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Best-Ever Lactation Cookies

These cookies contain nourishing ingredients to support breastmilk production, plus they actually taste good!!
Feb 1, 2016 | Joy McCarthy

Even you're not actually breastfeeding don't worry, you're not gonna start squirting milk from your boobies by eating these cookies ;) However, if you are BFing, the ingredients in these cookies will support healthy milk production. I enjoy them mid-afternoon with a London Fog.

In thisblog post about Vienna,I talk about how I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding in the first two months (if you are having trouble breastfeeding,check out this post here!) First, it was getting a good latch without nipple pain (seeing my chiro with Vienna helped tremendously ) and working with two great lactation consultants.

Second, it was getting my supply up to help Vienna gain more weight. Nursing around the clock, eating well and taking a tincture to boost milk supply that my Naturopath Dr. L a makes at her clinic, all made for joyous boob milk. And yes, eating these cookies!! You know me, I'm a cookie monster so any excuse to eat more cookies is alright with me.


The thing with lactation cookies is most of them are dry and hard. I don't care how good something is for me, if a recipe creator describes their lactation cookies as dry and hard, I'm not into it. The other problem is that a lot of them have too much refined sugar and are made with flours that I never bake with anyhow. I was on a mission to create a lactation cookie that tastes good, is soft (as long as you don't overbake it) and full of goodness without allergens.

The key ingredients in my best-ever lactation cookies are: oats, brewer's yeast and ground flaxseeds.

Oats are a nutrient-dense superfood for mamas that are rich in protein and fiber, minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins such as thiamine (B1) and folate. All of these nutrients are necessary for nursing mamas.

Brewer's Yeast is a lesser-known superfood outside of health nut circles. It is produced by cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on malted barley in the production of beer. After fermentation, the yeast is separated from the beer, roller dried and de-bittered. It is rich in fiber, protein, various B vitamins, potassium and chromium. Making this ingredient key for a nursing mama's energy, blood sugar control (managing cravings) and overall wellness.

Ground Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based omega 3s which are essential for a nursing mama's diet because these good fats are needed for a growing baby's brain. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients that combat the negative effects of oxidative stress on the body.

The above three foods have been used in traditional diets for hundreds of years as foods to increase milk supply. Whether they actually INCREASE supply or simply support the body nutritionally is up for debate. But either way, you win by eating these yummy cookies.

Always remember that what you eat, baby eats too. Just like when you were pregnant, everything that went in to your body was fuel for you and baby. Many people still believe that it really doesn't matter what you eat, you'll still produce milk. This is correct, you will still produce milk. However, there is a pretty important factor here that is not mentioned.. QUALITY. The quality of your milk will be sub-optimal if you eat a poor diet.

Research shows that vitamin D, B-vitamins and good fat intake (especially DHA) all impact the nutritional density of breastmilk.

This means that eating healthy foods while nursing greatly benefits your sweet baby and of course helps your energy and vitality.

These cookies are dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and egg-free. They are super yummy! As evidenced by how many Walker ate, haha! Vienna was totally into eating them too... we will have to wait a while for that. She's just started to grab things off my plate lately, it's the cutest! Notice those red cheeks aka teething baby. Okay I'm chatting too much... let's get to these cookies shall we?!?

Here's my recipe:

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  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brewer's yeast
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea or pink salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup*
  • 1 banana, mashed (use 2 bananas if you omit the maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup raisins (re-hydrated in water)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup water (this water is for the chia seeds)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Combine chia seeds and 3/4 cup water. Let sit for 5 minutes and stir until it becomes egg-like.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, oats, yeast, flaxseeds, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: coocnut oil, maple syrup, banana, water, raisins and chia seed mixture.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined.
  6. Drop spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. You don't have to flatten them with a fork! Just thought I would mention this because that saves you a step! Unless of course you want them to look super pretty, then flatten.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. I have a convection oven so they baked in 10 minutes. Keep in mind there is nothing in these cookies that technically has to bake. Do NOT overbake as this will result in tough cookies. Keep them soft and chewy.


Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Freeze for months or refrigerate.
*I suggest you give the batter a taste-test before baking. I didn't make them very sweet, and if you want to add more maple syrup then you can!

I hope you love these cookies and you enjoy them while nursing your beautiful bundle of JOY :)

I want to take this opportunity to share something with you that I haven't before on the blog. Walker Jordan (in the photo below) is my husband, best friend, daddy to Vienna and my amazing business partner. Everything that we've accomplished at Joyous Health since 2012 has happened because we work together. 

I am eternally for everything Walker does and well... he just doesn't get enough cred! He's always behind the scenes and his work is equally as important as mine. He takes all our beautiful photos, keeps the website running smoothly, manages everything to do with numbers ie. accounting etc, manages all new business, helps me with corporate workshops and partnerships with brands and so much more. I honestly couldn't do it without him. He is a big part of the JOY in Joyous Health.

I love you Walker, thank you for everything you do! I'm teary-eyed right now... and I can just hear him saying "oh love, you're just like your mom" (the teary-eyed part, it's a McCarthy thing, our bladder is next to our eyes). Anyhow, I have been meaning to write this for a long time.

Wishing you happy lactating boobies!



Feb 1, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy
Du La   •   February 1, 2016

Joy! I love this post and the recipe. I will definitely be trying them (not that I'm nursing...just a cookie monster too!) and passing the recipe on to all the nursing mamas I see. And when I thought it couldn't get any better, your shout-out to Walker was super sweet! oxxo Du


Ma McCarthy   •   February 2, 2016

Ok just finished reading your blog post and recipe looks delice. .....and....just like you said after reading about your thanks to Walker I'm crying. ...oh well what can you do when your bladder is next to your eyes!

