Vegan Lactation Cookies (Gluten-free)

If you’ve ever tried to establish your milk supply as a new mom, you’re probably familiar with the concept of lactation cookies.

vegan lactation cookies on a cooling rack

These cookies are made with ingredients that are thought to help boost milk supply, like flax seeds, oats, and brewer’s yeast, and if nothing else, they give you an excellent excuse to eat more cookies.

The problem is, most recipes for lactation cookies that I’ve seen floating around the internet are loaded with mounds of white flour and sugar, and very little of these special milk-boosting ingredients…. so I have to wonder if they are really doing new moms any favors. You need all the energy you can get during those first few months, and the last thing you need is a sugar crash!

The following recipe is my solution to that problem. These cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free to accommodate those with allergies, and they are naturally sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar. Best of all, the batter can be whipped together in minutes, so you won’t have to wait long before you’re swimming in cookies (and hopefully more breast milk)!

Before we get to the recipe, though, I think it’s important to note that the most important factor when it comes to making breast milk is how often you allow your baby to nurse. Your body produces breast milk using the “supply and demand” system, so the more you let the baby nurse, the more milk you will make! Unlimited access to the breast is essential for establishing an adequate milk supply, and no number of lactation cookies or herbs can replace that. The nurses at my hospital even recommended that I completely avoid using pacifiers or bottles for the first four weeks of our son’s life to ensure that I nursed him every single time he needed comfort. (Which felt like 20 hours out of the day.) You can’t nurse a baby too often, but you can nurse them too little!

With that being said, eating a few of these cookies couldn’t hurt, either.

Vegan Lactation Cookies (Gluten-free)
Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats*
4 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup debittered brewer’s yeast*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

*If you are gluten-intolerant be sure buy certified gluten-free oats. If you cannot find a brewer’s yeast that is certified gluten-free, try using nutritional yeast instead, which is thought to have similar properties for milk production.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Pour the 2 cups of oats into a blender, and process them into a fine flour. (Don’t take the blender lid off right away– set the blender aside while the flour settles.)

In a large bowl combine the ground flax seeds with the water, and stir well to mix. Add in the coconut oil, coconut sugar, debittered brewer’s yeast, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and stir again until well combined. Gradually stir in the oat flour until a dough is formed, then fold in the 1/2 cup of oats and dark chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet, then use your fingers to flatten the cookies. vegan lactation cookies on a cookie sheet

Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. I prefer mine baked for 10 minutes, so that they are crisp around the edges, but still nice and soft in the center, but they will firm up more the longer you bake them. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

vegan lactation cookies

These cookies will soften if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so I recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer for best texture and shelf life. Or, you can store them on a plate at room temperature for a couple of days. (That’s as long as they ever lasted in my house, anyway.)

4.74 from 15 votes
Print
Vegan Lactation Cookies (Gluten-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A vegan lactation cookie made with low-glycemic coconut sugar.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 18
Calories: 185 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Pour the 2 cups of oats into a blender, and process them into a fine flour. (Don't take the blender lid off right away-- set the blender aside while the flour settles.)
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground flax seeds with the water, and stir well to mix. Add in the coconut oil, coconut sugar, debittered brewer's yeast, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and stir again until well combined. Gradually stir in the oat flour until a dough is formed, then fold in the 1/2 cup of oats and dark chocolate chips.
  3. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet, then use your fingers to flatten the cookies.
  4. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. I prefer mine baked for 10 minutes, so that they are crisp around the edges, but still nice and soft in the center, but they will firm up more the longer you bake them. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. These cookies will soften if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so I recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer for best texture and shelf life. Or, you can store them on a plate at room temperature for a couple of days. (That's as long as they ever lasted i n my house, anyway.)
Recipe Notes

*If you are gluten-intolerant be sure buy certified gluten-free oats. If you cannot find a brewer's yeast that is certified gluten-free, try using nutritional yeast instead, which is thought to have similar properties for milk production.

Notes:

  • I came up with this recipe for my mom friends who can’t have nuts, but if you’d prefer a “Paleo” lactation cookie, try adding brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast to my Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe instead! (You could even add a flax egg to them, if you like.)
  • I also found these Date Energy Balls helpful for my first several weeks of nursing– they provided me with easy, nutrient-dense calories when I was up all hours of the night! They would also make a wonderful gift for a new mom.
  • If you’re not a nursing mom, but just want a vegan oatmeal cookie to enjoy, omit the yeast– these cookies will taste even better without it!

It’s crucial that you use debittered brewer’s yeast in this recipe, as the regular version tastes terrible!! I couldn’t even stand one tablespoon of the regular stuff in an entire batch of cookies, so please don’t waste your ingredients and ruin a batch of cookies like I did. If you would prefer to use nutritional yeast, it is suspected to have similar milk-boosting properties, too. (Experts aren’t sure why yeast boosts milk supply, but they suspect it has something to do with the B vitamins it contains.)

