‘Lactation’ and ‘cookies’. Two words I never expected to type in the same sentence. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about being a parent, it’s to expect the unexpected, and well, getting to eat cookies for the ‘good of my baby’ is certainly that. ‘What’s the catch?’ I hear you ask. There is none. These babies are for real.
So, for anyone out there who hasn’t yet experienced the wonderful world of lactation cookies, here’s the deal. It’s a cookie with a few key ingredients that promote lactation and increase milk supply. Now, the men in white coats have long sung the praises of oats, which are known to reduce cholesterol and maintain blood pressure, but what we now know is that oats help to raise iron levels and contain a heap of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which is all fabulous news for nursing mums. Added to this, lactation cookies also contain brewer’s yeast and ground flaxseed. These are two components that you mustn’t scrimp on or substitute, because they are the main ingredients that increase the supply of breast milk.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve had my ups and downs with breastfeeding, but by and large I’ve found it to be a very rewarding experience and I’d like to continue for as long as I can. With this in mind I decided to give lactation cookies a go.
There are several recipes out there, but I decided to try one from All Recipes, mainly because I already had everything required to make them sitting in my cupboard. Plus I finally got a chance to make use of all those random bits and pieces I pick up at the supermarket, but never get round to using… Cream of tartar, vanilla bean paste etc etc.
Anyway, I’m pleased to report, I landed up with a tasty batch of biccies. Like, really tasty. Like, before you know it, a third of the wire rack is empty, tasty. What’s so good about them? Well, the texture was perfect – crispy crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle good – and the flavour was buttery and sweet, without being sickly.
All good, but I know what you’re really wondering. Do they work? Well, in recent weeks I’ve noticed a sharp decline in my milk production. Come evening time I’m all out of liquid gold, which has caused frustration and upset for both my baby and me. I’ve tried various things to remedy the problem, including drinking more water, expressing more frequently and filling up on all those breastfeeding wonder foods like fennel, carrots and nuts, but nothing has given me results… until now. Suddenly the Milk Bar is open for business and I couldn’t be happier about it. So YES! They work! Hurrah! We finally have a license to eat cookies.
If you want to give them a go, or make a batch for a breastfeeding friend (how cool would these be at the next Mummy Morning you go to?) check out the recipe below.
Makes 36 cookies
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
¼ cup water
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup brewer’s yeast
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ½ cups of oats
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
- Mix flaxseed with water in a small bowl and let it soak for 5 minutes.
- Beat butter, white and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla paste; beat to incorporate. Stir flaxseed mixture into the butter mixture.
- Mix flour, brewer’s years, cream of tartar in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture and stir until just combined. Fold oats into the dough.
- Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.