Apr 112016
 

When I was pregnant I kept seeing something called “lactation cookies” everywhere. I didn’t really know what they were and I didn’t really know much about breastfeeding in general–most of my reading was about pregnancy and birth and raising kids and somehow I skipped the feeding part. I did save this recipe to try later because I was curious and of course, I love cookies. 🙂

When Logan was born my mom came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days to help out. She was amazing and did so much! One of the things she did was bake these cookies. It was hard to find the brewer’s yeast–it wasn’t something in a regular grocery store apparently. My mom went to a few different stores and couldn’t find the yeast. Then I thought, maybe it’s at a beer store! Which Portland has an abundance of! Sure enough, a local brew your own place near our house had the brewer’s yeast so Michael picked some up and my mom baked the cookies for me.

Here is the recipe she used:

Lactation Cookies

From: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons brewers yeast
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks (I like ghirardelli)
  • feel free to add: unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped almonds, 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
  4. Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
  5. You can easily freeze this dough - scoop the rounds on a baking sheet, place the sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, then place the dough rounds in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Bake at the same temp - they may or may not need an extra minute or 2 - your preference!
  6. You can use all butter if you don't have/can't find coconut oil. If you swap any butter amount for more coconut oil, the cookies will spread a bit more. If you decrease the fat (butter/oil) amount in total, these cookies will be drier. It's up to you!
  7. You can use 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour with similar results - any more and the cookies with be drier and grittier.
  8. You can probably decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup without issue.
  9. I do not have experience in making these vegan, so I can't say what it would be like without the eggs or with vegan butter. I also am not sure how the consistency would be with gluten free flour.
  10. I personally think you can increase the brewers yeast amount by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=49820

Supposedly these cookies help milk supply. Apparently the oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast are what is key to increasing your supply.

“Lactation cookies may be the best-kept secret among breastfeeding mothers. The ingredients in these yummy cookies work in a number of different ways to help moms boost and maintain their milk supply. What makes these cookies so special is that they contain galactagogues, which are substances that promote lactation in humans and animals. Galactagogues can be found in various herbs and foods. The brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, flaxseed meal and whole oats in lactation cookies are what specifically help with a lactating mother’s milk supply.” (source)

I think the recipe said it made like 24 cookies but my mom got 34 out of the recipe.

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They are super delicious! They are a bit drier than your normal chocolate chip oatmeal cookies but not in a bad way. I found them really tasty and kind of addicting! I’d have a cookie or two a few times a day (usually when I was pumping). They tasted great.

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I can’t really attest to whether or not they improved my milk supply but I did see an increase each day–was that because I was getting a regular routine of pumping and that just made the production increase? Or was it the cookies? No way to tell. But the cookies are yummy so it was worth giving it a try!
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Something else I got (thank you Amazon prime) was this super amazing breast pump bra:

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Damn has it been a lifesaver! Pumping was such a pain in the ass. Having to do it so frequently and basically having to hold the bottles to keep the suction going was a major hassle. I could not do anything else while pumping. It was frustrating. Finally at 2am one morning I decided to see if Amazon had something to make this easier and they did. The bra works great for pumping and has made my life a lot easier. I can have my hands free to do other things–eat, drink, read, play with Logan…

Learning little things like the bra, having easy snacks you can eat with one hand,  and having two changing table covers instead of just one (because he’s going to pee on everything the second you finish doing laundry), has been kind of a “duh” thing. But it’s the little things you learn along the way that make life easier with a newborn.

Anyways, the cookies tasted great and I would most definitely make them again–even if I wasn’t breastfeeding. So don’t feel like you can’t make them just because. My mom and my husband both ate some and liked them as well.

Do you have experience with these cookies? Do you think they helped you?

Nov 162015
 

I’ve noticed lately (like within the last two weeks) that when I work out my heart rate is a bit higher than it’s been thus far. I’m guessing that’s the pregnancy stuff. I had the day off and slept in a little bit, then as I was being lazy in bed, cuddling with Bella and Fat Kitty, I got a wicked Charlie Horse in both calves. The left one subsided quickly, the right one crippled me. OUCH! It hurt so bad. It was like my calf muscle just decided to explode. And I felt the effects of it for the rest of the day and it was honestly sore the next day too! 🙁

I’d had plans to run at the gym but after the Charlie Horse I decided not to. I did upper body weights instead and then 2 miles on the elliptical. Calories burned:
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I got home, it wasn’t raining and it was actually kind of sunny out, so Bella and I took a 1 mile walk to enjoy the weather. I burned another 100+ calories on that walk. Burning a lot lately, without even trying. It’s so odd.

For dinner Michael and I went out on a date night. He was craving pizza (as per usual) and I was craving BBQ. Pregnant lady wins. 😀

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We went to Podnah’s! One of my favorites. It was a packed house for a weeknight but we got a table for two right away, thankfully. I got the brisket (my favorite), cornbread and collard greens and mac n’ cheese. (I like the mac n’ cheese at Reverend’s better, though.) Michael got the “meat” plate. LOL It was a sampler plate of the sausage, brisket, pulled pork and ribs. Everything was so good and satisfied my craving!

After dinner we headed to IKEA to check out the baby stuff. We got some essentials, of course:

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Then looked at their cribs. We both liked this one:

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I liked the drawers on the bottom, I liked that the mattress levels were adjustable and it converted into a toddler bed, too. We’re just in the looking phase right now, but we did end up buying the most important things:

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Michael recently sent me a link about how IKEA is transforming kid’s art into stuffed animals for charity. It was SUCH a cute idea! The little green guy on the left was one of those creations and even though it’s kind of derpy looking, it was too cute not to get! The shark was Michael’s impulse buy. The little foxes are going to go nicely with our nursery theme. 🙂

shark

Fat Kitty was super curious AND freaked out by the shark. Haha!

The next night I tried my hand at making a new recipe I’ve had saved for awhile. Sadly, we haven’t been much into cooking the last few months–making basic meals without trying any new recipes or doing much out of the norm. Part of that was two and a half months of me suffering from morning sickness and no appetite and just eating pasta. Part of it was being busy and tired and just making easy go-to meals (like steak and vegetables, chicken and vegetables, salmon and vegetables, you get the picture).

ONE-POT PAPRIKA CHICKEN THIGHS

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: Around 400 calories

From: http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/09/one-pot-paprika-chicken-thighs/

Ingredients

  • 3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Pressed garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. red and white small potatoes, in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine (or white grape juice)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a Ziploc bag, combine about 2 T. smokey paprika, 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Mix together and add 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time, lightly shaking. Pull the chicken pieces out and put on a large plate. Repeat the process, adding more spices if needed, until all the chicken has been coated.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been lightly cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and onion to the frying pan, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Gently whisk the flour into the wine. Gradually pour into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock; stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Cook for about 30 minutes. Right before serving, stir the chicken and vegetables; add in the thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve on farro, rice, or quinoa.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=48649

I omitted mushrooms, because I hate them. I also didn’t have any carrots so I skipped that. Other than that I followed the recipe pretty closely. It was a spur of the moment attempt at the recipe and I used what I happened to have on hand.

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It was pretty easy to make this recipe. After simmering for about 30 minutes the sauce thickened up like a gravy. The gravy tasted really delicious and flavorful. I made some quinoa and topped with all with the chicken/potato/gravy mixture.

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I liked the flavors a lot but Michael and I both agreed that the recipe would have been better with the carrots. Next time! I would make this again, but I’d add the carrots and use chicken thighs instead of breasts.