Lactation Granola Bars
I hesitated to call these “lactation” granola bars because, really, anyone can enjoy them! But, since the recipe base does include ingredients beneficial for lactation (as well as other areas of health) that’s the name I’m going with!
Prior to making these granola bars, I’d come across many recipes for lactation cookies, which is great and all, but if I eat a cookie at midnight, I’m going to be starving in an hour due to a spike and drop in blood sugar. I wanted to create something more satiating and not quite as sugary, yet still tasty.
I’ve made many variations of oat bars in the past, and this recipe was born out of that experimentation, but with a little more sweetness! This recipe is incredibly versatile as the base can remain the same, but you can change out the add-ins and try out different flavor combinations. You can even be creative with spices if you want!
Like I said, I’m calling these “lactation” granola bars, but honestly, they are great as any addition to breakfast, snack, or even to have as dessert. I’d honestly probably take them hiking, whether I’m nursing or not. And who knows, breastfeeding may not even go well for me. Regardless, I’ll still be making these bars!
If I am able to breastfeed though, I wanted to be prepared with extra snacks on hand. I’ve been told this is very helpful considering how hungry many women are when breastfeeding, especially in the middle of the night. So, I figured if I’m going to make something, why not make snacks with extra benefits?!
Okay, so if they are eaten as lactation granola bars, what makes them helpful for milk production?
According to research-based article from Verywell Family, oats have many benefits for breastfeeding:
- Beta-Glucans in oats may improve prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that can positively affect milk supply (1). Additionally though, beta-glucans have been found to be fantastic for the gut microbiome, which is essential for overall health, especially the immune system! So, you could also argue that whether or not beta-glucans aid milk supply, they do help mom, and thus, baby stay healthy.
- Saponins are compounds present in plants, including oats, that can aid the hormones related to breast milk production.
- Plant estrogens found in oats can help stimulate milk glands and increase breast milk production.
I am a big fan of oats in general, though, as they are incredibly versatile, nutrient-dense, and a good source of fiber!
Yes, ground flaxseed, not whole flaxseeds. If you have whole flaxseeds though, you can grind them in a coffee grinder. Grinding flaxseeds helps release all the beneficial nutrients and properties of these tiny golden nuggets.
Flax is not only a good source of soluble fiber that aids digestion, and contains heart healthy fats, it also contains phytoestrogens, which in the case of breastfeeding, is beneficial for milk production (2).
I love flax. I’ve been putting it in my smoothies for years for the above mentioned benefits, but it was only recently I learned that it’s beneficial for lactation.
Lactation Granola Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 big pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk of choice I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk; use a liquid measuring cup
- 1/4 cup maple syrup use a liquid measuring cup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add all dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix until evenly combined.
- Add all wet ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Spray a 7" x 11" or 8" x 10" baking dish with oil and add mixture to the dish.
- Spread around until the mixture is evenly dispersed in the dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top feels firm.
- Let cool before cutting into approximately 8 bars.
- Murray, Donna. Can Eating Oatmeal Help You Make More Breast MIlk? Verywell Family. April 20, 2020. https://www.verywellfamily.com/oats-oatmeal-and-breastfeeding-431850#citation-3.
- Wells, Diana. 11 Lactation Boosting Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms. Healthline. June 23, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/lactation-boosting-recipes#next-steps.