Good morning, everyone! I recently did a bit of baking on the beach, and wanted to share this recipe with you. It’s one of my favorites, and the end result really helps to boost my milk supply. Not only do these granola bars taste good, they’re very healthy–and simple to make. You can fill them with your favorite ingredients (such as dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, or even chocolate chips), and make enough to keep on hand for times when your breasts need a little boost because once they are individually wrapped, they store very well in the freezer.
This is a very flexible and forgiving recipe, so you can substitute some of the ingredients listed for those you already have on hand; I’ve done this before in a pinch, and the granola bars turned out very well! The three main ingredients needed to give this recipe its lactogenic properties are the oats, flax seed, and brewer’s yeast.
I happened to have a bag of trail mix on hand to use as filling, so my most recent batch of bars is full of dried pineapple, papaya, raisins, coconut, and almonds. Typically, the recipe calls for the use of an 8 x 8 baking dish, but I only had a 9 x 13 pan at my disposal, so I spread the mixture into that, and baked it for about 30 minutes. The end result was a thinner and crispier granola bar, which I think I might prefer. The bars can be crumbled and used as either a topping for yogurt, or placed in a bowl with milk to make cereal.
(Please excuse the photo. Someone broke a piece off of the top bar to taste test it. I won’t mention any names, but this someone stands a little over six feet tall, has blue eyes, and enjoys nursing on a nightly basis…hmm…;))
If you decide to try this recipe, please let me know how it turns out!
Lactation Granola Bars
1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flax seed meal
4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups dried fruit
1/2 cup honey (you can substitute either brown sugar or granulated sugar)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (if you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use a different cooking oil; I have substituted with sunflower oil in the past)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup almond butter (although any nut butter is recommended, I normally have almond butter on hand, but did bake a batch using “regular” butter–and the bars were very good)
2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 (or 9 x 13) baking dish with either parchment or wax paper. It is helpful to lightly coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, flax seed, brewer’s yeast, nuts, and dried fruit. In a separate bowl, blend together the honey, oil, vanilla, butter, and water, and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until everything is evenly moistened.
Press the batter firmly into the prepared baking dish, molding it into the pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges begin to set and the bars are lightly colored across the top. The batter will still be slightly soft when removed from the oven, but will continue to cook and set up in the pan as they cool. Place the pan on a baking rack and allow the bars to cool completely.
Once the granola has cooled, lift it from the pan, using the edges of the parchment or wax paper as a sling, and cut it into bars. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or wrap them into individual servings and place them in the freezer.
They are really good paired with yogurt or fruit, and make a fantastic on-the-go snack.