These delicious magic cookies are chewy, soft, and full of chocolate and coconut! This special recipe supports nursing mothers to boost milk supply!
These cookies are simply delicious, and unlike many other recipes for “lactation cookies” these do not use brewers yeast and still work for improving milk supply in lactating mothers. I use several lactogenic ingredients to boost milk supply such as healthier omega 3 fats from almond butter (purely ground almonds) in lieu of regular dairy butter, coconut oil, shredded coconut, oats, along with the essential fenugreek and flax meal. All of these ingredients are documented lactogenic foods. Whether they will work with your body or not is not clinically proven, but they each have outstanding health benefits nonetheless. First a few disclaimers:
a) Even though they involve lactogenic ingredients (foods/herbs that increase milk supply), non-lactating individuals need not to worry that eating these delicious cookies will make your nipples drip milk (ahem, silly husbands).
b) While these cookies have worked very well for myself, family, and friends, there are no clinically proven results to support the efficacy of this recipe.
The bottom line is that these cookies are perfectly delicious and scrumptious chocolately treats that also happened to increase my milk for the duration that I ate them. Lactation cookies are wildly popular and all over the net. Proponents tout that the milk was “dripping” and that they could not “pump fast enough”. Did I experience this? No. But even when I was engorged in my early postpartum days with TOO MUCH milk, I still did not “drip” or “leak”. So everyone has a different body… Okay. Enough of that.
If anything, these are delicious chocolate chip cookies, made with natural and clean ingredients, good fats/oils (mostly healthy omega 3 fats from a almond butter and coconut oil), and healthy ingredients such as flaxseed meal, oats, and honey. Most “lactation cookie” recipes call for the essential brewers yeast. I did not use this, which is advantageous because it supposedly smells and tastes awful and it is not easy to find in general grocery stores. I avoided its use because I read on WebMd that pregnant and nursing women should avoid use because it has not been studied enough to assess its safety.
The fenugreek seed (hulbeh in Arabic) is one of the most popular herbs used to increase milk supply. I bought a box from Whole Foods, but you can also find it commonly in Asian markets. Fenugreek contributes a nutty/carmel flavor but can also impart a bitterness if not balanced properly. To balance it I use cinnamon in the recipe, as well as honey :). Simply toast the seeds in a pan, and grind them in a food processor or spice grinder (this improves their potency). The recipe also uses fennel, coconut oil, almond butter, and oats which are all lactogenic ingredients, or galactogogues shown to increase and improve milk supply. Please note, in order to maintain an adequate milk supply you cannot rely solely on these cookies but must also eat a healthy diet, and most importantly nurse your baby frequently. Milk supply is based on demand. If the baby is not nursing and the breast is not stimulated, then the milk production decreases. So if you are away from your baby for whatever reasons, limiting nursing to a schedule, using a pacifier to appease the baby when hungry (the sucking of a pacifier will decrease the amount of time a baby nurses), or using formula for some feedings instead of nursing or pumping, then you may be decreasing the demand for milk and therefore decreasing the supply. Read more about that here: increasing milk supply.
- 4 tsp fenugreek seed, toasted then ground (omit if you are not nursing)
- 1 tsp fennel, ground (omit if not nursing)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/4 c sugar
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c almond butter
- 1/4 c unsalted butter
- 1/2 c coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c flour
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 c oats
- 3/4 c shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 c quality chocolate chips (I recommend Ghirardhellis bittersweet)
- Beat the sugars and butters together until creamy. Melt the coconut oil in microwave for about 15 seconds and slowly pour it into the butter-sugar mixture. Add the honey. Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, flaxseed meal, fenugreek seeds, fennel, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
- Slowly combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture.
- Gently stir in the oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate the dough for about 25 minutes so that the cookies do not spread too much when baking. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F) in the meanwhile.
- Scoop the dough with a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- You can completely omit the fenugreek and fennel if you do not need lactation assistance. These will be chewy, chocolately goodness!
- If you eat a lot of these you may notice you smell like maple syrup, which is a common side effect of consuming concentrated fenugreek.