And we're back with another "getting ready for baby" post! Today I'm sharing the results of a recent baking experiment.
When The Bird was born, my sweet mama made me a gigantic batch of delicious lactation boosting cookies. Having that little sweet treat ready for me when I needed a pick me up was SO NICE that I knew I wanted to have similar treats ready again this time 'round.
I'd seen the idea of "lactation brownies" floating around, but hadn't found a recipe that I loved. So, I decided to attempt to create my own with my preferred galactagogues - and they worked!
Before I go on, let me answer a few questions you may be asking yourself:
- What exactly is a lactation cookie/brownie?
- Short answer: a treat that helps increase breast milk production or quality
- More detailed answer: a baked good that includes one or more of a selection of galactagogues, designed to work with your body to amp up milk production (by providing key nutrients or triggers) or to improve the quality of your milk (by boosting your body's stores of needed nutrients)
- Any substance that helps to increase milk supply. Commonly used galactagogues include: fenugreek, fennel, flax seed, blessed thistle, Goat's Rue, alfalfa, oats, garlic, ginger, cinnamon...and many others.
- It depends on who you ask. Galactagogues work best in conjunction with increasing nursing frequency and milk removal (production is a supply and demand game after all), so they aren't miracle snacks that will just *poof* give you more milk. However, when combined with a change in routine or an increase in pumping frequency, they do tend to provide at least a temporary boost in output!
- Note, also, that different herb and supplements work differently for different mamas, so you have to find what works for you. For example, I cannot handle fenugreek (probably the most popular herb used in milk-boosting recipes). I respond MUCH better to brewer's yeast! I only know this info through experimentation, however, so I recommend trying different things to see what works for you!
- In addition, many experts will say that lactation treats are too full of "bad for you" things to do any real good...but I consider a mood boost a good thing, so... #bringonthetreats!
- At the end of the day, they may work, they may not. But they're yummy and have at least SOME good for you things packed into them, so I'm calling it a newborn haze win!
Now that we've cleared some of that up, let's move on to the recipe! As I mentioned above, I have a preferred set of supplements that I found work for me, so those are what I've used in this recipe. Hopefully they work for you, too, but feel free to play around with others if you have some different herbs you prefer!
- I need things to be "going on 2 hours of sleep" easy, so I start with a boxed brownie mix - just pick your favorite kind provided it's the 9x13 pan size!
- I then add my favorite supplements:
- Brewer's Yeast: full of protein, iron, B vitamins, and phytoestrogens; also helps boost energy and mood
- Note: will give your treats a slightly bitter taste, but I kinda like it
- Ground Flax Seed: contains good essential fatty acids
- Steel Cut Oats: good source of iron and protein; plus, the saponins tell the pituitary gland to help make more milk
- Cinnamon: no clue why it works, but it's yummy
- Cocoa Mocoa Powder: made from ancient grain protein (amaranth, quinoa, and pea), some coconut, and come coffee flour, it's a nice protein boost that also packs a yummy flavor punch.
- I also bump up the chocolate a little with some dark chocolate cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, and vanilla (which does A LOT to highlight the chocolate).
- Then, I add in butter (the real stuff, y'all), coconut oil, egg yolks, and water.
This produces a rich, semi-dense, chewy yet fudgey brownie, which is my preference. If you prefer your brownies to be more cake like, replace the oil with butter and use whole eggs! I played around with the ratios on this a few times and this recipe seems to result in the best texture for what I like.
I made up a couple of large batches, wrapped them in plastic wrap in bundles of two, and popped them in the freezer. They should keep for a good while that way (and be easy to grab and enjoy whenever I need them).
Treats like this aren't designed to be eaten in large quantities or on a regular basis (as you don't want to OVER do it and end up in pain). However, one or two a day when you need the occasional boost should do the trick.
If you try these, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Let me know if you made changes or what worked for you!
Double Dark Chocolate Lactation Brownies
- 1 box brownie mix
- 1/4 cup brewer's yeast
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats (I use the "quick cook" variety or pre-soak them)
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Mocoa powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying with non-stick spray or lining with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brownie mix, brewer's yeast, flax seed, oats, cocoa powders, and cinnamon.
- Add in the melted butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and water, mixing on low to combine. Add in the yolks, one at a time and mix again on low til combined. Batter will be thick.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out.
- Bake for 28 min - do not overbake!
- Allow to cool before slicing, then cut into 15-16 squares.