overwhelmed by the wide array of fruits and vegetables available that they know are good for them; but, they don’t know how to prepare them. In particular, they don’t know how to prepare them without cooking them.

The summer harvest is upon us and that means lots of zucchini will be available from the garden, the grocer or, failing that, a generous neighbor with an overload of crop to share. I used to make lots and lots of delicious but unhealthy zucchini bread; now I make lots and lots of delicious raw meals that contain zucchini.

A favorite in our family is raw hummus. When we first went raw, Annie would come home from raw foods classes with raw hummus recipes that were just too complicated for me. For twenty- five years, I had been the Queen of Hummus: I mean I can make Palestinian men cry and call their mamas – that kind of good. I could make hummus in my sleep and I needed a recipe just that accessible. However, with the transition to raw foods I was suddenly faced with the challenge of hummus without cooked garbanzo beans. Now you have to understand, PURE RAW FOODISTS can be real snobs about garbanzo beans, and many other matters. Garbanzo beans – cooked, that is – have, and you must say this with an inflection, a VERY low vibration. Translation: even when sprouted, they don’t have much to offer. So, in the name of cook-a-likes, namely flavors that capture the essence of a cooked offering even when the ingredients differ, here is my all-time favorite raw hummus – simple and delicious.

Annie enjoys Mary's delicious RAW hummus!

This recipe, from one of my absolute favorite raw chefs, Matthew Amsden, author of the must-have raw cook book “RAWvolution,” is a staple in our weekly food plan. If you make it a day ahead, it will thicken a bit and more closely resemble the satisfying thickness of cooked hummus. I serve it with chopped red and orange peppers, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and peeled cucumber slices – my personal favorite complimentary flavor. Remember to sprinkle the finished product with a dusting of paprika – a small homage to the cooked original.

NOTE TO GLUTEN FREE FOLKS: If you have someone who is transitioning to raw foods or simply hungering for gluey, gluten-acious and nutritionally worthless pita bread, then I suggest gluten free pita bread, gently toasted in a toaster oven. We are currently big fans of Heaven Mills, which does have a bit of sweetness to it buy hey progress not perfection keeps us all moving in the right direction. Add a few wedges of pita to your family’s dipping selections and watch them move quickly away from bread for dipping and straight to the satisfying crunch of veggies.


MAIN CRITERIA: Fast and simple with do-able ingredients.

FREQUENCY: I try to make one fresh batch each week.

WANT TO MAKE IT A BIGGER MEAL: Serve with Tomato Orange Basil Soup: one of our favorite recipes to follow soon.


2 medium or 3 small zucchini, peeled and chopped

¾ cup raw tahini

½ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 ½ teaspoons sea salt

½ tablespoon ground cumin


In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until thick and smooth.

I put an individual ramekin of hummus on each person’s plate and sprinkle with paprika. Then I ring the plate with dipping options. I find I can easily serve 6-8.

To read the complete Los Angeles Times article, click here.

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  1. Kasey says:

    I don’t know what raw tahini is or where you get it. Do you have to make it yourself? if so, how? Thanks. I think I got everything else…


    Raw tahini is sesame paste that was produced without heating the seeds above 115 degrees F.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kasey,

      Raw tahini is sesame paste that was produced without heating the seeds above 115 degrees F. You can get it at Whole Foods. Often it is in the refrigerated area; sometimes they have a shelf-stable version in grocery which is less expensive. Local health food stores sometimes carries it, but it may be a bit more expensive than WFM.



    • Clare says:

      Hi Kasey,

      We’ve found a wonderful new raw tahini that is stable on the pantry shelf! We’ll make a test batch this week and let you know if we have a new raw tahini suggestion.

      To be continued…

      The Duggans

    • Joseph says:

      Our family loves it! Never going back to chickpeas again!

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