31 August 2016


I don’t normally share recipes on my blog, not that I don’t want to, I actually always had the intention to, and hence the inclusion of ‘lifestyle’ in my blog name – but  now having two little boys, I simply feel that I haven’t got as much time to play and experiment in the kitchen as I once did, so the things that I do bake and cook are the old trusted favourites, which are also, sadly often somewhat boring, and I feel too boring to share. But the other day, as I was tidying up after moving house, I came across a recipe that I have made use of a several times after giving birth to our little boys old boys to assist with the breast feeding and milk production..
With both our boys I initially had plenty of milk, in fact so much they joked at the hospital that I had sufficient for the whole ward, but then the first one ended up at the children’s hospital for an overnight stay when he was just a week old with a skin infection. He was very tried, and consequently didn’t eat well, for quite a while after as he got better, and I quickly felt that it affected my milk supply which was only just establishing – so on recommendation from the nurses at the hospital where he was born, I tried baking some lactation cookies - and I recently made a large batch of these again - in the lead up to his bone marrow transplant last year, our little boy had intense chemotherapy, which meant that he completely stopped taking any food apart from what he had through his nasogastric tube - for a whole 6 weeks. During this time I did express to maintain supply, but it was dropping dramatically, and towards the end there was very little - so when he slowly started taking food again, I once again successfully reached for the lactation cookies - and hence why I thought that I'd share this, also because personally I preferred this more natural approach, and certainly thought that it was well worth a try, before more drastic measures such as medication.

So in short, these lactation cookies are intended for mothers who want to maintain their breast milk supply or for boosting breast milk supply.

The recipe makes a huge, and I mean huge batch, so I always divide it into quarters, bake one quarter and freeze the remaining three quarters, which makes it quick and easy next time you want to make them – you simply just defrost the dough, before rolling them into the preferred size and bake them. Besides, I actually prefer to bake them in smaller batches anyway, as they are always nicer when they are fresh!

Anyway, enough of the babbling, here's the ingredients needed;

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons linseed meal / flax meal  
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of thick cut oats
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewers yeast (note, this cannot be substituted for another type of yeast, as this is the magic ingredient! – you can normally buy this from health stores)
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips/dried fruit/nuts – whatever you like – personally I prefer raisins and nuts, as with the brown sugar I find they are plenty sweet, and that they are too sweet with the addition of chocolate as well, but that is just personal preference.

How to:
Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced, or 180C normal oven.

Mix linseed meal with water and set aside for a few minutes. Beat butter and sugar and add one egg at a time, mixing well. Add linseed meal and vanilla, and hereafter the dry ingredients, finishing with the fruit/nuts.
The mix is quite sticky, so it is easiest to scoop it in small, teaspoon sized lumps onto a lined baking tray. The cookies doesn’t spread out, but remains in their shape, so can be fairly close together while baking. Depending on the size of the cookies, they need to cook for 8-12 minutes


Note that it is also recommend to eat some of the raw dough as well as the cookies, with the claim that the dough is even more effective than the cooked cookies, but of course keep in mind that you'd then be eating raw egg, which may bother some!

I have had great success with these cookies, and actually quite like them too, although they do have a special and unique taste (and smell) due to the brewers yeast!
If you are breastfeeding and decide to try these in an attempt to boost your milk supply, do let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear…

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