This is my basic, go-to recipe with some add-in ideas for different flavor combinations.
If you're breastfeeding or getting ready to start breastfeeding these are a great snack to help your milk supply. If you are not lactating.. these will not make you lactate they're a great snack to have at anytime. But, if you don't want to share just tell everyone they're for lactation 😉 Pro-Tip: make before you have your baby and keep in the freezer to have as an easy snack to grab when you're holding your sweet newborn!
Lactation (or Energy) Balls
4 cups gluten-free, organic oats
1 cup ground flaxseed
3 scoops collagen powder, you can use plain or vanilla or chocolate for a boost of flavor
3 cups nut butter (almond, cashew, NuttZo)
1 cup organic honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life semi-sweet and dark chips)
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
Chocolate: 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened (seen below)
Sweet and Tart: 2 cups dried organic cherries - these give an anti-inflammatory boost and help offset the sweetness, I always include these - yum!
Coconut: 1/4 cup coconut butter, 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil and/or 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Extra Lactation Boost: 3 tablespoons brewer's yeast, 3 tablespoons chia seeds
Add all ingredients to an electric mixing bowl and mix to combine. If you don't have an electric mixer you can mix by hand, bonus points for the extra arm workout! If the mixture is too crumbly add in more nut butter or honey.
Line a large sheet pan with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper
Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or your hands, scoop out around 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll into balls then place on your sheet pan. These can be close together since you're not baking them.
Once you've scooped all the mixture into balls, place the sheet pan in the freezer for them to set. (You can go ahead and eat them now if you don't want to wait!)
Once they are hard you can transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer safe container to keep on hand in the freezer or the fridge. I normally pull about 10 out and put in a glass container and keep in the refrigerator and store the rest in the freezer.
Enjoy!! This is also a great snack to have on hand for kids, so keep this for future use as well... eventually you can just call them energy balls 😊
Why these are good for lactating mothers, remember growing a baby pulls a LOT of nutrients from the mothers body so these nutrient stores need to be replenished. Also, what you eat goes directly to your breastmilk to your baby. Your baby needs as many nutrients as you can provide.
Oats - iron rich, essential to milk production
Ground Flaxseed - protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids
Collagen - supports tissue growth, ligaments, joints and skin; source of protein and amino acids
Nut Butter - protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin K and B vitamins. I use organic almond butter, cashew butter or NuttZo - NuttZo contains cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and Celtic sea salt.
Honey/Maple Syrup - great alternate for processed sugar, local honey can help with allergies
Chocolate Chips - while large quantities of chocolate are not recommended due to possibility of high caffeine consumption; small amounts are good for your sole (if you like chocolate). I choose Enjoy Life chocolate chips as they are dairy-free, soy-free, non-gmo, allergy friendly and sustainably sourced with only 3 ingredients.
Sea Salt - great source of electrolytes
Chia Seeds - fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids and omega-3s
Brewer's Yeast - B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium and selenium; great for milk production, energy levels and positive effect on your mood.