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried a lactation cookie before? Austin tried them for the first time this week, and he was a fan! Ha ha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

Leah Watson

Hey!!!
Thank you soooo much for posting these!!! You’re right, pretty much all the recipes out there for lactation cookies are filled with unhealthy ingredients and are so calorically dense too! I just made these and LOVE them (so does my husband!!!) and I’m re-posting on my blog!!! I have linked to your blog 🙂
I’ve loved your blog forever–thanks for all the great recipes, info, and inspiration!
~Leah 🙂

Valery

Hi Megan ! Thank you so muchfor this recipe as I am fairly restricted with what I am eating and struggling with my supply. I have made your Paleo choc chip cookies for years and really prefer the taste of those. At the end of this post you mention adding brewers yeast and flax egg to the Paleo recipe. That works without any modifications? Is there a way to use the ground oats instead of almond meal in that same recipe or will that change too much?

    Megan Gilmore

    I do think adding a tablespoon or two of yeast to the Paleo cookie recipe would be just fine– the only alteration you might need to make would be adding a splash of water to help bind it all together if the mixture gets too dry. I’m not sure how you’d add oats to the mixture, though… that would change the flavor and texture, so it would take quite a bit more experimentation.

Ali

my container of Brewers yeast says it’s a beer making byproduct. That would mean it is not gluten free. The malt in beer is full o gluten.

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, true brewer’s yeast is byproduct of beer, but other brands of “brewer’s yeast” are grown using another medium, such as sugar beets. That’s why I recommend looking for a brand that is labeled gluten-free or using nutritional yeast as an alternative.

Denise Vanderlee

I halved the sugar and replaced the oil with pumpkin purée. It tasted great. I also kept the flax seed whole rather than ground. The cookies came out great. Not too sweet. They are more chewy than crisp probably because of the lack of fat but they have all the lactation ingredient goodness they need in them.

Kate

Flax is extremely heat sensitive. Does it retain any of its beneficial properties once baked in the oven?

Shawna

Do we melt the coconut oil or just leave it solid and mix in. Also can we blend all the oats in the blender to turn out a smoother cookie or will they be too soft that way?

Ashley Stevens

First recipe I’ve ever tried for lactation cookies! Made the cookies exactly how the recipe calls for! Exact measurements and ingredients! The coconut ingredients gives the cookie such a good coconut flavor and paired with the chocolate it’s so good! I can’t comment on whether or not my production is up bc of the cookie bc I literally just made the cookies and ate two!

Kristin

These are amazing! I love that they are gluten-free and loaded with whole grains and galactogogues. I’m hopeful that they’ll work their magic on my milk supply, but regardless I’ll be devouring them (and if they last long enough, sharing them with friends for their pure deliciousness).

Lauren

These!! I devoured two immediately. These are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. My supply increased significantly. Thank you!! Oh and I used cane sugar instead of coconut because I ran out of coconut.

Rebekah

The yeast taste can be overwhelming, so I discovered that 1 mashed banana / batch, plus 1/4 – 1/2 cup of toasted unsweetened coconut flakes balance out the flavor. I’ve been eating these as breakfast for the past 3 months, and there’s lots you can do to mix up the flavor profile!

Sarah

These cookies are delish! I recommend making a double batch.

    Sarah

    I give the recipe 5 stars, not 2!! It won’t let me fix it.

Dorina

Can I freeze the cookie dough? If so, do I need to defrost before I bake? These are delicious.

    Katie

    Did you end up trying to freeze them? I am about to meal prep before our baby comes and loved these last time I was pregnant but now with a toddler, baking is a luxury lol

Ali

These cookies are delish! I was skeptical of them being both gf and vegan, thinking they might end up dry or funky tasting, but they are absolutely moist and delectable. I’ve made three batches so far, one where I doubled the recipe, and all turned out great!

They are probably little calorie bombs, but when you are breastfeeding you need the energy boost (tho my husband, who is clearly not breastfeeding but is vegan, loves them too).

I’ve been cutting back the amount of sugar in the recipe and so far they are still “sweet enough” (I’ve cut back to 3/4 a cup… next up will try 1/2 cup).

I’m also using 85% dark chocolate (just cutting up a bar into chips) and sometimes adding mint chocolate chips (absolute yum).

Another plus: they’ve made me quite “regular” with firm-but-easy-to-pass stools (a huge bonus when you gave birth naturally a week ago)–all that oat fiber!!!

Kelly

Needed something dairy-free for the mom I am baking for, so tried these instead of my typical recipe and they worked out great. I didn’t have the coconut sugar, so used half brown sugar and half white sugar. I would definitely reduce the amount of sugar next time as I didn’t realize there was such a sweetness difference between regular and coconut sugar, but these still taste great. I love that it uses blended oats instead of wheat flour, as that just boosts the amount of oats we can pack into the cookies! Think this will be the base for my new recipe ongoing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. (Note: I must heap my TBS somewhat less than you do as I got 25 good-sized cookies out of this batch and they spread far more than yours. Think I may chill the batter before baking next time so they are less likely to spread).

Lindsey

These are delicious! Do you know the protein, carb, and fat count by chance?

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter