Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
If you don’t have kids, or if you’ve never had breastfeeding problems, you might never have heard of Lactation Cookies. I know I hadn’t until recently, and I’m pretty sure one of my work colleagues hadn’t either as she thought they were cookies made from breast milk!!
A friend recently had a gorgeous baby girl (she has so much hair!) and she found that her milk supply wasn’t keeping up with her babies demands. As it is in most cases, there were several reasons why this was and is she doing an amazing job but I wanted to see if I could do anything to help. That’s when I learned about Lactation Cookies. Lactation cookies are said to be able to help increase a mother’s milk supply. Some sources say you need to eat 4 to 5 cookies per day, others say less (I’m always a fan of anything that promotes more cookie eating!!) but as a new mum sometimes eating anything is a challenge so the simpler the better.
Before I get into the ins and outs of this recipe for Gluten Free Lactation Cookies let me make it clear that eating these cookies is in no way a guarantee that your breast feeding problems will be fixed. There are many stories of women who have found eating Lactation Cookies helpful, but I’m sure there are many who have found that they didn’t work for them too. I am no expert this field; however I am an expert in cookies and regardless of their lactating abilities these are darn good cookies!!
When I was making these Gluten Free Lactation Cookies I did a lot of reading about what foods are thought to increase a mother’s milk supply. There are lots of recipes for Lactation Cookies available but they all contain Brewer’s Yeast and Oats, neither of which are Gluten Free. Both of these ingredients are said to be helpful in promoting an increase in milk supply because of their B vitamins, saponins (used in hormone production) and other trace elements so I went about trying to find other (GF) ingredients that had similar nutritional value. The answer was Quinoa and Seeds, namely Flax/Linseeds and Sesame Seeds. To get all the goodness into the cookies I have used LSA in this recipe. LSA is available from the supermarket and healthfood stores and is a mixture of ground Almonds, Linseeds and Sunflower Seeds. It has quite a bitter flavour (as does the Quinoa Flour) but this is overcome by the desiccated coconut. Pumpkin seeds, which add a crunch to your cookies, are full of magnesium and zinc which are important for everyone (not just mums). I have also used Coconut Oil, which has many health benefits, coconut sugar and desiccated coconut to give the cookies a tasty flavour.
These Gluten Free Lactation Cookies taste like an ANZAC cookie, which means they’re not just good for you but they’re tasty too. It also means that everyone will want to eat your cookies so hide them where they can’t find them… like in the laundry! Do remember to let them know that eating them won’t make them start to lactate, but they will need to make the next batch ASAP.
This cookie recipe is very different to the others I have on Mummy Made.It. For these Gluten Free Lactation Cookies I have used more coconut oil than normal and I have used a granulated sugar rather than a liquid one. Generally I try and make a recipe that produces a treat that is lower in sugars and calories than it’s ‘normal counterpart’. However, for these Gluten Free Lactation Cookies I felt it was more important to make sure all the necessary milk promoting ingredients were present, and the calorie load was less important. Why? Because breastfeeding can burn approximately 500 extra calories per day so mums need to make sure they are eating enough energy. Take it from a mum who has breastfed 3 kids; sometimes all you get time to eat is a quick snack while feeding and a cookie is perfect for that.
There are many reasons why a mother’s milk supply may need a boost, and many more reasons why it may be low. Please only use this recipe as part of your feeding plan. Make sure you are getting enough rest, enough water and good food to give your body the fuel it needs to feed your little one. Having a baby is had work; remember to look after yourself too. This is easier said than done I know, but even little things can help.
Friends of mums; why not make these cookies, take them to your friend’s house and make her a cup of tea… before sending her off to bed for a nap while you watch the baby. A much more useful gift than a bunch of flowers!
P.S. stayed tuned for a Chocolate version coming to Mummy Made.It soon!
Gluten Free Lactation Cookies
- 1/2 Cup Softened Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar or raw/brown sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
- 1/2 Cup LSA ground linseeds, almonds and sunflower seeds
- 1/2 Cup Arrowroot/Tapioca Flour
- 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate
- Pinch of Salt
- 3/4 Cup desiccated Coconut
- 1/3 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 100 grams Chocolate Chips
- Place the coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer and beat until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined and a bit fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients (except the desiccated coconut and pumpkin seeds) and beat until combined. Stop and scrap down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the mixture is combined.
- Add the desiccated coconut and pumpkin seeds and beat in gently.
- (Alternatively these steps can be done by hand in a large bowl or in a blender).
- Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
- Line and grease 2 trays. The mixture will make approx. 16 cookies and they spread while cooking so you don't want to put them too close together.
- Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball and then place on the lined tray. DO NOT flatten the cookies, as they will spread themselves.
- Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough on the other trays. Return the mixture to the fridge if not baking immediately.
- Allow to cool on the tray before storing in an airtight container.