Vegan Lactation Cookies

The other day I had some oatmeal cookies (ok, lots of oatmeal cookies) and within a couple of hours my boobs were pretty engorged and leaking milk, and were engorged all night after that, until the baby had a huge feed in the morning and then got sick all over my bed!  I guess it’s safe to say that my milk supply is good at the moment, but I decided to try making my own lactation cookie recipe anyway.  Well maybe I just wanted to eat more cookies, but I had been meaning to try making lactation cookies and they might come in handy sometime when I feel like my milk supply needs a boost.

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Lactation cookies can be a yummy way to try to give your supply a bit of a boost for people who already have a good supply.  If you truly have low supply then it’s best to contact a lactation consultant or a group like La Leche League for advice as lactation cookies won’t help people who really have low supply.

While there is no scientific evidence of oats increasing milk supply, many people say it works for them.  Lactation cookies also commonly contain brewer’s yeast and fennel seeds, which are thought to possibly increase milk production.  I’ve added lots of nutritious ingredients that I thought would also be beneficial to breastfeeding parents.  Even if it doesn’t work for increasing milk production, it’s a yummy treat that provides goodness and can be eaten one handed while holding a baby!  So I thought it was a recipe worth trying anyway.

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In my recipe I added ground flax seed, walnuts and pumpkin seeds to provide protein and omega 3’s (important for breastfeeding parents), ground almond to provide more protein and calcium, raisins and dried cranberries to make it sweeter and chewy and yummier, and dark chocolate-chips because I definitely need lots of chocolate when I have a baby to feed!  And ground fennel seeds, which adds a subtle flavour that I think goes really well with the chocolate.  I used coconut oil and coconut sugar to make them a little healthier than most cookies, and I think it gives them a nice flavour and the coconut sugar gives them a lovely golden brown colour.

I want to note that you don’t need to eat super healthily to produce enough milk or good quality breast milk.  As long as you’re not malnourished then your milk will usually be perfect.  But it is good to have some healthy stuff too (and cookies are always good!).  My aim was to make these cookies a nice balance of being healthy and a sweet treat.

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Feel free to change it up a bit, you could replace the chocolate with more raisins, or the raisins with more chocolate, use all walnuts instead of walnuts and pumpkin seeds, add chopped almonds, chia seeds, cocoa powder, or anything you feel like really!  If you don’t have coconut sugar, use granulated sugar or brown sugar, and you can use any other fairly neutral flavoured oil or melted vegan butter instead of coconut oil, if you like.

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I made these cookies gluten-free because I have coeliac disease, so if you want to make them gluten-free, simply use a self-raising gluten-free flour mix (I like Dove’s Farm ones), certified gluten-free oats, and omit the brewer’s yeast (which I believe is not considered to be gluten-free).  They might not be as effective without the brewer’s yeast, but hopefully still are quite good with the oats, fennel and all the other healthy ingredients.

I’ve been eating these all day and really like them.  The kids also love them and Rian calls them “superhero cookies”!

So let me know if you try them and how they worked out for you.  I’m going to try making a batch of them whenever I feel like I need a bit of a boost, or just feel like some cookies.

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp. ground flax seeds

1 cup of porridge oats

1 cup of self-raising flour

1/2 cup of ground almonds

1/2 cup of coconut sugar

1 tbsp. brewer’s yeast

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla essence

45g raisins, dried cranberries or a mix

45g vegan chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate bar

30g chopped walnuts

30g pumpkin seeds

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How they’re made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix the ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp of water and set aside.

Melt the coconut oil over a gentle heat.

Grind the fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, ground almonds, coconut sugar, brewer’s yeast, ground fennel seeds and salt.

Make a well in the centre and add the flaxseed mixture, the melted coconut oil, the vanilla essence and 1/4 of a cup of water.

Add the raisins/dried cranberries, chocolate-chips, chopped walnuts and pumpkin seeds and mix it all well with a wooden spoon.

Take 1 tbsp of the dough at a time and shape it into a cookie shape with your hands.  Place the cookies on a lined baking tray with a little space between them.

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool before serving.

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