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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Holy Galactogogue the Lactation Biscuit

Entering the domain of motherhood uncovers a whole other world, a most intriguing place it is. In this realm lives “galactagogues” (I love this word!), which basically refers to substances – herbal or medicinal that increase milk production. I have been introduced to some of these on my journey over the last 15 weeks. The efficacy of which is all open to debate but some are more pleasant than others. These cookies have been a staple in my household since the week before baby arrived, largely due to their popularity with everyone else as well as serving a great bite sized snack for me when baby wrangling proves to be a handful.  The recipe features ingredients that have been recognised as “galactogogues” – oats, linseed meal and brewer’s yeast.

The following recipe is courtesy of Breastmates.co.nz and I have had a lot of fun trying variations.  They are really simple to make and the quantities below makes heaps!  I find it freezes beautifully and the reality with a newborn in the house I have only really been successful with cooking if I can do it in stages as I never get a chance to finish any recipe from start to finish. I also find that these roll and handle beautifully if they have been in the refrigerator.  The following recipe will yield  at least 3 x 24 batches so knock ‘em out, keep them in the fridge/freezer and bake them as you need them.  These have been a tremendous hit with blokes. Mr T is the first person to show up when these come out of the oven!  My BIL also posted a hilarious faux pas on his FB status update by calling them “lactating cookies” which invited an amusing confusion from his friend, the author, Armistead Maupin (followed by some quick explanations from me assuring them the biscuits were not lactating!).

Lactation Biscuits

A tasty little recipe that will also help to improve the quality and supply of breast milk.  Widely used by mothers!  If you have 2-3 smallish ones a day it balances out supply but if you need to boost the supply eat more.

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup butter or marg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons linseed (flaxseed) meal*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
  • 1 cup or more chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)

Directions:

Preheat oven at 375 degrees F, 180c. Mix together 2 tablespoons of linseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir linseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats & chips. Scoop onto baking sheet lined with baking paper.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Serves: 6 dozen cookies (a huge batch)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

*NOTE* IT MUST BE BREWERS YEAST, NO SUBSTITUTIONS. Bakers yeast will NOT do - it must be brewer's yeast.   Flaxseed is just the American name for Linseed.

Variations

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So I have been mixing up this recipe quite a lot with varying results. I have gauged their success  by their popularity at home and with my parents’ group.

My now consistent inclusions for this recipe include:

  • Good quality butter – in our case NZ butter
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Dried cranberries – their tartness with the dark chocolate is fantastic
  • Dried blueberries – same reason as cranberries and also antioxidant properties
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds added to flaxmeal mix
  • 2 cups flour is replaced with 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup almond meal and 3/4 wholemeal self raising (the self raising helps the biscuit spread, you get more out of the batch and it is less dense)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (or in my case “shake shake shake” till I like the aroma)
    Ground allspice (same as above!)
  • Sugar – only use brown and raw sugars – prefer the caramelly nature of those sugars compared to white
  • Roasted coconut chips, slivered almonds or roasted pistachios (whatever I have in the cupboard) 

Variation 1 – No Sugar/ Butter

Using the same biscuit dry ingredients as per the recipe, the sugar and eggs are replaced with 3 mashed bananas or a cup of apple pie filling. Butter is replaced with 1/2 cup of coconut butter. Prepare all dry ingredients separately and add the combined wet ingredients to the mix. This is the more earnest version and low guilt factor. Didn’t have the more-ish factor according to my group of mums and husband.  This might not always be a bad thing!

Variation 2 – Reduced Sugar

By halving the sugar and adding a cup of apple pie filling you can pat yourself on the back a little more.  Add the apple filling just after creaming sugars, vanilla and egg.  This is a more moist mixture and doesn’t keep as long in the fridge before cooking. This is the less earnest version and its healthful benefits can be hidden from consumers!

My next experiment may involve the Queen of Galactogogues, fenugreek, being added to this recipe, however in the meantime I am busy using that in an Indian fudge-style dish instead which takes way too much time but is bloody delicious.

In the meantime fill your freezer with the above recipe and experiments – you can’t go wrong and you can cook up a batch so quickly if you have surprise guests (as have a habit of arriving when there is a newborn). Or be good to a new mum and bake her a batch or give her some dough to use as she needs.

And if you find that quiet moment (this is a bit of a fantasy of mine too!) – sit back and enjoy!

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