Do lactation cookies really work?
Lactation cookies. I’ll admit it, the first time I came across this concept my reaction was, “What! A dessert that helps lactation? I don’t know about that, my RD spidey sense is tingling…”
I didn’t think about them much again until after my daughter was born and a fellow mom brought some to our new moms’ group. I know where you might think this is going. I ate the cookie, my supply increased and I became a lactation cookie convert. But not so fast! In reality, my only reaction was, “hey, this really hits the spot!”
Listen ladies. For all the hype surrounding foods and supplements that can boost your milk supply, the number one thing you’ve got to do to produce the milk your baby needs is stay well-nourished and well-hydrated.
And that’s hard to do when you’ve got a new little baby! So that’s what I like about the concept of lactation cookies. You can make them in bulk and grab one whenever you need a food boost between meals.
This lactation cookie recipe is designed to be a regular snack.
Of course, as a dietitian, I recommend that anything you’re snacking on regularly be mostly composed of nourishing ingredients. Most other lactation cookie recipes are exactly that – cookies! Yummy treats to be enjoyed in moderation. So I designed this recipe to be a healthier version that you can enjoy several times throughout the day. As such, they’re obviously not as decadent as a true cookie, but as a hungry breastfeeding mama, I found that they hit the spot even more so than a dessert cookie.
With all that out of the way, we can move on to the lactation-boosting ingredients (a.k.a. galactogogues) in this recipe, which I like to think of as a nice potential bonus not really the main attraction. In this recipe, the oats, flaxseed and brewer’s yeast are considered galactogogues, although honestly, it doesn’t look like there is a whole lot of research definitively linking eating any of them to a boost in milk supply. But oats and flaxseed get an RD-thumbs up no matter why you’re eating them. They’re a great source of fiber and in the case of flaxseed, omega-3 fats as well.
Brewer’s yeast is considered a supplement and should be treated as such. Almost all supplements contain warnings to consult your doctor before taking if pregnant or breastfeeding, so proceed accordingly if you plan to use it.Do lactation cookies really work? Either way, this recipe is a nutritious postpartum snack. Click To Tweet
And If you don’t want to use the brewer’s yeast (most mamas I know buy it on Amazon, here’s the brand I’ve used) just leave it out or toss in an extra bit of ground flaxseed or coconut. The real benefit of this recipe is having a nutritious snack on hand for when the breastfeeding hanger hits!
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Berry Walnut Lactation Cookies
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup brewer's yeast*
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cups molasses
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup mixed dried berries (I used Trader Joe's Golden Berry Blend, raisins or dried cranberries would also be good)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with aluminium foil and grease well.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, coconut, brewer's yeast, ground flaxseed, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine molasses, olive oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Stirring occasionally or with the stand mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
Add the walnuts and berries and stir until combined.
Scoop the batter into 2 inch rounds spaced 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.**
Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire baking rack.
**You may want to press them down lightly with your fingertips, they won't spread much while cooking.