How the Formula Shortage turned me into a new Baker

I had always staunchly said “I don’t bake.”

I believe I’ve even said it before on this blog somewhere. It was mostly because I never was a fan of following recipes. This blog in fact was meant to be a non-recipe food blog. But baking, especially for someone new at baking, requires careful and exact following of instructions – something I felt rebellious towards.

Well, becoming a mom in the era of this pandemic and supply chain issues has changed my adamant stance. I wasn’t a huge fan of breastfeeding when my son was just born. I was ready to switch to formula pretty early on. But then I heard about the formula shortage from my dad, and soon started to experience it myself, not being able to find anything available so I decided I would need to start breastfeeding again and work on increasing my meager supply.

Our pastor’s wife had baked me delicious lactation chocolate chip cookies (no there’s no breastmilk in them!) right after I returned from the hospital, and they were DELICIOUS. I practically had to fight my husband and mom over them. And they sustained us well on Day 6 of my son’s life when we found ourselves at the ER due to bilirubin issues.

Several weeks later when I started experiencing issues finding formula online and in stores, I sought to buy packaged lactation cookies by Milkmakers (also delicious and convenient) to help my supply. But even these were also sold out everywhere! I couldn’t believe it! With not enough formula for my growing baby, no cookies to buy to help my increase my supply, I decided then and there I would bake my own lactation cookies.

My first try was good enough to encourage me to do it again. I found baking to be so different than cooking. There was something actually fun about following instructions, and therapeutic about mixing and using my arm muscles like that. I loved inhaling the sweet aroma coming from the oven while the cookies were in progress.

Since then, I’ve been on a baking spree. I’ve been baking on a weekly basis and have ventured beyond lactation recipes (the pictured olive oil cake above is not a lactation cake sadly), and there have been even some days I’ve baked 2 items in a day or something new late at night.

Brown butter coffee cake (recipe by Handle the Heat)

I’ve also learned that you can make pretty much anything a “lactation recipe” by adding 3 simple ingredients: rolled oats, ground flaxseed, and Brewer’s yeast. Apparently these ingredients help milk production for breastfeeding mamas but they are also nutritious for anyone! So my husband and friends have enjoyed my lactation recipes just as much as I have, and you get to feel like you’re eating a sweet treat that has at least SOME nutritional value (less guilt)!

To this delicious Brown Butter Coffee Cake recipe, I added 1/2 cup oatmeal, and 2 TBSP each of flaxseed meal and Brewer’s yeast. It came out delicious and just a small piece is actually filling because of the oatmeal.

After my first successful attempt at making Banana Bread (recipe by Handle the Heat) I decided to make my 2nd loaf a lactation one using the same recipe with the addition of the lactation ingredients and some chocolate chips to keep it moist since sometimes oatmeal can make things more dry and dense. It came out amazing!

This was a nice turn of events from my first 2 tries of lactation banana bread which were extremely dense and on the dry side. The first attempt I combined a “regular” recipe with a lactation recipe, and the second time I followed a different lactation recipe but both times were disappointing.

What I’ve learned so far in baking is that if you find one or more good recipes from a blogger, you can probably trust that blogger. My two favorite bloggers in baking so far have been Handle the Heat and Jo Cooks.

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf
Lactation brownies

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