Vegan Lactation Cookies for Postpartum Health are gluten-free, can help support new moms nutritionally, and are so easy to make. They’re delicious and inexpensive, too! Totally plant-based, these lactation cookies have a healthy dose of hemp protein, fiber from oats, and don’t skimp at all on calories. They help ensure a new mom has sufficient nutritional intake to support both her own health and her growing baby.
What are Lactation Cookies?
Lactation cookies are intended to be full of the nutrients, protein, fiber, and calories that are essential for a nursing mother to produce a healthy milk supply for her baby. Mom’s body has grown and produced an entire human and will then nourish her through infancy … mammals are pretty amazing … but mom can’t do it without lots of good food and steady support.
I made these lactation cookies for my daughter after she had her daughter and they were super convenient to keep on hand to grab one as a snack or as part of a regular meal. They’re good for mom and baby and also anyone else in the house. Older kids and partners will find these delicious, too.
What? You want to see my new grandbaby? I got you, fam. She’s absolutely perfect. Here’s the beautiful, amazing, beloved Tallula Rose.
Are These Lactation Cookies Vegan?
This recipe for lactation cookies is both vegan and gluten-free. They are free of many allergens like dairy, eggs, and wheat, that could upset a new baby or postpartum mom.
Support for the Post Birth Healing Process
Even after the best birth experience, there’s a great deal of healing that needs to happen in the weeks ahead. The uterus has to heal and shrink back to prepregnancy size, any lacerations or tears must heal, and all the hormones that changed so greatly to support the growing pregnancy now need to return to normal. Nutrition is an important part of healing. Protein, and just enough calories in general, will support the healing process as well as nursing.
The Fourth Trimester
Pregnancy usually lasts three trimesters of approximately three months each. It’s been said, and I think there’s great wisdom in thinking of, the three months following delivery as the “fourth trimester.” It’s a liminal time when mother and baby cocoon together, often quietly. The pair is forming their all-important bond. Having support as well as easy to eat and digest foods are essential at this time.
Can I Make These Ahead?
Yes, absolutely. These are simple to make even weeks ahead of your due date and store in the freezer. Take them out as needed. Whoever is assisting you in your pre and postpartum journey will also find these easy to make for you.
Pair Lactation Cookies with Plenty of Water
Milk is liquid nutrition and water intake is just as important as nutrients to ensure a bountiful milk supply. A breastfeeding mom is providing lots of hydration to her baby and needs lots of water to stay hydrated herself.
How Much Water to Drink While Breastfeeding
Any nursing mom needs to drink a lot of water to make enough milk for her baby and to stay hydrated herself. The recommended intake while breastfeeding is about 128 ounces of water and other suitable liquids like caffeine-free tea. That’s an entire gallon. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but should be broken down into a more manageable one quart (32 ounces) four times a day or whatever amount works for you.
Make Your Own Lactation Cookies with Inexpensive Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are simple and fairly inexpensive. I looked at premade lactation cookies online and was shocked at how expensive they are!
Hemp Protein Powder
My favorite hemp protein is from Wilderness Poets. It’s made from hulled hemp seeds so it’s smooth and not at all bitter and every serving of just over 1/4 cup has 19 grams of protein, has lots of omega-3s, and costs around a dollar per serving. You can get it HERE on the Wilderness Poets website. Use Planted10 at checkout to get $10 off your first order.
Oats Add Protein and Fiber
Oats also have protein, are starchy, and have fiber. They easily add calories and the fiber can help with any “digestive sluggishness.” Oats are quite inexpensive as well at just pennies per serving.
Flax and Chia
Flax and Chia have a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are important for brain and nervous system support for both mom and baby. Flax can sometimes cause digestive issues in some people. If you know this is true for you simply omit the flaxseed.
Brewer’s yeast is not the same thing as nutritional yeast. They’re both made from the same species of yeast but brewer’s yeast tends to be a little bitter while nutritional yeast is kind of nutty and cheesy. Both are high in B vitamins. The link I’ve included here is for debittered brewer’s yeast which will have a milder flavor.
Cranberries and Raisins
I added cranberries to this recipe along with some raisins. Both are added fiber and also have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Another dried fruit that would be good here is goji berries. I used Wilderness Poets Dried Oregon Cranberries here, which are amazing, but any will do.
Chocolate can be healthy when it’s not full of dairy and too much sugar. The theobromine in chocolate and cacao has been confused with caffeine and while they have similarities they are not the same. Theobromine is a mild stimulant but doesn’t cause the sort of central nervous system effects that caffeine does. Chocolate has antioxidants and protein. If you feel you or your baby are sensitive to chocolate, simply omit the chocolate chips.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid. It is used here mainly for calories and serves the same purpose butter does in most cookie recipes.
Storing and Freezing Lactation Cookies
This makes a fairly big batch of cookies, about 3 dozen. They can be stored at room temperature for a few days if kept in an air-tight container. They can also be easily frozen for up to a few months. Simply allow the cookies to cool completely, freeze them on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight, and then store them in plastic bags or a suitable container in the freezer. It’s so simple to just take one or a few out at a time and let them thaw and enjoy. You can also put a few stored or thawed cookies in the oven for 5 minutes to warm them up.
- Wet Ingredients
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (can use same amount of coconut sugar instead)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (can use same amount of coconut sugar instead)
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled but still soft or liquid
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients
- 1 1/2 gluten-free flour
- ½ cup oats
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- ½ cup hemp protein powder (your choice, but I use Wilderness Poets)
- 1/4 cup brewers yeast
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Fold Ins
- ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raisins (or goji berries)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together all the wet ingredients until smooth. The flax and chia are added to the wet ingredients to allow them to absorb some moisture.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk or fork to evenly distribute the ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients gradually into the wet ingredients and stir until a dough forms.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients gently, until evenly distributed.
- Use a scoop that holds about 3 tablespoons, scoop the dough out and place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Press the cookies down slightly with a fork.
- Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until just starting to firm.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before eating, storing, or freezing!
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Commercial Quality Cookie Sheet Pan - 2 Pack Aluminum Half Sheet Baking Pan by Saffron & Sage Home Living
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Turner
Anthonys Organic Coconut Sugar 5lbs, Non-GMO and Gluten Free
Now Debittered Brewers Yeast 1 lbs.
Anthony's Brewer's Yeast, 1 lb, Made in USA, Gluten Free, Unflavored and Unsweetened
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g
This is an estimate and not intended to replace nutritional advice.
Hello! I’m Lisa, a vegan artist, photographer, author, Vegan Life Coach Educator, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. I love showing others how simple and delicious a plant-based diet can be. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.