I have mixed feelings about "lactation cookies (and bars)." They often just seem like an excuse to eat cookies; which lets face it, are not healthy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE cookies, but I can't be eating them every day. The other reason I'm not 100% for lactation cookies is that there's really nothing in them that makes your body produce more milk. The brewers yeast greatly boosts the nutrient content and realistically would be a great addition to any cookie recipe. However, brewers yeast is not directly a galactagogue herb such as fenugreek, fennel, blessed thistle and alfalfa.
I have a personal theory based on my knowledge as a nutritionist, on the reason why lactation cookies may appear to increase supply. Lactation cookies add carbs and calories to the mother's diet along with a vitamin and mineral boost from the added brewer's yeast. Those three things will all aid in the mother producing milk which is why many women struggle to maintain milk supply while trying to loose weight or when increasing exercise.
Now that I just told you that I'm not a fan of lactation cookies, here's a recipe for lactation bars that I would suggest as an alternative to the traditional lactation cookie. And to set the record straight, I'm not anti lactation cookie, I just think moms should be informed and not binge on lactation cookies just because they're breastfeeding. I think they can be a great little daily treat in moderation and these bars contain some of those great galactagogue herbs!
These bars are very high fat, but I am pro fat! Healthy fats are great, slow burning fuel to help combat that "breastfeeding hunger" and it helps support brain growth for you baby! One little bar will go a long way. I like using these after midnight feedings to help give my body the boost it needs to make milk for the next feeding while I am sleeping. Especially in the early months when babies are not yet sleeping through the night, it can be really useful to fuel up at night, plus I have a hard time making it through the night as a breastfeeding mother without at least one little snack.
**the reason I call these "happy tummy bars" is because the turmeric, ginger and fennel are all really amazing for gut health and will benefit both mom and baby**
3 tbsp. coconut flour
1 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp brewers yeast
1/2 cup melted ghee or coconut oil (I used grass fed butter)
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp fennel
Pinch of black pepper
Crushed pistachios for garnish (I used hemp seeds)
Lightly toast the coconut flour in a saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in all remaining ingredients to the saucepan until well combined. Pour batter into a parchment lined pan and put in the fridge until it solidifies. Cut into slices and store in the fridge or freezer until time to serve.
Happy Lactating from your's truly!