Lactation Smoothie (Good for Any Momma, Pregnant or Postpartum)

SmoothiesLactation cookies are yummy, but not exactly the healthiest option. Energy balls are also great for lactation - and healthier, but you may not want to be eating those all the time either. (There's also a granola bar lactation recipe soon to come.) However, here's another option - smoothies! Whether you are expecting your little one still, cuddling your newborn now, nursing a busy toddler, or not nursing anyone and you just want a healthy beverage - this is for you. Bonus, this is such a flexible "recipe" that you can mix it up and have a new taste every day.

Here is what you need - and feel free to mix and match to suit your tastes, of course:

Fruit: I like the frozen mixed fruit bags from Sams/Costco, but you can find them at most grocery stores these days. Whatever sounds yummy to you! Also, while not a fruit you can toss some fresh spinach into the mix for a green lactation smoothie.

Liquid: This can be milk (dairy or almond) for some extra protein or a juice (my favorite is passion fruit, though it's not the healthiest - orange juice with calcium is great.) You can also try pomegranate, cranberry, or truly any flavor that you love. Be sure to get 100% juice, as the "cocktails" are often a bit of juice with lots of sugar added in and sometimes artificial flavorings.

Other protein sources: Peanut butter or almond butter (good with cocoa powder and banana), yogurt - I like vanilla, and greek yogurt has extra calcium, or a protein powder (verify any protein powder/dietary supplement is safe for consumption during pregnancy/lactation.)

Lactation Support: Oats (quick or old fashioned, as it will all get blended) - around 1/4 cup per serving so if you're doing the full blender you can do a cup or more of oats; Flaxseed - around 1 tablespoon per serving, so if you were doing one cup of oats you would do 4 tablespoons of flaxseed. You can also include brewer's yeast, but I admit that's not my favorite flavor so I leave it out. However, just the oats and flaxseed are beneficial for your milk supply.

Hint - if you like thicker smoothies you can either add ice OR you can pour in a bit of oil into the smoothie after it's mixed well and with the blender still going. Oil acts as an emulsifier and will thicken the smoothie to a more ice cream like consistency - it's how some fast food restaurants that shall remain nameless thicken their milkshakes, which don't actually have any ice cream in them. But unlike them, YOU can use a healthy oil like flaxseed oil or another good omega-3 oil.

Recipe options:

peaches, strawberries, mango, pineapple fruit mix (2 cups)
passion fruit juice (1 cup)
vanilla yogurt (1 cup or 1 serving size container)
oats & flaxseed (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)

bananas (4)
milk (1 cup)
peanut butter (1/4 cup)
oats & flax (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)
cocoa powder (2 T cocoa powder, depending on how dark you like it)

strawberries, peaches, blueberries (2 cups)
orange juice with calcium (1 cup)
blueberry yogurt (1 container)
oats & flax (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)
fresh spinach (1 cup)

My kids aren't impressed with the grainier texture of the oats and flax so I recommend combining those in the blender first and pulsing it a few times until they are smooth. Then add in your liquid or yogurt, fruit, and anything else and mix away!

If you decide this is something you'll want to make often you can also pre-mix your oats and flaxseed and keep that in a separate container. When you want to make some smoothies you can then just scoop in a heaping 1/4 cup of the oat/flax mix per smoothie serving. This can be added to ANY smooth to help with increasing milk supply.

I make a blender full of smoothies at once and freeze them in into individual glass jars - my blender can make four good sized servings. Pull one out, microwave for one minute, stir well and enjoy! It's a quick and easy (and healthy!) breakfast for moms in a hurry.

Do you have a favorite smoothie combo?

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