Best Ever Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

Yup.  There’s such a thing!  And boy was I ever so happy to eat this one!  With my first child, I really struggled to nurse her after the first few months.  I didn’t know about these delicious cookies at that point but I wish I had.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I did plenty of research because I wanted to nurse her as well but I didn’t want to struggle.  But the better benefit of these cookies…. you’re always hungry when you are nursing and this was one of the few excuses left for me to eat cookies every day!

I’m not sure who’s recipe I used the first time around as I found it when I was at the hospital and honestly, I don’t remember much from those first few days.  I gave the recipe to my sister-in-law Shivani and she was sweet enough to whip up batches for me until I was able to do so myself.  Well, now it’s my turn to do the same for her!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that she just had the most adorable baby boy and I’m over the moon about being his aunt!

Anyways, over time, I changed the recipe a little to suit my tastes and needs but these delicious lactation cookies still provide the nutrients you need to help feed your little one!

Not sure how it works?  Take a look:

  • BREWER’S YEAST – this is considered to be a galactagogue but there are still studies going on to understand the full effects.
  • OATS – this is considered one of the best foods to eat for breastfeeding mothers.  They are also a great source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc so you can’t really go wrong with this ingredient.
  • FLAXSEEDS  – these have phytoestrogens that help influence breastmilk production.  Added benefits include a boost of energy, positive effect on your mood, and help in getting rid of the baby blues.

If you are nursing or know someone who is nursing, these are one the of the most helpful foods the new mom can have.

If you bake them, store them at room temperature for up to 7 days in an airtight container.  You can also freeze the dough for up to 2 months.

If you’re making these as a gift for a new Momma, I usually like to bake a dozen to start her off and give her the dough so she can make the cookies as she wants them.  I personally would freeze or refrigerate the dough and make a few each day in my little toaster oven so I could have fresh cookies out of the oven!   So divine I tell you!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope these Lactation Cookies help you as much as they helped me!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Spiced Pear Loaf

I love a traditional banana bread but I also love changing out the fruits and making different types of loaves.  This Spiced Pear Loaf gives me a peek into the fall with its hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger; the sweet pear chunks added in… oh so delicious!
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This bread uses milk and oil in addition to the pear chunks to give it just the right amount of moisture.  Use a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and oats for a healthy balance of carbs, and just enough brown sugar to combine with the warm spices to bring fall home any time of the year!
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Use this loaf for a snack during recess, packed in your lunchboxes, or even as a sweet treat post meals.  So delicious and scrumptious, you have to try it out!
IMG_7862From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious treat!

Spiced Plum Crumble Bars

One of my very good friends, Diana, has a plum tree that produces an abundance of plums every year.  One of my favorite memories is when Sanaya was just over a year old, we had gone to her house and she let us pick plums in her backyard.  We had so many plums in our hands, I had walked away to put them in a basket.  When I came back, Sanaya had eaten half a plum (most of the juice was around her mouth and on her clothes) and was holding another she was getting ready to dive into.  It was one the best afternoons ever!
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We are a fruit loving family and we don’t discriminate (well, unless it’s mangoes – then everyone has to fend for themselves while I devour them).  At any given time, there’s always fresh fruit in the house and I love that my girls share mine and hubby’s love for them.  In honor of Diana’s plum tree (which I heard may not be around much longer and I almost cried), I got creative and added a little spice spin to these crumble bars.
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I love this recipe because it is so easy to come together.  For the filling, I stayed true to Salted Mint‘s filling.  I tried out a few different variations but I love this one the best because it is simple, adds the warmth of star anise and cinnamon and tastes amazing!
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For the crumble, I added hints of ginger and cardamom (I seriously felt like I could call this a Chai Spiced Plum Crumble because of the similar spices used). And the best is I can use the same mixture for the crust and crumble!
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For the oats, I used old fashioned oats and mixed it by hand.  You can absolutely pulse it in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture.

I don’t think anyone can stop eating just one bar!  These are so crumbly, flaky, sweet, tart, and have just a little hint of spice which just warms your insides up!

This recipe makes about 16 squares in a 8×8 baking pan.

Notes:
To store, place in a sealed container and keep in fridge for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 2 months.

Keep the skin on the plums!  I wasn’t sure about this when I first started experimenting but it just becomes a part of the jam and you can’t even notice it!
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious plum crumble bars!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:
  

Breakfast Oat Muffins

Breakfast is such an important meal for everyone.  It’s been more relaxed for us lately due to the quarantine, but when school restarts, it’s going to get crazy in my house.  With two kids in two different schools that are miles apart and me rushing to make sure both are on time.  Yeah, I can imagine how smooth that is going to be! Continue reading “Breakfast Oat Muffins”

Berry Bake Yum

Times are trying right now as we adjust to working from home, homeschooling and entertaining children at home and just keeping a normal routine for a minimum of the next month as we battle COVID-19.  The first couple of days at home, my children thought we were on vacation…… well, it kind of is I suppose.  In our household, that also means waking up earlier, knowing the children don’t have to pretend they’re sleeping to avoid going to school (they’re starting early!), and also, wanting to eat whatever they want whenever they want.
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I decided I needed to get an upper hand in this mess and started a frenzy of organizing my pantry and creating my menu.
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Over the years, I’ve learned that my munchkins are creatures of habit and though they would prefer to eschew breakfast in lieu of playing and running around or snacking all day, their bodies tell me different when we go through a tantrum.  This berry bake is loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins, and great flavor, it’s a win-win.
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I put this recipe of a bake together because it can loosely be termed as a breakfast bar and it’s a dump and bake deal.  It’s also really easy because you make a generous amount and refrigerate the rest up to a week and pull them out throughout the week without putting in much effort.  The best part is most of these items may already be in your pantry.
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Completely vegetarian and easily modified to be a vegan recipe if you replace the butter with vegan butter.  You can also substitute frozen berries instead of fresh or any other fruit you have on hand without compromising the integrity of the bars.  Try it out and tell me how you like it.
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy!  Be safe, Be healthy!

