- About This Banana Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini Muffins Recipe
- Ingredient Notes
- Nutritional Benefits of Banana Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini Muffins
- Ingredient Notes + Tips
- Be sure to try my other Lactation Muffin Recipes!
- Steps To Making Banana-Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini-Muffins
- Questions You May Have
About This Banana Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini Muffins Recipe
I’ve been baking this Banana Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini Muffins recipe and feeding them to mamas for almost a decade now. Over the years this recipe has evolved as I learn more about the nutritional needs of postpartum mothers. I just keep revising them, making them healthier while striving to retain that “Yum!” factor. The one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the joy that mamas feel when eating them!
My most current iteration of this recipe completely omits maple syrup sweetener and obtains its sweetness entirely from the bananas and mini-chocolate chips. It is also a very low gluten snack, containing mostly almond flour as the base.
When it comes to nourishing postpartum mothers, I believe food has the power to enhance her wellbeing by providing nutrients that are the medicine which supports post-birth healing and breastmilk production. On the contrary, if she consumes food that is not optimal, it can have the opposite effect on her body and breastmilk, creating inflammation, constipation, stagnation, and low milk production, etc. Postpartum and lactating mothers need deep nourishment in the vulnerable days and weeks after giving birth. (You can learn more about my Ayurvedic inspired postnatal diet protocols here.)
Enjoyment is a very important aspect of a postpartum mother’s diet. It is important to me that everything I cook for a lactating, postpartum mom she enjoys eating.To me, the Joy factor is equally as important as the nutritional aspect. I also believe food is LOVE. So, yes, these little muffins pack a mighty nutritional punch, AND they are a very welcome reward for the sacrifice and hard work that the mamas endure when birthing their babies.
Healthy Lactation Muffins + LOVE = “Love-Muffins.”
Let me explain….According to Ayurveda, and most eastern philosophies, there is an interconnectedness between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual/energetic bodies in every human being. What we do to one of these bodies affects the other, for better or for worse. During a new mother’s postpartum Sacred Window (first 42 days after birth) this concept is heightened because of the birthing process. Her physical, emotional, mental and energetic/spiritual bodies are very open, raw and vulnerable. From the moment she gives birth, through those six weeks to follow (called the Sacred Window in Ayurveda) the mother is undergoing a complete transformation and rebirth of each of these bodies. She is exceptionally aware of the almost surreal rawness and vulnerability she is experiencing, and acutely in tune with the impact each of these bodies have on each other, and ultimately on her baby. This is why it is so crucial that postpartum mothers receive exquisite care, allowing her to feel loved, nurtured, properly fed and to rest. The love that she receives from her caregiver nourishes and “feeds” each of her bodies, enabling her to heal, rejuvenate and provide more love to her baby. Banana-Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins made with love and intention have the power to permeate each of the mother’s bodies and uplift her soul!
How can a muffin support each of these bodies? Here’s how:
These muffins contain ingredients that support healthy tissue regeneration, soothe the nervous system, encourage milk production, and much more. See below for full nutritional benefits. More importantly, there’s a biological response to being fed nourishing food made with love. The nervous system down-regulates, beneficial hormones are released, her digestive system is optimized, enabling the nutrients to be absorbed, and so more!
These muffins taste amazing! Slightly sweet, moist and healthy. She just feels happy eating them. And when the mama feels happy, this pleasurable experience releases beneficial hormones such as oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These hormones support the down-regulation of the mother’s nervous system, which is important for milk production and for the let-down response to kick in. The release of these hormones also support the production of prolactin, which is responsible for producing breastmilk. The more pleasure a new mother can experience, the more relaxed her nervous system will become and the better able she is to heal and produce milk. Not to mention, with the sudden shift of hormones in her body, she is susceptible to postpartum depression (PPD). These little love muffins are a PPD preventer!
“The physiological properties of food affect mood by way of neurotransmitters (Markus et al., 1998) and endocrine responses (Dallman et al,. 2003). Intake of food items has been shown to decrease feelings of helplessness, depression, loss of control and distress and increase feelings of joy.” (Oliver et al., 2000) (Macht and Dettmer, 2006)
“Sweet food has been shown to reduce stress and sensitivity to pain” (5) (Smith et al., 1990; Harrison et al., 2012) Maybe this is why breastmilk is so sweet, to reduce the pain and stress inflicted on the baby from the birth process. I always say, “Whatever the baby needs, the mother needs.” So, these muffins offer the sweetness to help lift the mother’s mood, reduce her stress and offer a tiny bit of pain relief as she recovers from the birth process.
Muffins are comfort food. Comfort food has the ability to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness because of the connection with the relationship of the person who made the food. Postpartum time can feel very isolating, but, when someone makes these muffins and brings them to the mother, she feels comforted, loved and and a close connection to the one who made them for her. Ultimately, these muffins not only support the mother’s healing process, and help to create healthy breastmilk, they facilitate a lovely relationship bonds between the person who made them and receiver. The love and gratitude she feels is ingested with each bite and thereby, this love goes into her cells, and then passes through her breastmilk into her baby’s body.
