I'm experiencing the normal hormonal shift-back-to-normal and subsequent milk production drop that everyone seems to do around the fourth month postpartum, so I have been looking into lactogenic foods.
There are lots of terrific recipes (well, versions of the same terrific recipe or two) out there for lactogenic sweets: Lactation Cookies and Lactation Muffins. But what if I don't want to gorge on sweets?
Many cultures, particularly Asian cultures if the Internet is representative of the global population, have special foods (often soups) for new mothers. Many of those foods are explicitly intended to increase milk supply. In my own experience, chicken soup, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and beer have been widely recommended.
But what if I want to buck tradition and just make something to eat that might help me? Fine. I'll make up my own recipes. And maybe someday I'll name them something that doesn't sound totally gross. :)
EVERY single item in this soup is considered lactogenic. Ta-daaaah!
Lovely Lactogenic Lentil Soup
1/2 large sweet potato, cut into small dice
1 cup red lentils
2 1/2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3 tablespoons ginger, minced fine or grated
a couple pinches of sea salt
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (which IS deactivated brewers' yeast IINM)
1 15-oz can coconut milk (I like Chaokoh)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garam masala (okay fine, not every ingredient of garam masala is lactogenic, but more are than aren't.)
pumpkin seeds for sprinkling atop
Simmer sweet potato and lentils in water (or I suppose you could use chicken broth or veggie broth) until soft, adding garlic and ginger when lentils begin to get soft. Add coconut milk and seasonings, and adjust seasoning to taste. You could puree this and it'd be prettier; I intended to but ended up liking it chunky.
This soup would benefit from sprinklings of cilantro and lime juice, but since I was doing an art-project recipe of ALL lactogenic offerings, I left them out. Next time I will add a touch of acid, probably lime juice. If I have cilantro, I will probably add it, too.
Scatter pumpkin seeds atop for healthy minerals and enjoy!
I can't vouch for how effective this is, yet, but it is certainly tastier than the oatmeal I had the other day featuring nutritional yeast, barley malt syrup, flax, and poppy seeds. Yecch! I like all those ingredients, just... not together. So I went back to the drawing board, and was rewarded with some unseasonably rich soup, as above.