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.)

4.81 from 21 votes
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.

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Comments

Erin Kerby

Is the sugar required for the yeast? Or is it strictly for taste?

BRITTANY

YAY. These were easy to make and held up relatively well. I did swap the chocolate chips for dried cranberries, added a dash of cinnamon, and halved the sugar. I also melted the coconut oil a bit because I couldn’t see it mixing well in solid form.

As others mentioned, I went ahead and froze them, which I think will help a bit with the crumbiness. Mine held together pretty okay (considering I halved the sugar, which probably makes a difference) but I think from-the-freezer will be even better!

Thanks again!

Angela

About to have our second baby and these were awesome with my first. They taste good and they always helped. Getting a few batches into the freezer this time so I’m ready!

Chelsey Story

Thank you for posting this 🙂 yummy and increased my supply within hours! (I used nutritional yeast)

Rachael C Gannon

Hey! Made these a week ago and they are perfect!! Love them so much and they help my milk supply!

One question tho, how would I add almond butter to this recipe?? I can’t have chocolate or raisins and am just trying to mix it up a bit, ya know? Lol.. thanks in advance!

Briana

I followed the recipe but used Anthony’s brewers yeast, which is not debittered. They were pretty terrible! I tried the recipe again with grass-fed butter instead of coconut oil and it really masked the bitterness of the brewers yeast. If you’re used to really sweet treats, you probably won’t like these. I prefer lower sugar so I really liked them.

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