For those who prefer ending their meal on a sweet note, fortune cookies offer more than just dessert. These thin, crispy wafer cookies provide an entertaining paper "fortune." In addition, fortune cookie calories are small, only around 20 calories per cookie, for those following a strict diet.
Fortune cookies contain about 20 calories per cookie, allowing eaters to punctuate the ends meals with a sweet dessert that brings no post-meal guilt.
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Fortune Cookie Calories
Fortune cookies are typically complimentary when you eat at a Chinese restaurant or order Chinese takeout. The edible portion of a fortune cookie contains approximately 20 calories in an 8-ounce serving, according to Panda Express. Although the calorie count is not huge, you also forgo consuming a healthy food — fortune cookies offer little to no nutritional value.
A fortune cookie's nutrition profile breaks down as follows, per Panda Express:
- No calories from fat
- No cholesterol
- 8 milligrams of sodium
- 5 gram of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of sugar
- No protein
The majority of fortune cookie calories come from sugar, which is why the number of carbohydrates is quite high for such a little cookie. However, one fortune cookie does provide trace amounts of some nutrients per the USDA, which include 0.4 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of lipid fats and 0.2 grams of fiber.
Panda Express does state that these nutritional values can differ depending on region and seasonal ingredient changes and packaging differences. For such a small food product, variations from the nutritional content shouldn't be statistically significant.
Fortune Cookie Ingredients
According to a December 2015 fortune cookie recipe from the BBC, you can make this popular Chinese post-meal treat using eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, sunflower oil, white flour, sugar and corn flour. Once the ingredients are mixed, the cookie batter will take on a smooth consistency as they get ready for baking.
When the batter is still warm after baking, you can mold the cookies on the rim of a mug or cup, to get the correct curved shape. When molding, you can stick a small paper "fortune" inside. To keep this fortune traditional, on the back of the paper, you can include a Chinese phrase with a translation, or a list of "lucky" numbers. Once this is complete, you can transfer the cookies to tins to cool, harden and solidify their shape.
Not everyone can eat fortune cookies, however. People with the following food allergies should avoid consuming them:
- Egg allergy: According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), as of March 2019, eggs
are one of the most common food allergens.
- As many as 2 percent of children are
allergic. You can potentially modify a recipe, such as a fortune cookie recipe,
to make it egg-free.
The ACAAI says that when a recipe calls for three or fewer eggs, you can substitute each egg with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Another alternative is to use 1 teaspoon of yeast dissolved in 1 cup of warm water.
- Gluten intolerance: According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), as many as
one in 141 Americans have celiac disease, a digestive disorder that is
triggered by eating foods with gluten.
Gluten is often found in prepackaged foods, such as fortune cookies.
Those who are gluten sensitive might be able to tolerate fortune cookies. In a May 2015 study from Digestion, 86 percent of people who believed they were gluten sensitive can actually tolerate some gluten.
- Panda Express: “Nutrition Facts”
- BBC: “Fortune Cookies”
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Egg Allergy
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Definition & Facts for Celiac Disease”
- Digestion: “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity among Patients Perceiving Gluten-Related Symptoms”
- United States Department of Agriculture: "Full Report (All Nutrients): 45315965, Fortune Cookies, UPC: 070670000587"