by Carrie Saum
In my house, anything I make or bake will get eaten either by family or friends. But it is a very rare occurrence that anything I bake goes in the trash.
When my son was born, I made plenty of lactation goodies (including this lemonade and these cookies) and it was impossible to keep them to myself. First of all, I didn’t WANT to keep them to myself because I’m a sharer by nature. Then I couldn’t because all of the people coming in and out of our house knew about the goodies and wanted to partake.
However, that became expensive. FAST.
I got smart about it. I made all of the treats I could that were inexpensive. I could buy oats in bulk for super cheap. My mom gave me a giant jar of local honey from a farm (also very inexpensive), and the rest is history. I made little crunchy granola bars that resembled Nature’s Valley but without any added junk.
But here’s the thing. I GOT BORED. Since I needed the fuel to keep my supply up while exclusively pumping, I tried my hand at different recipes. Because boredom is the master of invention. I think. No, that’s not the right quote. But it’s the right idea. I love trying new things, but I also have to try new things to keep the game interesting. And feeding yourself (and your baby) is always interesting.
So, when boredom struck, I struck back. I added sunflower seed butter. And chocolate.
Then I got a little crazy and instead of cutting them, I broke the granola into pieces that were pretty and irregular and made me feel decadent. And every new mama needs to be made to feel decadent, right? And maybe even a little fancy, too. They’re also a breeze to make, and very affordable.
Ingredients for Granola Bark:
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 Tbsp molasses (optional, but adds depth of flavor)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
Ingredients for Chocolate Layer:
- 6 oz 90% cacao chocolate
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
Directions for Granola Bark
- Combine all dry ingredients, and mix throughly.
- Combine all wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
- Spread granola mixture in a 7×12 inch parchment-lined dish. Pack it down hard, leaving no breathing room.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
Directions for Chocolate Layer
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil in your home-made double boiler
- Add vanilla and stevia
- Once melted and stirred well, pour into the pan of chilled nut butter mixture (Optional and delicious step: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter or sunbutter over the granola first, then pour your chocolate over it.)
- Allow to harden in the refrigerator for an hour, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For an extra milky boost you can add 2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast and/or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal to the granola bark. Be warned that some tummies don’t respond well to the brewer’s yeast so if you or your baby tend to have sensitive stomachs, it may be best to skip it.
*Note: These do NOT keep at room temperature because of the coconut oil the chocolate layer. If you want the chocolate to keep at room temperature, consider using (sustainably and humanely harvested) palm oil instead of coconut oil.
You will be impressed with yourself when you make these. Better yet, make these for a friend who just had a baby and she will be forever grateful.
Barking up the Lactation Tree,
*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.
Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge.
Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields. With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and author. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son and writes at OurStableTable.com.