I like the word “galactogogue.” It sounds so galactic and cool and fun. No one would ever suspect that it refers to foods that help nursing mothers increase their milk supply. And no one would ever suspect that this oatmeal is full of them! The effectiveness and even safety of galactogogues is questioned by many, so I try to use only the ones that are good for me anyway. That way, I’m eating healthy foods, and if my milk supply gets a much-needed boost, that’s a bonus!
My kids love this oatmeal, and I eat it every single morning. Sometimes, I even eat it in the evening for dessert with chocolate chips added. While oatmeal, flax seed, walnuts, chia seeds, and fenugreek seeds are all said to be galactogogues, they are also really, really good for everybody to eat. Oats are a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are a source of protein and complex carbohydrates. Flax seed and walnuts are both high in omega-3s and fiber. Chia seeds are also high in those as well as protein, calcium, and antioxidants. Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients and have long been used for many medicinal purposes, including aiding in digestion, treating coughs, controlling cholesterol and high blood sugar, and of course, increasing milk production in nursing mothers. A bit of trivia that actually gave me the idea for this oatmeal: fenugreek seeds are used to make maple flavoring. I thought it could be a kind of healthified maple and brown sugar oatmeal like I unfortunately used to eat from those little packets. It worked! We love it!
All of my measurements here are approximations – I usually just eyeball all of it – so you can play with the ratios to find a mixture that you love! I saw a paleo recipe recently that just used ground nuts and seeds for a sort of “oatmeal,” so you could probably even decrease the amount of oats and increase the nuts and seeds if you’re watching your carbs. And, of course, you can use certified gluten-free oats if that’s a dietary concern for you.
- 1-2 Tbsp flax seed
- 1 tsp chia seed
- 1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup quick or rolled oats
- pinch salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- Optional add-ins (as many or as few as you want):
- apples, bananas, zucchini, and/or cooked pumpkin or sweet potato – (throw these in the blender with the walnuts)
- chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- sweetener – I suggest you go as healthy as possible with additional sweeteners. Xylitol in the mother’s diet has been shown to help with teeth development in the nursing infant, so that’s a good option (source). I also sometimes use stevia, coconut sugar, or brown sugar.
- Put all the seeds in your blender or coffee grinder and grind them as finely as you can. This will allow your body to actually take in their nutrition as opposed to having the seeds just go through you. I use my Korean version of a Magic Bullet. Dump the seeds into your bowl.
- Put the walnuts into the blender and grind. Mine never completely grind, so I take out whatever does after 30 seconds or so and then add some of the boiling water to blend the rest. This is the time to add any fruits and veggies if you want. Dump this into your bowl with the seeds.
- Add the oats, a pinch of salt, the boiling water, and any of the add-ins you want.
- Stir it up and enjoy! If you use rolled oats, you may need to cook it just a little, either in the microwave or on the stove, depending on how soft you like your oats.
I hope you enjoy this oatmeal as much as I do! What ideas do you have for fun mix-ins? I’m looking for some new flavor combinations.