Have you heard of lactation cookies? They seem to be all the rage in the mothers' wellness arena at the moment, although the concept of using certain ingredients to support milk supply certainly isn't new. What makes a 'lactation cookie' is that they contain galactagogues - substances that may promote the production of milk in breastfeeding mothers. The hero ingredients in these cookies are brewers yeast, oats and flaxseed. The brewers yeast is a rich source of B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, selenium and trace minerals; the oats are high in fibre, protein and complex carbohydrates; and the flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens which mimic our own estrogen, are a great source of fibre, and contain healthy omega-3 fats and vitamin E.
But do they work? Although anecdotal evidence suggests they may help boost milk supply, scientific evidence is currently lacking. Most women don't need to take a lactation boosting supplement due to the supply and demand effect of breastfeeding baby - the more baby feeds, the more milk is produced. However, there are many factors that can affect milk supply in breastfeeding women, so if you are concerned, please talk to your GP or LMC.
Although there is no replacement for a varied and healthy diet, these cookies are certainly a more nutrient dense option than many other cookie options out there. AND they are homemade so you know exactly what has gone into them! If you feel these cookies help boost your milk supply - great! If not, you've had a well deserved snack of a delicious and semi-healthy cookie :)
Dark Chocolate & Oat Lactation Cookies - makes 36
3 Tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 1/2 cup warm water (sit for 5 minutes)
2 1/4 cups oats
1 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
5 Tbsp brewers yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plant based margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp peanut butter
3/4 cup 72% cocoa dark chocolate (dairy free), chopped into small chunks
Mix the oats, wholemeal flour, brewers yeast, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the margarine with the caster sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence, peanut butter and flaxseed with water, and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly until only just combined (don't over mix!). Fold in the dark chocolate chunks. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C.
After the cookie dough has chilled, divide dough into 36 small balls and press down gently with your fingers to shape into a cookie. Bake cookies in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack and then... Eat & enjoy!
Do you know someone who is breastfeeding and could use a nutrient boosted cookie? Be a good friend and share this post!
Until next time,