Updated: Nov 28, 2019
It has taken me FOREVERRR to come up with my first Lactation Cookie recipe. Why? Frankly, every prior attempt of mine at baking good cookies has failed. They either turned out too dry or too thick or too bland .... I even made some pretty horrible tasting ones, trying to cut down on the sugar or butter or replacing the flour...
Trust me, you can't cut corners if you want to make a good, satisfying cookie. As much as I'd like to present to you a 'healthier' cookie with less sugar, apple sauce instead of the butter, almond flour....ain't gonna make a good cookie, trust me.
If you wanna make a *good* cookie, make the real deal. Don't try to cut corners. Indulge in a few of them and move on. If you're breastfeeding exclusively, rest assured you're burning about an extra 660 calories a day doing so. That should leave some room for a few cookies once in a while...
What makes this cookie a "Lactation Cookie"?
I'm glad you ask!
These lactation cookies (or any other lactation recipe you find on my site, for that matter) contain very specific ingredients to add beneficial nutrients into your breast milk (healthy fats, for example). They also contain nutrients which are especially beneficial for us breastfeeding moms. That's what my definition of a 'lactation recipe' is - it has 'added benefits' for breastfeeding moms.
To this recipe, I added walnuts (for their healthy fats, magnesium and fiber), oatmeal (benefits for breastfeeding moms are reviewed here) and hemp seeds (no, they do not make you 'high', but they do contain healthy fats, all the essential amino acids, magnesium, zinc and a few other beneficial substances), although you can certainly replace the latter with other seeds such as chia or flax seeds.
They also taste pretty darn good, and after all the hard work you do, you deserve to eat a really good cookie!
Will they increase my milk supply?
Unfortunately, I can't give you the answer to that question. Just like the research on natural galactagogues is mostly lacking, we don't know if lactation cookies actually help to increase milk supply. Many moms report that they do (and I'd love to hear from you if they helped you!).
They do contain oatmeal, which many believe helps to increase milk supply (I reviewed the evidence behind this here). They also contain seeds, and hemp seed specifically will be reviewed next in my Review of natural Galactagogues - Series because they contain a substance with an interesting effect on the breastfeeding hormone prolactin!
On the other hand, how much milk you produce mostly comes down to how well and how often your baby is latched onto that nipple of yours (supply and demand), not necessarily the food you eat.
We also tend to put too much emphasis on wanting to 'increase our milk supply', when most of us DO produce enough milk. We just don't trust our ability to do so.
Nonetheless, the foods we eat and the nutrients we get from them definitely have an effect on our body's chemistry and hormones, and may therefore impact lactation after all. We just don't have a lot of evidence for it (yet)....
In the end, if this cookie helps you relax and snuggle up with your baby on the couch, it has done its job! If you're struggling to get enough calories in, this cookie can definitely help you out also!
Why don't these cookies contain Brewer's Yeast?
Aha! If you ask yourself this question, you've probably tried other lactation cookie recipes. Most of them contain brewer's yeast. Mine don't. How come?
For one, brewer's yeast is bitter, and I don't like bitter tasting cookies.
But another reason is, their B Vitamins - the main reason brewer's yeast is supposed to be so healthy and good for breastfeeding moms - are very heat sensitive. Almost all of the B Vitamins in brewer's yeast are destroyed during the baking process. Really, there's no nutritional benefit to adding brewer's yeast to a baked food.
So, anyway. Enough blah blah. Here's the recipe for these delicious soft & chewy Lactation Cookies!
Seriously...give these a try. They are soooo good! (If you liked them, I'd appreciate a share, too!)