Can you guess the secret ingredient used to making healthier, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies?
Here’s a hint: They usually come in a can and are traditionally used to make hummus.
The Penn State Student Nutrition Association hosted a healthy cooking night March 31 and used the secret ingredient, chickpeas, to make chocolate chip cookies for dessert and several bowls of hummus as an appetizer to a healthy meal.
The cooking night was a sponsored National Nutrition Month event, themed “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” said Samantha Twaroski, a Penn State nutritional sciences-dietetic major.
“We are here showing people not only how to eat healthy, but how to make it taste great too,” said Twaroski.
Students were charged with preparing a hearty menu, including homemade hummus, salad with glazed walnuts, steamed tilapia with quinoa and chickpea chocolate chip cookies.
The students began cooking shortly after 5 p.m. Dinner was served to several small groups of five at 6:30 p.m.
Students prepared the tilapia and quinoa in the microwave in a sealed, plastic-wrapped container. Even though stoves were readily available in the room, students wanted to demonstrate that healthy cooking can be accomplished even in dorm rooms.
Eating healthy just affects your body in such a positive way.
Alex Close, a Penn State senior majoring in nutrition
“Eating healthy just affects your body in such a positive way,” said Alex Close, a Penn State senior majoring in nutrition. “It prevents diseases and just helps you live a happy and healthy life. It all stems from a nutritious lifestyle.”
Close to 25 students attended the event at the Henderson Building food lab.
Participants were asked to bring one nonperishable food item, which the group donated to the Centre County Food Bank.