I wanted a cute title for this recipe but search engine optimization won out. And because I can’t let good brainstorming go to waste, I’m still going to tell you what I wanted to really name these cookies.
“Baby Got Lac” Lactation Cookies
I can’t even take credit for the name. Levi came up with that one. Good man.
Alrighty. On to the topic at hand. I’m about to get a little personal up in here. I’m going to be talking about breastfeeding, lactating, and other motherly breast related things. And I’m going to be talking about how it all affected me, so that might make it weird for some of you. Maybe? Maybe not. So if you’re not into it, just skip this one today.
Though, I should say that this recipe is still awesome regardless of the main purpose and if you’re not currently lactating you won’t all of a sudden miraculously begin lactating so these cookies are safe for everyone – even men!
I wrote a blog post recently about breastfeeding. Or rather, my experiences with breastfeeding thus far and what I have learned. I hope that if you’re a mother struggling with breastfeeding or just trying to figure it all out that you’ll go over and read that post. It’s not long. It’s not preachy. It’s not really full of much sage wisdom. It’s just real and honest and it just might make you feel like you’re not alone in this.
In that post I touched on my struggles with breastmilk supply. I was willing to do all of the things to make my milk come in, to increase my supply, to keep my supply going strong.
The idea of lactation cookies is not a new one. In fact, if you Google it or check on Pinterest there are a bajillion recipes for lactation cookies. They vary but generally they all contain the few commonly known natural galactagogues that seem to work to boost milk supply in lactating mothers. Those are flax seed, brewer’s yeast and oatmeal.
Wait, pause! What the heck is a galactagogue? Well, let’s turn to Wikipedia for the answer.
“A galactagogue, or galactogogue, (from Greek: γάλα [γαλακτ-], milk, + ἀγωγός, leading) is a substance that promotes lactation in humans and other animals. It may be synthetic, plant-derived, or endogenous.”
I took a bunch of the different lactation cookie recipes out there, mashed them all together, made them gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free (and also vegan), and voila!
So, the million-dollar question is ‘Did they work?’ Well, for me they did. Plus, they’re damn tasty so even if they don’t work for everyone, they are a relatively healthy cookie that will help with the late night breastfeeding munchies.
How many cookies do you need to eat to see results? That’s a good question. I would imagine it varies from mother to mother. I had 4 cookies the day I baked these and the next day I noticed a substantial increase in the amount that I was able to pump after feeding Jonas the next morning. Like an extra ounce per side more than usual. For me that’s amazing.
I also don’t know that once you get more milk that you will be able to stop taking any galactagogues completely and see the supply remain constant. I don’t know enough about lactation and galactagogues to say either way. For me, anecdotally speaking, I need to keep taking the galactagogues or I do notice a decrease in supply. This applies to my prescription medication (domperidone), to fenugreek, to the morning bowl of oatmeal I have, as well as these cookies. Probably you don’t need to eat 4 cookies a day, but a couple a day likely wouldn’t hurt.
These cookies freeze well so they can keep pretty indefinitely and the recipe makes a big batch so you’re not going to be making cookies every single day – unless the rest of your family really enjoys them too.
I use gluten-free rolled oats from Only Oats. Bob’s Red Mill also has gluten-free oats. Make sure to use rolled oats, not quick-cooking oats.
You can usually find brewer’s yeast in most bulk food stores. You can also buy it from Amazon.
You don’t have to add almonds, but I’ve read somewhere (can’t remember where now or I would have linked to the source) that they are also a galactagogue. You can use any chopped nuts of your choice.
You can mill your own flaxseed or buy it already ground. Make sure that if you do it yourself you grind it nice and finely.
You can use crunchy or smooth peanut butter in this recipe. I like crunchy. You can also use almond butter or any other nut butter. If you’re sensitive to nuts, try sunflower seed butter.
I used powdered egg replacer in this recipe. If you would prefer to use a flax ‘egg’ or chia ‘egg’ then prepare enough to substitute for 2 eggs. If you’re not sensitive to or avoiding eggs, then use 2 large eggs.
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1¾ cup gluten free rolled oats
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup grapeseed oil
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 teaspoons powdered egg replacer + 4 tablespoons water (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons brewer's yeast
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup blanched sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl sift together brown rice flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together cane sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, grapeseed oil, water, prepared egg replacer and vanilla extract.
- Stir in brewer's yeast and ground flaxseed to the wet mixture. Combine well.
- Add sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine.
- Add oats in batches, stirring after each addition to incorporate well. Fold in chocolate chips and sliced almonds.
- Roll into 1½" balls and place on the baking sheet. Flatten with the base of your palm.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet before removing to an air-tight container.
- Freezes well.
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