As beneficial as nursing is for both mother and child, like all great things, there are also setbacks. For instance, becoming an incredibly immobile watering hole. Like, seriously, I spend so many hours in my day on my butt while she gets her nutritional intake. But, I can luckily multi-task. I'm totally nursing as I type this. OH YEAH.
But, sometimes it's nice for Mama to get a break. Sometimes, Mama needs to go and see The Fault in Our Stars and have a Hard Cider with one of her blonde friends, or something. Building up a healthy milk supply and pumping is pretty important in order to do such things.
A great, great source to use if you want to increase milk supply is Brewer's Yeast. Brewer's Yeast is extracted from the beer after the fermentation process (all the health benefits, but none of the fun part- alcohol). The yeast is dehydrated and made into various forms (powder, pellet, capsule, for example.) There are some amazing health benefits to Brewer's Yeast, 2 Tablespoons packs in 7 grams of protein and it is a great source of the B Vitamins:
- Folic Acid- which lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and birth defects
- B12- which may improve memory/sharpen you mentally
- Niacin- which increases energy and is linked to DNA repair
- Thiamine- which aids in digestion and promotes your immune system
Yes, Brewer's Yeast is a super food! It is not just for use by lactating mothers, there are health benefits for everyone. Which, by the way, rocks. I started researching lactation cookies- and let me tell you- there are a ton of recipes out there.
I decided to use "The Best Damn Lactation Cookies You'll Ever Eat" from Just Mommies as a guide. (Yes, the inclusion of the word damn is what sold me.) I changed a few things to make it healthier and I also decided to add coconut because of all the health benefits and dark chocolate because it's delicious. I also spread them out in a pan and made bars instead of cookies.
Here is my modified- healthier recipe. I'm calling them Brewer's Yeast Bars because I think everyone can eat them, and saying they are just for aiding lactation would probably greatly decrease the chance, of say, a man, eating the bars. They are kid approved (Abram and Eva loved them.) So, you know they are good!
3 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup Splenda Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda (not powder)
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Brewer's Yeast (the most important ingredient!)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 Cup Butter (Earth Balance is recommended)
4 TBSP Water
2 TBSP Ground Flax
1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Mix together flax and water. Allow to sit for few minutes until the mixture thickens up.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
Add in the flax, apple sauce and vanilla extract.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, brewer's yeast, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together.
Fold in the oats, coconut and dark chocolate.
Grease a 9x11 pan and press the mixture into the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Viola! A delicious, healthy bar that everyone can enjoy! But, it also has the added benefits for nursing mothers!
I do plan on subbing the butter with a cup of solidified coconut oil in my next batch. I'll let you know if it works!