From one new mom to another

First of all, there’s nothing Scandinavian about the content of this post. But if you’re a new mom or know anyone expecting a baby, perhaps you’ll still be interested in reading it. You see, being a new mom myself, I’ve put baking and cooking mostly on hold for the past couple of months while I’ve cared for and nurtured my new little boy. (Thanks to everyone who’s brought meals to us!) However, I have managed to bake two batches of something called “lactation cookies”–one batch for me, another for a dear friend who just had a baby of her own.

Lactation cookies, by their name, don’t sound very appetizing, so maybe I should rename them Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Meal-in-a-Cookie Cookies for New Moms. But that’s a mouthful to say, especially when you’re chewing your first bite of these delicious treats. They’re packed with healthy ingredients such as oats, flax, and walnuts, but they taste just as good as any unhealthy cookie I’ve ever tasted. The batter itself isn’t overly sweet, which makes it the perfect complement to the bright bursts of chocolate chips that come with every bite.

So, why are they called lactation cookies? The ingredients. Oats, flax, and brewer’s yeast are believe to be galactagogues, things that help support lactation in nursing mothers. There are other recipes for lactation cookies out there, but this one actually has a relatively high proportion of oats and flax to sugar and flour. (Check out this link to learn about how these ingredients work.)

I think what I like best about these cookies is how they’ve come to my rescue on a number of occasions. As I’ve been learning how long it can take to get out of the house these days, I often run out of time to eat a proper meal. I’ve learned that keeping a bag of these cookies in the bathroom where I get ready for my day and another in the car ensure that I’ll still manage to get something healthy to eat. (I can imagine someone out there telling me that a cookie is not a meal. I agree, but if there’s a choice between going hungry and eating a cookie that’s packed with oatmeal and flax, I’ll eat the cookie.)

As I mentioned above, my dear friend is reveling in the joys–and adapting to the changes and challenges–of being a new mom. So I baked a batch of these cookies (recipe here) and included them in a gift basket for her, along with some other edible items that from my own recent experience I knew she would find helpful:

  • Protein bars – When the cookies run out, she’ll be glad she has these in her diaper bag
  • A bottle of wine – She’s excited to be able to have an occasional glass of red wine again–after she nurses, of course!
  • Mother’s Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals

And for her husband:

  • A six-pack of beer
  • Coffee – This shouldn’t require an explanation

If you’ve ever had a baby, what else would you have appreciated in an edible gift basket?

Note: I drafted this toward the end of 2011 and am just getting around to taking photos and posting it. Thankfully I’ve been learning how to juggle cooking and baking with taking care of my baby, so you’ll be seeing more posts soon!

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