Once I heard about “lactation cookies,” I knew that I wanted to try some next time I was lactating. No need to twist my arm on anything involving cookies. Sure, I’m a fan of evidence and all, but I’m willing to take the risk to try some of these babies to help inform my lactating sisters. I also thought that if I really like them and get my act together, perhaps this could be a future postpartum gift when I’m bringing food to new moms or debriefing with doula clients.
These cookies are adapted from this site. Click on over there to read more about what makes them lactastic. I wanted to make them vegan, but if you don’t, you can add in the original 2 eggs and butter for the oil. I was also a dumbass and added white chocolate chips (white! like milk!) which of course are not vegan. You can add any combo of nuts and/or chips that you like, or raisins, cranberries, whatever. Go crazy. These cookies can handle it, and a nursing mama deserves to have her cravings met! I also think you could do any combo of sugars, agave, maple syrup, etc for the sweetener. I thought the molasses would add some interesting flavor and the extra iron would be nice for new mamas, too.
I added cardamom because I love it, and grinding the seeds fresh really brings out the flavor. I had fenugreek in the cupboard, too, and knew it was another traditional milk supply enhancing supplement, although the amount here per cookie is likely negligible but why not go for some placebo effect. I put the cardamom and fenugreek seeds in my little coffee grinder and pulsed away until it was fine, and added the mixture to the dry ingredients. If you aren’t a fan of stronger flavors in your cookies, you can just nix the molasses (but replace with sugar/other) and cardamom and still have a lovely treat.
The verdict? Very yummy cookies! Still great a day later. They are moist, chewy and spicey. Not too sweet, in fact you could probably reduce the sugar a bit further and they’d still be lovely. When I make them again, I’ll probably use about 1/2 cup fewer chips as the batter couldn’t hold them all. I also, only sometimes, get a slight bitter aftertaste. Is it the fenugreek? Let me know if you know. Oh, and do they increase milk supply? Who knows? I did have a good pumping session before bed, so what the hell, let’s say it was the cookies. Yay, lactation cookies!
[P.S. The jar of brewers yeast was like $16 and what the heck should I do with it? Start making micro brews in the tub? It will take a while to use it up on just cookies, I imagine.]
Spiced Mama’s Milk Cookies (vegan)
Adapted slightly from: Peaceful Parenting (mostly the second recipe)
Yield: About 4 dozen
- 1 c. ground flaxseed (aka milled)
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 c. coconut oil (or margarine, or other oil, etc.)
- 1/4 c. dark molasses
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour or all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons brewers yeast (NOT nutritional yeast!)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 heaping teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
- 2 heaping teaspoons fenugreek seeds, ground
- 3 c. rolled oats
Additional mix ins:
- 12 oz package white chocolate chips (note: these weren’t vegan, so make sure your chips are if you are vegan!), approx 2 cups (I’d reduce to 1 1/2 cups, see note above.)
- 1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like, or none)
- 3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, moistened (I just drizzled some water over and let it sit a few minutes. If you can only find sweetened, just reduce your sugar a skosh. If you hate coconut, just pretend this isn’t here.)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In one bowl, mix flaxseed and water. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the applesauce, oil, molasses, sugars, and vanilla with a hand-mixer until well blended.
- In a separate large bowl, like the biggest one you have, mix all of the dry ingredients except for the oats.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix well by hand.
- Add the flax mixture and stir some more.
- Add the oats and stir stir stir.
- Add the choc chips, nuts, coconut, or whatever additional mix ins you like, and stir until everything seems well distributed.
- Spoon or scoop onto cookie sheet, about golf ball sized portions. Press gently with fork.
- Bake about 12 – 14 minutes. Cool. Enjoy.