Those of you who know me personally know that I love cooking. The joy of being in the kitchen with the smells and sounds of food being made is unbeatable. When I had children, I feared that my time for cooking would get pushed aside. And it did, for a while.
Both of my daughters were exclusively breastfed for a year (I’m calling it early because my youngest turns one in just two weeks!). With the first one, I suffered through cracked nipples, a bad latch, and all the crappy consequences until, eventually, my nipples just toughened up. When she weaned at 13 months, I was blissful, I won’t lie. The second time around, things were easy in some regards- great latch, etc., etc.- but with my doula work, my supply tanked; it turns out, staying up all night and not staying properly hydrated and fed isn’t great for milk supply. I never made the time for myself to do something like making lactation cookies and I never asked my partner, who is also an amazing cook and even better baker than me, to make them either. But, I did what I could. I pumped to try to make up for lost supply and I have even received some donor milk. I thought I would stop at a year and be happy about it, but as that time approaches, I have decided to see what I can do to keep going.
So, I found myself in this situation where I was: 1) missing creating new things in the kitchen, and 2) finding myself aching to keep up our breastfeeding relationship. So, off I went in search for some amazing lactation recipes. I am including here my favorite savory recipe and my favorite cookie recipe to date because let’s face it, I need an excuse to eat more cookies.
I chose a vegetarian (actually, it’s vegan but don’t let that deter you) milk-boosting soup so that dietary restrictions of my readers were less likely. Did you know legumes and dark greens boost milk supply?
Lentil and Kale Soup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
14.5 oz can of organic diced tomatoes
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups of green lentils, rinsed and picked through
8 cups of stock (homemade, or organic low-sodium vegetable)
a large bunch of kale, chopped (~3 cups)
1 bay leaf
optional spices: a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of finely chopped caraway seeds
- In a large, heavy pot, heat up the oil and add in the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables become soft.
- Add in the tomatoes along with their juices and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes down about 5 minutes to reduce the juices.
- Add the lentils and stir them to coat.
- Add the stock. Bring it to a boil.
- When the stock is boiling, add in the chopped kale and then immediately bring the heat down to a simmer. Add in the bay leaf, cover the pot and cook for 35-40 minutes.
- After about 30-35 minutes, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as desired. You should add the recommended red pepper flakes and caraways seeds at this point. You can also add more salt if you like, and any other spices you prefer.
- Serve warm.
Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
4 Tbs water
2 Tbs flax seed meal (important to use meal or freshly ground, as we cannot digest whole flax seeds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 c. oats
1 c. chocolate chips
2 -4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast (if using 4 Tbs, I would add a bit extra sugar and chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix the flaxseed meal and water and set aside.
- Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well in medium bowl.
- Add eggs to butter mixture and mix well.
- Add flaxseed mix and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Stir in oats and chips.
- Scoop 1.5 inch lumps onto baking sheet, spacing by at least an inch.
- Bake for 12 – 15 mins.
- Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray and transfer to a cooling rack.