Adaptable Oat Bars, Lactation Edition

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A healthy alternative to the traditional lactation cookie, these delicious whole grain lactation bars can help boost milk supply.

Hello, dear reader! It’s simply wonderful to see you again. Please, put up your feet while I tidy a bit. The dust piles have gotten so big this time I think chipmunks have moved in.

There. That’s better.

Life has gotten a bit … shall we say, richer? Peter and I have two little ones demanding every ounce of time we have, so scraping together a few minutes for a blog post has been an unrealistic goal.

And yet. This website is an extensive repository of recipes, memories, and awkward attempts at humor. I find myself referring to it again and again. I recently cooked this spaghetti squash dish after our cross-country move (details forthcoming) and froze several giant pans of pumpkin lasagna before Baby E was born this past spring.

I have a few recipes and notions I’d like to record for my reference and to share with you, dear reader. That’s why I’m kicking off the occasional post with this recipe.

Setting out ingredients for Toddler J to mix. I love the hair-cutting implements in the background.

I struggled with my milk supply when Toddler J was a baby and ended up trying everything short of medicine to boost my supply. Oatmeal, flax seed, lactation teas–you name it, I consumed it in mass quantities reserved for backstreet lactation dealers. (Are there such folks? Because I could totally be one.)

Including this ingredient for which I have mixed feelings:

Don’t you just want to chow down on this?

That, my friends, is brewer’s yeast, a galactagogue that may help increase milk supply. It’s also–bonus!–a rich source of B-vitamins.

Too bad it tastes like something died in my recipe.

Quick! Look at this creamy peanut butter instead.

Brewer’s yeast has an off-putting flavor, which is why the taste is often disguised in sweet treats like lactation cookies. I wanted to make a more nutritious version of a lactation cookie, so I modified my adaptable oat bars to include brewer’s yeast. Incidentally, oats can also help increase milk supply.

I’ve been encouraging Toddler J to participate in as much cooking as possible so he can (a) gain an appreciation for the culinary arts and (b) work on his aim. For example, that generous dusting of flour on the cutting board is the remainder of the first attempt at adding flour to the batter:

As you can see, Toddler J’s aim is just as good as mine. At least the brewer’s yeast made it into the mixing bowl, or Maddie would have been mighty surprised when she went after THAT spill.

Enjoy these bars warm with a mug of tea or room temperature with a glass of milk or non-dairy alternative. No baby required!

[bctt tweet=”Enjoy a healthier version of #lactation cookies with these lactation oat bars! #recipe #healthyrecipe” username=”JessieHealthRD”]

Chocolate Chip Lactation Oat Bars

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (16 bars)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2-4 tbsp brewer’s yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (e.g. cherries, cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together oats, flour, brewer’s yeast, baking powder, and salt. Stir in dried fruit and chocolate chips.

Mix together nut butter and maple syrup. Add beaten eggs. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir. The batter will be dry. Press into a greased or parchment paper-lined 8″ x 8″ pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.

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Jessie The Happiness in Health





P.S. Other ways to enjoy brewer’s yeast:

(1) Blended into a smoothie with oats, frozen fruit, and water
(2) Sprinkled over popcorn (I haven’t tried this one, but people tell me it almost tastes like cheesy popcorn–key word being “almost”)
(3) Straight up (I dare you)

P.P.S. This post reminds me I will never apologize for the Oxford comma.

P.P.P.S. Nor for having an overabundance of postscripts.

P.P.P.P.S. Fortunately, I don’t have a problem with milk supply for Baby E. Thank you, Milk Gods! I still made these lactation bars because MMMMMMMMM.

P.P.P.P.P.S. A parting shot of flowers, because why not? My favorite part of this picture is the monster-adorned Thermos (for Toddler J) and bathtub ball (for Baby E) hanging out in the background. How life has changed!

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I’m not back to regular posting like the old days; instead, I plan to put up occasional healthy recipes, nutrition musings, and life updates, beginning with another New Places, New Foods. Stay tuned!


  1. Love the updates! Life certainly changes once we have little ones to chase about!!!

  2. Baking your bars has been on my to-do list for the past several weeks (possibly a couple of months?!)! I haven’t done it yet, but someday… I haven’t ever used brewer’s yeast, so I don’t know whether I’ll get any or just make the traditional recipe. You’re not doing much to sell me on trying the yeast!

    Nice to see some new posts! I always love reading what you’ve written.


    1. Hi Marie! You’re so kind 🙂 I completely understand you on the yeast! The traditional recipe is quite good, too, and it’s probably a little more palatable.

      Hugs for all of you! xoxo

  3. I made these tonight while drinking wine #balance ?
    I really appreciate that you didn’t call for refined sugars and you encouraged adaptations.
    I didn’t have brewers yeast, so I used active dry yeast. Also, I didn’t have enough because i’m not currently going to the grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic…. so I only used about a teaspoon. But hey, it should still be beneficial, right?
    Scavenged my home for chocolate and found a third of a bar…. used a combination of the last of my maple syrup plus unfiltered honey… and so on 😉
    These turned out yummy!! Thanks for posting.

    1. Hi Lacey, so glad you enjoyed these! I’m all about the #balance 🙂 I’m impressed that you put together such a delicious product with what you had on hand. Stay safe and well!

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