No bake Lactation Bites incorporate the traditional galactagogues of oats, brewers yeast and flaxseed. They’re paired with a delicious dose of creamy peanut butter, sweet coconut and a touch of honey for an energy boost. Mix the ingredients together in just one bowl and there’s no cooking, the perfect easy breastfeeding snack!
Originally published 2019 | tested, reviewed and updated July 2023
This energy ball recipe has been designed for mothers who are breastfeeding and who are looking for a nutritious, quick and easy one-handed snack.
- No baking required. Hands down the standout feature of this recipe versus all of the ‘lactation cookies’ recipes that are out there. Just mix the ingredients together and squish into balls. You don’t need to turn on the oven and there’s no risk of burning them!
- Allergy friendly recipe for those dealing with dairy or soy intolerance. Unfortunately some babies will go through a period of being intolerant to the proteins in dairy products and potentially also soy products. This recipe is dairy free and soy free so will still be suitable as a snack for mum.
- Packed with protein, healthy fats and fibre, and low in added sugars. Unlike many breastfeeding cookies and other snacks, this recipe is low in added sugars. I’ve used some honey and dried fruit to bring sweetness to the recipe, but it’s certainly not a huge amount. These lactation balls are primarily made up of healthy fats, dietary fibre and protein for a more nutritious and satisfying option.
A galactagogue is a substance that enhances/stimulates breast milk production.
The thing is… most substances traditionally believed to be a galactagogue don’t seem to really have any scientific evidence backing them up.
From what I have found, it’s mainly through anecdotal evidence (i.e. stories/advice passed down from person to person) that galactagogues have earned their reputation. Scientific studies have been unable to show a significant improvement in objective or subjective milk supply through consuming common galactagogues.
So, why did I make this recipe?
Well, regardless of what the scientific studies say, I know that many breastfeeding mothers are reaching for lactation-supporting foods. So, I figured that if you’re going to use these traditional foods, you might as well package them into a more nutritious, lower-sugar snack.
They’re also easier to make than baking cookies and way more cost-effective than buying pre-made cookies or other snacks from the store.
In these No bake Lactation Bites, you are going to find the following traditional galactagogues:
- Oats. Actually one of the only milk-stimulating foods I found a minor amount of research on; there appear to have been some studies which have shown the beta-glucan found in oats may increase prolactin levels, which is the hormone that stimulates breast milk.
- Flaxseed. Also known as linseed, these tiny seeds are a source of phytoestrogens. It’s best to use flaxseed that has been ground into a meal (like a rough flour) because this improves your ability to digest the seeds. You can grind your own seeds using a high speed blender or a coffee grinder. Store the ground seed in the fridge to keep it fresh and prevent the fats from going rancid.
- Brewers Yeast. This is a yeast collected traditionally from the process of brewing beer though it can also be grown on its own. It’s got a weird kind of salty, bitter flavour so it’s best used mixed with other things. Do not eat it right from the packet!
You’ll also find peanut butter, shredded coconut, honey and a bit of protein powder in there to create a delicious snack that’s ready to love you at 10am, 10pm or 2am – whenever those hunger pangs hit. I think the consistency is kind of like cookie dough, and they’re nice and sweet tasting, too.
- It is important to use a natural peanut butter that doesn’t have any additives and that is not whipped. You need it to be a bit soft and oily in order to bring the dry ingredients together.
- Brewers yeast has a really distinctive flavour and using too much will definitely leave a noticeably bad taste in your mouth! Based on my experience I think you can get a maximum of 3 level tablespoons into this mix with no appreciable impact on flavour. I do not recommend putting anymore in as it may spoil the end result.
- I recommend adding a vanilla (or other flavour e.g. chocolate) protein powder to this mixture as opposed to an unflavoured one as it adds more flavour and extra sweetness, making the bites really taste like cookie dough! If you want to or need to substitute the protein powder, you could also use a bit of oat flour or almond meal instead.
- If you need to avoid dairy and/or soy, please choose your protein powder carefully. Avoid whey based proteins and check the ingredients on all plant-based protein powders for the presence of soy. Safe protein options would be to use a brown rice protein powder or a pea protein powder.
As the recipe name promises, these are NO BAKE lactation bites, meaning you just mix the ingredients all together and then roll into balls and pop in the fridge. No food processor required either (I modelled this recipe off my original No Food Processor Protein Balls Recipe).
It’s really easy, I promise. I’d also love to hear about any of your experiences with galactagogues, so let me know in the comments!
- 1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey – you can substitute maple syrup or rice malt syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut or finely shredded coconut
- 4 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp brewers yeast *see Recipe Notes
- 3-5 tbsp vanilla protein powder *see Recipe Notes
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.
- Add in the following remaining ingredients – rolled oats, coconut, flaxseed, brewers yeast and about 3 tablespoons of protein powder, plus sultanas or any other mix-ins you have chosen.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the ingredients. The mixture should start to come together to resemble a consistency similar to cookie dough. If the mixture is a bit too wet (i.e. you couldn't roll it into balls) then add more protein powder.
- Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls. You should get approximately 24 balls if you use a heaped tablespoon per ball, but adjust the size as you like.
- If you like, you can coat the balls in some almond meal or desiccated coconut, as pictured.
- Pop the balls in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge where they should keep well for at least one week. The balls can also be frozen.