Lactation Cookies For Everybody

Check out my other blog Vegan Babymama for the story behind why I made those cookies. And two things before I get to the recipe. First, I know it says cookies but I made bars. When you have a 4 month old baby, you don’t have time to be scooping out dough and baking one batch at a time. So I spread all the dough out into a pan quickly and pop it in the oven on a cooking timer so the oven would shut off when it’s done. That way I could nurse Jack and not worry about anything burning. But if you have the time, these do make wonderful cookies, so by all means scoop away. Second, these cookies are not just for nursing moms. They will not make you lactate if you aren’t already. I’m referring the men who reading this, seriously? You don’t have functioning mammary glands! They are normal ingredients and the cookies taste great. My husband as stolen a few cookies and loves them. But if you lactating, some of these ingredients are lactrogenic, meaning they have been known to increase your milk supply. The oatmeal, flax seed, brewer’s yeast, walnuts, and whole wheat flour in this recipe are all lactrogenic.

This recipe is based on these two recipes I found on Pinterest: Lactation Cookie Bars and Lactation Cookies for Nursing Moms.
Lactation Cookies
1 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1.5 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup hot water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
2 heaping tbs brewer’s yeast
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they are dairy-free)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Pre-heat the oven to 350 and spray a baking pan with cooking spray. I used a 9 x 9 ceramic.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
In a small bowl, add the ground flax seed and hot water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add the flax seed mixture to the butter mixture. Mix well (though it will be very sloppy).
Add the flour, rolled oats, brewer’s yeast and baking soda the bowl. Mix well.
Stir in the chocolate chips and salt.
Stir in the coconut and walnuts, if using.

Spread evenly into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Note to self: Take pic before you take a piece,
despite how amazing it smells.
These cookies really are for everyone. Don’t let the title scare you away. They are high in fiber and contains good fats. Plus they are very tasty. I really suggest either the coconut or walnuts, or both! And this is a wonderful treat for nursing momma. You earned it, taking care of a baby is hard!

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Most mornings I eat oatmeal for breakfast. It’s cheap, filling, and very good for you. Want to know why doctors recommend it for people with high cholesterol? Pour some dry oatmeal into a cup then pour some oil on top. The oats will suck the oil right up. That is essentially what it does to the fat in your blood. I’ll post a few links at the bottom that will explain more.

I had some canned peaches in the cupboard so I thought some peaches and cream oatmeal would be a nice way to kick off my Monday. Obviously being vegan I don’t use real cream, but I use something even better: chilled coconut milk. When you chill coconut milk it thickens into a cream. However, it thins out again when it warms up, but it will last long enough for you to eat it. It’s really easy to do, just stick a can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least an hour. Open it up and there you go, a can of coconut cream.

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. The peaches and shredded coconuts are sweet enough that you don’t need to add any extra sugar. This recipe makes one serving, but can be easily multiplied for more.

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Peaches and Cream Oatmeal
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup peaches, canned or fresh, drained and cut into slices
1 scoop (mine was pretty generous) chilled coconut milk
1 tbs shredded coconut

Add the oatmeal and water together in a small bowl. Microwave for two minutes, or according to the package directions. It should be completely cooked.

Add the peaches, then top with coconut milk, and sprinkle on the shredded coconut.

Stir together and enjoy!

Here a few links that explain more:
http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/the-new-cholesterol-diet-oatmeal-oat-bran
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002

Italian Herb Oat Bread

Italian Herb Oat Bread

My mom was a baker for several years, so I grew up eating delicious homemade breads. I loved coming home from school to the smell of fresh baked sourdough or banana bread. Since I  inherited most of my cooking skills from her, I am giving baking a shot too. I found a recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s website  The Kind Life for Rustic Bread and Eggplant Lasagna (which I will be making tonight and will post later) and thought it would be a good opportunity to make the bread for it. Her recipe calls for sourdough, which is beyond my skill level at the moment so I decided to make something using the ingredients I have on hand.  I made up this recipe based on my current knowledge and some web research.  Since it is for a lasagna, I thought an Italian bread would be lovely. I also love the texture of oat bread so I decided to attempt a Italian-ish, oat-ish bread.  I drew inspiration from two recipies, both from Veg Web. The first is for Outrageously Easy BIG Bread, which I have made before, and is exactly what the title promises.  The second is for Garlic & Basil Bread, which I thought would fulfill the Italian part of desired outcome. I consulted my mom on the oats. I have instant oatmeal and old fashion oats in the cupboard, she told me that instant oats were a bad choice so I went with the old fashioned. I live in sunny and humid Hawaii, so my dough rises pretty quick and usually has the perfect texture without adding extra water or flour. You will need to adjust according to your climate. My mom told me that baking is done best by feel, so do what you feel is right.

Italian Herb Oat Bread
1 packet active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tps brown sugar
3 cups white flour
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tps garlic salt
1/2 cup old fashion oats

Proof the yeast by add the packet of yeast to the warm water. I usually do this all in a measuring cup. The water should be warm to touch but not hot (about 105 degrees F if you want to measure it). My mom told me the water should be a bit cooler than you think it should be. Once it is fairly dissolved, add the sugar. It’s ready when it gets all bubbly and frothy. If nothing happens, your water was either too hot (my problem when I first started making dough) or too cold. Or, your yeast could be bad too. You will have to throw it out and try again.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, basil, and garlic salt then add the oil on the top. Once your yeast is ready, add it to the dry mixture and carefully mix. Work until it all comes together into a doughy ball. The dough should be moist and pliable. If it’s too gooey, add a bit more flour until it reaches the right consistency.

Cover the bowl with a moist towel and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes.

Risen twice and kneaded

Once the dough has puffed up, put it on to a well-floured countertop and knead gently.  Try not to overwork the dough, otherwise it gets tough and chewy. Just work it until it’s smooth and soft, but not overly wet. Add additional flour as needed.

Shape into a loaf or whatever shape you desire, cover with a cloth and let it rise again for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

I checked mine after 45 minutes since my oven isn’t the greatest.
After it’s done rising the second time, place on a baking sheet or baking pan. Cut a few shallow slits in the top. Brush on a little olive oil or an egg substitute so it gets golden and crunchy. Sprinkle some oats on top for decoration if you desire.

Bake for about 45 minutes, adjusting the time for your oven (I have a crappy dorm room oven so mine takes 5-10 minutes longer some times). It should have a nice golden crust on the top.

Let it cool for an hour before slicing.

 

It smells soooo good. It’s hard to resist, but let it cool a bit, it’s easier to cut.