I first came across the idea of a carnival cookie from the Cook Republic. I loved the idea of putting popcorn and the flavors of carnival food into a healthy, fun cookie. With a few tweaks, I came up with my own version of the carnival cookie.
Popcorn and coconut oil mix to create the buttery-flavored crunch. Hot roasted peanuts and butterscotch/caramel flavored carob chips add extra depth to the mix. A final dash of cinnamon gives it a pop of funnel cake or caramel apple flavored fun. Combine with oats and bananas (or sweet potatoes if you feel extra adventurous), and you have a cookie ready for the carnival!
~Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, and sugar-free.
- 3 bananas, mashed*
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, or oil of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pecan meal, or nut meal of choice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 rounded teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
- 1 cup unsweetened carob chips
- 3 cups popped corn
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Mix the wet ingredients (bananas, vanilla, and oil).
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (oats, pecan meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt).
- Combine the wet and dry together, and stir until well-mixed.
- Fold in the carob chips and peanuts until well-combined. Then, fold in the popcorn. PLEASE make sure to take all the un-popped corn pieces out so those who enjoy the cookies don’t break their teeth. The dough will be a bit lose, but that is alright.
- Roll into tablespoon-sized balls with your hands. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
*Try substituting mashed, baked sweet potato for part or all of the mashed bananas for another fun flavor.
- Bananas: Rich in potassium, bananas help the body’s circulatory system deliver oxygen to the brain. This also helps maintain a regular heartbeat and a proper balance of water in the body. It also contains tryptophan to help relax you and lift your spirits!
- Peanuts: These legumes are full of protein with 7g per ounce. They also have a great monounsaturated fat content that helps your heart and brain. Peanut is a good source of Coenzyme Q10 which protects the heart during the period of lack of oxygen example high altitudes and clogged arteries. It also has a high antioxidant and high niacin content that helps in the recovery of cell damage and provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive problem.
- Oats: Oats contain loads of vitamins and minerals to keep you full and energized throughout the day. They can lower cholesterol, burn fat, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, regulate bowel movements, reduce blood pressure, reduce risks of cancer because of oat’s phytochemical, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Coconut: Coconut is widely misunderstood because of it’s high fat content; however, coconut’s saturated fat is made up of medium-chain fatty acids. These medium-chains are easy to absorb and digest, and are converted quickly into energy. This means that the body is less likely to store the medium-chain as fat. Coconut is also a great source of dietary fiber with a whopping 5 grams per oz!
- Pecans: They help boost your immune system, reduce LDL cholesterol, and protect against Breast Cancer because of the high levels of oleic acid. It contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fiber, as well as antioxidants.
- Cinnamon: Studies have shown that it can help lower LDL cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar levels, has anti-clotting effect on blood, and it can boost cognitive function and memory.
- Carob: Unlike chocolate, carob contains no caffeine and it contains a number of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, B2, B3, and D. It contains a good dose of Pectin that helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
- Popped Corn: When made with a healthy oil or air-popped, pop corn can be rather beneficial to the health. It is a whole grain full of fiber and minerals. It contains a good amount of iron, phosphorous, and calcium to strengthen teeth and bones.
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
Have you ever been to a carnival?
I’ve never been to a carnival, and I have only dreamed about seeing a circus. The closest I’ve gotten to either was the Iowa State Fair. I grew up as an Iowa girl, and the State Fair was the biggest, most exciting fair in the country. Giant squash and pigs, a cow sculpted from butter, rides towering above the fairgrounds, contests in all sorts of arts, music concerts all day long, free temporary tattoos for kids, and, of course, the smell of fried foods wafting through the crowds. If you ever pass through Iowa during August, definitely give the State Fair a whirl.