leSolstice lactation cookie recipe - when every day is the longest day, you just need a little more energy (and chocolate!)
Breastfeeding new babies is exhausting - and super stressful: Are they latching? Why aren’t they latching? Are they tongue-tied? Ow, are they biting? Are they getting enough milk? Should I wake them up to eat more? How do I know how much they’re eating? Am I producing enough milk? How do I produce more milk?
I met some of my best friends at a lactation clinic, exhausted, teary, and concerned that our babies weren’t getting enough to eat. One of the most common concerns was that we were not producing enough breastmilk. I was pumping between feeds for my twins, and could easily see that there was a huge variance in the amount of milk I could pump at different times of the day, and on different days. And on the days when the babies were having growth spurts it felt like I could barely keep up with their appetites.
(The lactation clinic had a steps leading up to the front-door, and I had no idea how to get up with my 4-week old twins, and big Uppa-baby double stroller. Another mom who was just leaving saw me in distress and helped me put them both in one bassinet, and carry up the stroller. Then we exchanged phone numbers and Rae is still on speed-dial as one of my favorite people. So get out there new mommas! Even just making a trip to a breastfeeding support group can help you meet some other amazing new mom friends)
At the lactation clinic the midwives told us: more water! And advised that we made sure we were also getting enough healthy calories ourselves because our bodies were burning an extra 700-1400 calories a day. Rule of thumb was to each a snack or small meal after or during every baby feeding.
The midwives at the lactation clinic showed us so many great tips for breastfeeding - including to hold babies upright to help them get a better latch. She insisted on taking this picture so I would remember how the technique ;-)
The midwives also gave us a list of foods and supplements that help produce more breastmilk. Some of the top foods include walnuts, whole oats, dark chocolate, coconut oil, omega 3 nuts, apricots, and lots and lots of water. I ate everything, and kept a drawer of snacks next to my bed and sofa and would eat after every feeding/pumping. I also bought lactation cookies, but never loved them, and thought they were pretty expensive as a regular “supplement.”
So I tweaked one of my favorite banana chocolate cookie recipes from the New York Times Cooking section, that can be made vegan, or gluten -free, keto-friendly, too.
Banana chocolate lactation cookies, mmm!
I found myself ravenous in the first few months of breastfeeding, and this lactation cookie recipe has continued to be my go-to for a quick pick-me-up. They can be made in about 20 minutes, in just 2 bowls, and very easy to substitute with whatever you have in your kitchen. You can find coconut oil, flax, chia, walnuts, etc in bulk at Whole Foods, or on Amazon, or your local health store. There substitutions below, and feel free to experiment with anything you have on hand (and please send me your recommendations for substitutions!). They bake up crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, and I usually double the dough and bake more through out the week. I always had a ziplock of these in my diaper bag, and in a jar on the counter! (My husband also loves them, and hasn’t started lactating, lol, so they're a recipe to keep in rotation way after you stop breastfeeding)!
Making a batch of lactation cooking during a pumping session - fast and easy enough to do while attached to the Spectra
leSolstice lactation cookies
** (easy to make Keto and vegan friendly!) **
Prep time (max 15 minutes)
Bake time (12 minutes a batch)
Preheat over to 170 C, or 335 F
2 large mixing bowls, a cookie sheet, and some baking paper
In mixing bowl 1:
2.5 C old fashion rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 C flour (all purpose or almond 1:1 substitution)
3 Tbs ground flaxseed (I've also added brewers yeast before which is good, too! you could a couple tbs of that too if you have it)
2 Tbs chia seeds (you could also use hemp hearts)
2 Tbs flax seeds (you could also use 3 Tbs of ground flax)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 big shakes of cinnamon
In mixing bowl 2:
3/4 C of coconut oil at room temp (not melted, if its hot it will melt all the other ingredients before they bake)
3/4 C "sugar" (I like a mixture: 1/2 C lite brown sugar, and 1/4 C coconut sugar; but you could also do half white and half brown, or all coconut)
1 large ripe/soft banana
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 C semi sweet chocolate chips (or a dark chocolate bar chopped up)
3/4 C walnuts
(also craisins, chopped apricots, shredded coconut, and extra chocolate are yummy to add!)
- Mix Bowl 1
- Mix Bowl 2: Thinly slice and smush the banana into the coconut and mix well with the sugar and vanilla
- Pour the stuff in bowl 2 into bowl 1, and add your favorite extras (like walnuts and chocolate)
- Mix together to form a sticky dough - if it feels too wet to form sticky-balls, then add a handful of more oats and mix until a little drier
- Drop Tbs/soup spoon-sized balls of dough on baking paper lined cookie tins
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Let cool at least 2 minutes - the chocolate inside can be super hot because these cookies don't melt flat. They will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Store in an airtight container (like a ziplock bag next in your bedside drawer for mid-night feedings!).
Cooking while pumping was one of my favorite ways to pass the time of the 5-6 times a day I pumped during the first 6 months...my husband found it endlessly funny to find me hooked up to the pump while mixing and baking.
Let me know what you think and substitutions you like, and I'll add them to the blog!