My lactation granola bar recipe is one of the most popular on my blog, and for good reason. They’re delicious, nutritious, and provide nursing mamas with a boost. There are lots of ingredients here that nursing mamas need for energy and to help their body produce milk, especially oats, flax seed, brewer’s yeast, and coconut. And well, chocolate and almond butter make me happy, and a happy mama produces more milk. Many nursing moms use supplements, teas, lactation cookies, and the like to help keep their supply up. Personally, rather than eat cookies on a regular basis, I prefer the granola bar option to be a bit healthier and still have a sweet treat that serves a purpose.
Lately, I’ve been using a modified version of my original recipe that includes almond butter or cashew butter and dark chocolate. They’re so good I thought I better share the recipe so others can enjoy them too. It’s very similar to my original recipe with just a few modifications. I’ve increased the wet ingredients from the original recipe, so I’ve also increased the dry ingredients to keep the texture spot on.
I make these regularly and have one every day for a snack! Actually, what I like to do is mix up one batch in a bowl, and simultaneously mix up a batch of the dry ingredients in a gallon zip top bag and store it in the pantry. Then the next time I need to make a batch, I only have to do about half of the work! When you have kids, anything to save time is very helpful. You could also make two batches at a time and freeze one.
For this recipe, I use Ghiradelli 70% dark chocolate bars and cut them into chunks. My daughter has milk protein allergy so I can’t have any dairy, and 70% is where chocolate stops having dairy. You can use any chips or chunks you like. I have been using almond butter and/or cashew butter, but you could use any nut butter. I like to add dried cranberries for extra texture and a pop of sweetness. I also include some coconut in the recipe for a little extra flavor. Some people report coconut helps increase their milk supply, so I figure why not. If I have time, I really like to toast it! But if not, I just throw it in as-is.
Oh, and anyone can enjoy these, even if they are not a nursing mama. If you just want to make a delicious granola bar snack without the lactation boost, leave out the brewer’s yeast.
I know you’ll enjoy these as much as I do!
Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Lactation Bars
- 3 cups whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup flax seed
- 1/4 cup brewers yeast
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled, but still liquid)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut (toasted or untoasted), optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray or oil. I like to brush on a little coconut oil, but you can use what you would typically use.
Optional: If you want to toast your coconut, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, wheat germ, flax seed, brewer’s yeast, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine thoroughly. (If you are making a second batch for the pantry, put the ingredients in a zip top bag and store until you’re ready to use them.)
To the oat mixture, add the chocolate chunks, almonds, dried cranberries, and coconut. Stir to distribute evenly.
In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, coconut oil, honey, egg, almond butter, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. It will take some coaxing. I find that using my hands works best. Make sure all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then cut into 16 even portions. Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from the pan, or they will crumble apart.