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What’s in my favorite chocolate lactation smoothie:
Frozen Blueberries – naturally sweet and cold (helps your smoothie come out a nice drinking temperature). Blueberries are also on the lower carb side of things if you’re counting, which is helpful if you have/ have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Flax Seeds – high in Omega 3’s, flax seeds also contain lots of vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium. I used whole flax seeds rather than flax meal in this smoothie to make sure those Omega 3’s are fresh and not rancid.
Baby Spinach – gotta get your greens in! If you want to eat more vegetables, try adding baby spinach into your smoothie. You won’t taste it, but you’ll get the nutritional benefits of it.
Banana – great for sweetening your smoothie naturally, bananas also help make it super creamy (especially if you take the time to freeze the banana overnight). Bananas contain lots of healthy vitamins and minerals too, like potassium.
Almonds – almonds are a great source of magnesium, potassium and antioxidants. They help balance out an otherwise sweet and fruity smoothie with some healthy fats.
Brewer’s Yeast (Debittered) – Brewer’s Yeast is the most well-known milk boosting supplement out there. Add Brewer’s Yeast into this smoothie once your baby has arrived, but if you’re still pregnant, go without. The best kind to get is this one, which has been ‘debittered’ and helps with the aftertaste.
Add these delicious ingredients together (along with a few others) and the result is a super thick, sweet and delicious smoothie that would be a fabulous smoothie bowl.
Cocoa vs Cacao?
One thing I looked at when creating this recipe was the difference between cocoa powder and raw cacao. You can use either to make this smoothie, however, raw cacao has the edge when it comes to nutrients. Be warned, raw cacao is slightly more bitter than cocoa powder so you may need to adjust the sweetener level accordingly.
Optional Boosters for Your Dreamy Chocolate Lactation Smoothie
- Protein Powder – protein is very important during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. I always choose unsweetened (even if it’s with an artificial or ‘natural’ sweetener) to keep things as additive free as possible. Try the Vega brand for a vegan variety – this is especially good if your little one has a dairy intolerance (because dairy in your diet can transfer through breast milk and affect them). Check it out on Amazon.
- Chia Seeds – chia seeds are great in a smoothie because they contain loads of Omega 3’s, calcium and fibre and won’t alter the flavor, they also release a lot of gel when exposed to liquids which makes for a thick and luscious smoothie.
- Coconut Water – coconut water is still incredibly popular and for good reason, it has major health benefits and contains loads of electrolytes, potassium and sodium, calcium, antioxidants and magnesium… and more! It also doesn’t taste coconutty at all, so don’t worry if you’re not a fan of the flavor, you won’t taste it in the smoothie.
Do Lactation Smoothies Work?
While there’s little scientific evidence to back up the effectiveness of lactation smoothies, there are loads and loads of stories from women who’ve tried it and seen an increase in their milk supply. Anecdotal evidence it may be, however there’s no risk to trying out lactation smoothies. In fact, lactation consultants often recommending adding milk-boosting ingredients to your diet. So there’s that too.
Of course, there are some women who lactation smoothies won’t work for – if your supply is truly low and has a medical cause no amount of lactation smoothies, cookies or teas will help. If you have any fear that you might be in this category, please see your doctor or a trained lactation consultant to make sure your baby is getting enough milk.
That being said, lactation smoothies also have many other benefits besides (anecdotally) increasing your milk supply:
- you can pack them FULL of healthy ingredients like fruit, vegetables, oatmeal and Greek yogurt for a boost of nutrition which is great when you don’t know when you’ll next have hands free to eat a meal.
- you can prepare them in advance and drink them one handed.
- you can make them super filling with healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil, protein like cottage cheese (yes, really) or greek yoghurt and healthy carbs like oatmeal.
- drinking a lactation smoothie also helps keep you hydrated.
Chocolate Lactation Smoothie
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp almonds
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp flaxseeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp stevia
- 1/4 cup of ice
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- a dash of vanilla
- 1 tbsp Brewer's Yeast (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a high powered blender.
- Blend on high for up to 1 minute (until smooth).
If you're making this recipe in late pregnancy, feel free to sub the sweetener and some of the banana for dates (dates have been scientifically proven to help with labor... plus they're delicious!)
More Reading on Breastfeeding and Milk Supply
- 19 Delicious Lactation Smoothies to Boost Your Milk Supply
- 22 Delicious Lactation Cookie Recipes to Increase Your Milk Supply
- 6 Breastfeeding Tips to Increase Your Milk Supply
- 31 No Fuss Healthy Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
- The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class
A side note: I’ve used stock photos for this recipe as I suck at taking photos! I’ll be sure to update as I improve…