Joy McCarthy   •   February 3, 2016

Hazel   •   February 3, 2016

Had to LOL at your "lactating boobies" remark. I love your blog because whoever is writing always has a sense of humour & it makes reading about healthy things fun. And I think we can all stand to get more fun into our lives. Going to try these cookies because I'm a cookie monster too!


Valerie   •   February 3, 2016

You are honestly my role model and inspiration. I am in the recovery of an eating disorder and your book is helping me a great deal. I have a beautiful baby girl that is 10 month old named Èva. My family are loving your amazing recipes. I look forward to every morning now for a new yummy smoothie. I spent $400+ stocking up on amazing food and revamping my kitchen, it is an amazing feeling. Many many thanks.

Valerie Belair   •   February 16, 2016

Tracy   •   February 3, 2016

Thank you Joy and your honesty and love for your hubby made me teary too! My man is away on business in Europe at the moment and missing him like crazy. We work from home together too - our little man loves it. And speaking of little man - as soon as he wakes up we're going to give these cookies a go. I'm still nursing so may be a double benefit! :)


Jen   •   February 4, 2016

Is brewers yeast the same as nutritional yeast flakes?

Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 4, 2016

Valerie Belair   •   February 7, 2016

Made theses this morning, delicious and nutritious! Thanks Joy. :)

Joy McCarthy   •   February 7, 2016

Linda   •   February 16, 2016

The three of you make an amazing team! Thank you Joy for sharing your passion and your expertise! I really admire your love for good nutrition!

Joy McCarthy   •   February 16, 2016

Korina   •   February 17, 2016

Hi, Joy! Love the recipe! Do you recommend any specific brand of brewer's yeast? :)))


Dana   •   February 18, 2016

Any substitution for the banana?

Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 19, 2016

Beth   •   February 25, 2016

Just about to make these! Do you mean 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon or 1.5 tablespoons? That seems like a lot but it's what your recipe says. Thanks!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 29, 2016

Aisling   •   March 1, 2016

Just made these for a friend with a new babe...I added a bit more maple syrup and in the end I also had to add more water as the batter was too dry. But these are yummy! Have to say they taste way better cooked than as raw batter - I was a little nervous


Kristine   •   March 3, 2016

Hey Joy! I'm gluten free and wondered if you know where you can buy GF brewers yeast in the city? I read that if you can find the one made from sugar, rather than beer, it is GF. Help, please.


Andrea   •   March 21, 2016

Hi Joy! Can you suggest a place where I can fine Brewers yeast in the west end? I tried no frills and sweet potato with no luck. Thanks!

Heather Allen   •   March 21, 2016

nicole   •   March 22, 2016

These are fantastic and taste WAY better then the average lactation cookie. I've tried several other recipes and always ended up with a cookie that looked more like a dog treat. Then I found this JOYOUS recipe.... and now I'm on batch number two! Not only do they taste great but they also work! Yum Yum! Thank you for another great recipe.

Heather Allen   •   March 22, 2016

Felicia   •   April 16, 2016

These look delicious! I can't eat bananas and I'm wondering how I can make these without or with a replacement? Will they still turn out?

Heather Allen   •   April 18, 2016

Linda and Nevenah   •   May 11, 2016

Going to make these cookies this weekend but what I really wanted to say is I LOVE your Muppets mug! ANIMALLLLL!!!

Heather Allen   •   May 12, 2016

Maria   •   October 15, 2016

Is it ok if I substitute maple syrup and bananas for honey? I have lots of honey at home that I want to use asap :)

Heather Allen   •   October 17, 2016

Katelyn   •   January 15, 2018

Do you have to melt the coconut oil? Or leave as solid?

Rachel Molenda   •   January 16, 2018

Megha   •   June 26, 2018

How do you recommend wrapping them to freeze well for a about 2 months?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 26, 2018

Maria   •   October 15, 2018

Can I substitute oat flour or coconut flour for the buckwheat flour? Would I need to make any modifications?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2018

Grace   •   April 24, 2019

Hi Joy, these look delicious! I’m a bew mom and want to hive my baby his best chance to get lots of nutrient-rich breast milk, so I will definitely try these cookies. A question: what should I look for when buying Brewers Yeast? I’ve heard that they can make cookies bitter. Could you recommend a brand that I can hopefully find in Ottawa or on Thanks!!

Joy McCarthy   •   April 25, 2019

Roxana Ilinca   •   May 24, 2019

Hello, I am a new mom, and I am trying to do my best to offer a nutritious milk for my little bundle of joy. Please, could you tell me is it us cups measurement, is a little confusing for me right now, I noticed that are different quantities if you want to convert from cups to grams (we are using grams), us cups or canadian cups, australian cups. Could be baby brain, but, please, enlightened me.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 24, 2019

Kristine   •   June 12, 2019

I made these 5 years ago when I had my little girl and just made them for my friend with her second baby. He's a hungry boy and she needed a little boost. :) Love this recipe! Super easy to make and a great gift for any new mama's out there.

Joy McCarthy   •   June 12, 2019

Catrin   •   February 7, 2022

I have a mama whom I sent this recipe to, thank you! She is wanting to do eggs instead of the "chia egg" would it be 1 or 2 eggs in the recipe. Thanks in advance

Joy McCarthy   •   February 8, 2022

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