Ingredients:
1 c almond milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
1 ½ c Old Fashioned Oats
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 Tbsp Flaxseed
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 c mixed berries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Spray a 10×7 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray
3. Mix all the ingredients and transfer to the pan
4. Bake for 25 minutes, a few minutes longer if you prefer a crunchier bar
5. Cool for 5 minutes and cut into 1″x2″ bars
6. Wrap leftover bars individually in saran wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Almond Coconut Porridge

Breakfast is my favorite meal. There are so many fun foods to eat and start your day. Sweet or savory, light or hearty, healthy or greasy!

A couple of months ago, a friend recommended a local restaurant, Homegrown. The moment I walked in and saw their menu, I fell in love. They’re a casual place that serves food which is organic and from local farmers. Talk about tasting the freshness in my food!

I ordered their Coconut Chia Porridge. Was I blown away! The creamy porridge paired with the crunchy toasted coconut and almonds, topped with sweet banana slices. I was in breakfast heaven!

Since then, I’ve been obsessed. Especially over the last week. I just can’t get it out of my mind so I decided to try my hand at it and make my own version.

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In addition to chia seeds, I added flax seeds. A double dose of fiber and omega 3’s (which is a win-win when you’re feeding two toddlers)!

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If you don’t have time in the morning because you need to rush out of the house, then this is a very easy prepare the night before recipe. Just mix all the ingredients for the oats, cover and keep in the refrigerator. Heat it up the next morning and add your toppings.

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Here is what I added to mine: toasted coconut, walnuts, craisins, sesame seeds and fresh blueberries. Not the same as Homegrown obviously but still delicious!

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Try it out!

Ingredients:
1c Steel Cut Oats
2c Unsweeteened Coconut Almond Milk (or any milk of your choice)
1c Water
1tsp Salt
1Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1Tbsp Chia Seeds

For Toppings:
1Tbsp shredded coconut, toasted
Handful of toasted walnuts
2tsp Craisins
Handful of fresh blueberries
½tsp sesame seeds
1Tbsp Almond milk (or more for your desired consistency)

In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk and water and boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and add in the oatmeal and salt. Stir occasionally as the oats cook, approximately 20 minutes. As the oats start to thicken, about 10 minutes into cooking them, add in the chia and flax seeds. Mix well and continue to cook until the oats are done.

Spoon into a bowl and add the toppings.

I hope you and your family enjoy this bowl of porridge as much as me and mine did!

A “Date” with Granola

This recipe has a couple of stories behind it.  The most simplest, my toddler was having issues and I need to find a way for fiber to be in her diet and her to like it! The second story is a bit cuter.
We had been invited for breakfast and a playdate with one of her dearest friends, E.  Her parents had laid out a delicious breakfast for us and part of it was Granola.  I know you’re thinking, this is nice, but cute?  Mmmmmm…… well let me tell you.  E calls granola Crunch Crunch.  My toddler, (like most toddlers), is a monkey see monkey do.  She ate quite a bit that day and a couple weeks later, when I ran into a dilemma of how to incorporate more fiber, I had just the perfect solution.  Yep, her new favorite word – crunch crunch!
Dates is my new fave thing.  I like to snack on that and nuts throughout the day so I don’t eat enough chocolate to get a tummy ache.  Plus, it is loaded with fiber so I knew I needed to include this in my recipe.  The rest, well, was trial and error.  This is a very simple recipe.  Try it!
No seriously, try it! Our house eats it alone, with milk, yogurt, in any form basically because it is that good!
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Chop up some dates

Add in the oats, walnuts, and coconut.  (if you eat a bit of your ingredients along the way – don’t worry! I won’t tell because I’m doing the same!)

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Add the salt, vanilla extract, and olive oil and mix well.  Finally, add in the honey and mix really well.  You want the honey to mix evenly so all the ingredients combine.
Be careful! I got greedy the first time and added too much honey.  I definitely regretted that decision!

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Line a 2inch baking sheet with a silicone mat and spread the granola evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

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Look at how beautifully golden that looks!
Let it cool for about 5 minutes then gently scoop it into an airtight container.  Or, if you are impatient like me, just eat it as soon as it cools and make excuses about tasting it!

I’m hoping my “Crunch Crunch” recipe will join you for breakfast soon!

Here’s the full recipe:

Date Granola

Ingredients:
2c chopped dates
3c Old Fashioned Oats
1c shredded coconut
1c chopped walnuts
2Tbsp honey
3tsp vanilla extract
3/4tsp salt
3/4c EVOO

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 2inch baking sheet with a silicone mat.

In a bowl, combine dates, oats, coconut, and walnuts.  Add in vanilla extract, salt and EVOO.  Mix well.  Add in honey and mix until honey combines with granola.

Spread evenly into baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

When it’s golden brown, pull out of the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Store in an airtight container for future use.

Enjoy!