We’re big on oats in this family. Surprisingly high in protein (17g per 100g of oats), they’re also a source of fibre, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. Oats are said to increase milk supply in breastfeeding women, they stimulate serotonin production which can boost your mood and help combat depression, and they also boast a low glycemic index so keep your blood sugar levels steady. Oats for breakfast are a world away from sugary refined breakfast cereals, and a bowl of porridge is what we tuck into most mornings. It is one of Henry’s favourite things to eat, and I’ve been conscious to consume oats regularly to promote a healthy milk supply, and to combat post-natal depression.
Just recently, now Henry is at preschool four mornings each week and we’re into the summer months, we’ve been enjoying bircher muesli. I wanted something quicker to put together and lighter and fresher than traditional oatmeal. Created by the Swiss, bircher muesli is also known as swiss muesli or overnight oats. Funnily enough, I first tried this in Switzerland, on a trip to Basel many years ago, and we’ve been enjoying it ever since. It is super easy to make, just oats and a combination of fresh and/or dried fruit, and nuts and/or seeds, that you loosen with some kind of milk (or even organic cloudy apple juice) the night before you want to eat it. The next morning you can top it with more fresh fruit, Greek or natural plain yoghurt, peanut or almond butter, and maple syrup or honey, if you like. I like to make a big batch in a Le Parfait jar. It looks pretty on my pantry shelf, and I have a couple of weeks of breakfasts ready to go. It would also make a lovely gift for a new mama.
My current favourite is a bircher muesli that’s packed with lactation-friendly ingredients; rolled oats, oat bran, oat milk, linseeds, coconut and sesame seeds. With a hint of vanilla and topped with strawberries and sliced fresh mango, we haven’t felt the need to add extra sweetness such as honey or maple syrup. Henry loves it, and I love the fact he’s eaten a healthy, balanced breakfast before school.
Lactation Bircher Muesli
around five servings
gluten free (if made with gluten free oats and oat bran), dairy free, vegetarian, vegan
150g rolled oats
50g dried, shredded coconut
30g oat bran
20g sesame seeds
fresh mango slices
Simply combine all the dry ingredients in the first list, and store in a glass jar. For one serving, add 50g of the dry muesli to a bowl and add enough milk, plus a few drops of vanilla extract, to loosen the dry ingredients. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The following morning stir again, add a little more milk if you think it needs it (I usually do) and top with the strawberries and mango. I’m avoiding dairy right now as Noah is suffering from acid reflux (more on that in another post), but Henry loves this with a big dollop of good Greek yoghurt, too.
Have you tried bircher muesli? What are your favourite combinations? I’d love to hear what you eat to promote a healthy milk supply. I’ve been making some delicious refined sugar-free oat and peanut butter cookies I hope to share soon!