Whether you are breastfeeding or not, many of us could use an energy boost. Unfortunately, convenient caffeinated beverages or sugary snacks often triumph over the healthy option, leading to that mid-day crash. These little no-bake balls of goodness (adapted from Lori Bregman) are not only easy to make, they’re like eating spoonfuls of cookie dough! I throw two into a small container and keep it in my purse for a quick pick-me-up while I’m on the go.
For lactation, I have found these little bites to be quite effective in building up my milk supply. After eating two bites per day for several days (not even a week!) I was able to pump two additional feeding’s worth of milk per day. If you are trying to build your supply, I highly recommend giving this a try! A word of caution: beware of overdoing it. If your baby is unable to empty your breast with the feeding, you should seriously consider cutting back and/or pumping to save for future use.
For non-lactating women and men, these bites are perfectly safe and no, they won’t make you spontaneously leak. Chances are you are already eating at least one of the ingredients listed below! The key ingredient, brewer’s yeast, only enhances lactation if the person ingesting it already has active lactogenic hormones. It is a by-product of brewing beer, hence the name, and is a great source of vitamins and protein. Scroll down for more details!
Yield: 12-15 bites
2 cups dry rolled oats
1 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or cacao nibs
1/3 cup honey or agave
Optional: shredded coconut
Mix ingredients well (except for coconut shreds) and chill for 15-20 minutes. Roll into 1-inch balls. Optional: roll through shredded coconut. Store in an airtight containers container in the fridge or freezer.
But why those ingredients?
Oatmeal is high in iron and helps to lower cholesterol. Both are great for everyone and extra beneficial when it comes to lactation.
Almonds are full of protein, calcium and vitamins that give you a natural energy boost! Don’t forget that they’re packed with healthy fats that not only get passed on through breastmilk, but you’ll also reap the side benefits of a glowing complexion and shiny hair.
Flaxseeds increase the amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and Omega-3, which are great for both your and your baby’s developing brain.
Brewers yeast, as mentioned before, is s beer making by-product and is a traditional supplement that increases milk in nursing mothers. In many European cultures, dark beer is recommended for lactation assistance…reap the benefits sans the alcohol! It is a great source of vitamin B, protein (hello, energy!) and chromium, which may lower blood glucose levels.
Dark Chocolate has been proven to be a mood enhancer and you may have heard about its antioxidant qualities. But did you know it’s a bronchodilator, meaning it helps increase airflow to the lungs? It can also help to lower blood pressure and may help to prevent sun damage. Opt for this over the sugary milk chocolate.
Cacao nibs are the purest form of chocolate because they are less processed that chocolate bars. Some believe they have the highest antioxidant concentration of all foods.
Honey seems to be a miracle food! It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, an antioxidant and is a natural remedy for many a malady. Oh yeah, plus it’s a natural sweetener and energy booster!
Agave is a great vegan alternative to honey. While it doesn’t quite boast of the same qualities as its counterpart, it’s s good option for those watching their glucose.
Shredded coconut for this recipe is all for the texture. If you don’t like coconut, by all means skip it! But believe it or not, coconut benefits both you and baby. Coconut is another food that is high in antioxidants, is a natural source of vitamin E and boosts the protective elements in lauric acid and capric acid that get passed through the breastmilk.
Try them and let me know what you think!