Holding up a piece of cake, Deb Perelman told her audience that it was naturally healthier than most desserts. That’s because compared to other cake recipes, she said this one had less butter and flour. Instead, it called for three whole pears.
“This is like half cake and half fruit, and maybe another quarter of chocolate,” said Perelman, 37, of Manhattan, who shares recipes and cooking tips on her blog, SmittenKitchen.com.
Perelman was one of three New York food bloggers who participated in Humana’s Healthy Holiday Cooking Challenge Tuesday at A La Carte, a cooking school in Lynbrook. They demonstrated how to prepare party dishes that are tasty, but less indulgent.
“You can have good flavor and healthy things without sacrificing too much,” said Kimberly Coleman, 40, of Forest Hills, who whipped up her Easy Avocado Hummus and Not Too Sweet Sweet-Potato Pie.” The recipes can be found on her blog, FoodieCityMom.com.
The free event was sponsored by health insurance company Humana.
“Our goal for this event was really to bring awareness to different ways of being healthier in the community, how individuals can make healthier food choices,” said Alexander Clague, president of Humana’s Northeast region Senior Products division.
Before inviting attendees to sample some of the healthy dessert creations, Clague also presented a $30,000 check from Humana to Island Harvest to mark the company’s entrance to the Long Island market as well as Giving Tuesday. On the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a national movement to promote giving back through charitable donations and volunteerism.
While enjoying a slice of chocolate-pear cake, Lisa Tobin, vice president of development for Island Harvest, said, “Most people don’t know it, because we’re living in the Land of Plenty here on Long Island, but there are more than 300,000 Long Islanders who struggle to put food on the table every day.”
Tobin said Humana’s donation will help Island Harvest fill this need.
“For a lot of our families having food on the table is not an indulgence, it’s something to strive to,” she said. “We’re able to bring in lots of food in large quantities and then, get it out in variety to communities for people who need it. That’s the start of healthy eating.”
Another donation for Island Harvest
Island Harvest, the Mineola nonprofit aimed at reducing hunger, has received a $25,000 donation from AT&T.
Organizers said the funding will sustain a key initiative that provides Long Island’s youth with meals.
The initiative, “Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program,” supplies students, who during the week rely on low-cost or free school meals, with weekend offerings. The program runs in 24 schools, serving nearly 1,700 children, organizers said. The funding, they said, will allow Island Harvest to enter more schools.
“A donation of $500 dollars can feed a child for nearly one year,” Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest, said in a news release. “One could only imagine how helpful $25,000 will be to our backpack program.” --SCOTT EIDLER