While it is important to know the nutritional benefits of these muffins, of which I will explain, it is equally important to understand the emotional and energetic benefits of these love-muffins, and how baking them with love and intention is healing for her and her baby.
Energetically, the process of birth shakes things up! Psychically, moms feel a sense of separation from what was known and understood, while also being suddenly catapulted into a void of uncertainty. Giving birth powerfully peels away layer upon layer of energy held in the energetic systems of body, mind and emotions. She is no longer who she was before giving birth, but has not yet arrived at who she is becoming as a mother. She is in the void. The place of in-between. Energetically or spiritually she is raw and open. It takes time, and being cared for, for her energy body to become grounded again into the physical body. Being fed nourishing meals with the conscious intent to do just that, ground her, allows for that chi, or energy to settle after giving birth. And, because the baby is entrained to the mother, the more grounded the mother is, so too will be the baby. These muffins made with love will help to anchor her into her mothering body and give her the confidence to parent her child.
“The fragrant muffins in a sterile hospital setting awakened and nourished my body on many levels. The decadent taste enlivened my taste buds after going for hours without food. This awakening sent a message through my body that gave me the confidence to feel like, “I got this!” —Sarah W.
Nutritional Benefits of Banana Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini Muffins
• Almonds provide healthy fats including Omega 3 fatty acids which stimulate hormones for breastfeeding
• Contains magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and B vitamins all of which calm the nerves helping to reduce anxiety and depression
• Good source of protein (24 almonds = 5.6g protein)
• Supports regularity of bowel movements
• Contains calcium + phosphorus which protects bone health for mom and helps build’s baby’s bones
• Contains vitamin E, iron and zinc
• In Ayurveda, almonds are vata-pacifying and support all seven dhatus (tissues), especially known to be regenerative to reproductive tissue
• Best eaten with skins removed
• Potassium helps moms maintain fluid levels
• Fiber for healthy bowel movements
• Contains prebiotics for a healthy gut
• Contains the amino acid, tryptophan, essential for the production on the nerve transmitting chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate mood, sleep, memory…reducing mama’s chances of postpartum depression.
• A good, healthy animal fat which is essential for high quality breastmilk.
• Growing babies demand high levels of fat to grow properly
• Good quality fats are needed to develop the baby’s brain and immune systems
• Contains calcium and protein
• Contains protein and choline, both of which help to build cell membranes essential in regenerating cells after birth
• This is the JOY factor!
• Chocolate supports the release of oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins
Ingredient Notes + Tips
- Almond flour–Make sure to use blanched almond flour, not almond meal. Almond meal is made with the skins retained, which are more difficult to digest
- White four–Be sure to use unbleached four, organic when possible. You can also use whole wheat flour, which is definitely healthier. However, however, the wheat flour somehow robs the muffins of the beautiful sweetness that the bananas provide.
- Because bananas are the only source of sweetener in this recipe, it’s important that they are over-ripe so they will provide enough sweetness to the muffins.
- Vegan options– You can replace the butter with equal amounts of coconut oil, and replace the eggs with flax eggs. To replace the two eggs, mix two tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with six tablespoons of water. Mix together, and let sit in your fridge for 15 minutes to set up and thicken.
- Almond Milk can easily be swapped out for the cow milk, but be sure to use unsweetened Almond Milk.
- Chocolate Chips–I like mini chocolate chips because they seem to create the right balance of flavor. But you can use any size chocolate chip you’d like!
- Slivered Almonds– if you don’t have them, just chop up some almonds and sprinkle them on top, or omit the nut topping all together!
- If you make these muffins in a standard-sized standard size muffin tin, I would increase the white flour to 1 cup and decrease the almond flour to 1 cup (instead of 1.5 cups). This will allow them to rise better in the larger muffin tin. You will also need to increase the baking time to 24 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and they are browned around the edges)
Be sure to try my other Lactation Muffin Recipes!
Pumpkin-Zucchini Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins
Carrot Spice Lactation Muffins
Pina-Colada Lactation Muffins
Lemon Blueberry Lactation Muffins
Apple Chai Lactation Muffins
GF Sweet Potato Turmeric Chai Lactation Muffins
Steps To Making Banana-Almond Chocolate Chip Lactation Mini-Muffins
Here’s a quick overview of the steps to make these muffins. For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.
1. Combine the dry ingredients.
2. Combine the wet ingredients.
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently.
4. Stir in chocolate chips
5. Fill the muffin tin with the batter (about 1.5 TBS per cup)
6. Gently press slivered almonds on top.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden on edges and toothpick comes out clean.
Questions You May Have
How long will these muffins stay fresh?
Up to 5 days on the counter, covered. Up to 7 days in the fridge
Can I freeze them?
Yes! They freeze well and will last up to 2 months in the freezer. You can make manya bunch of batches during the last weeks of your pregnancy, freeze them, and have them on hand for your postpartum Sacred Window time.
If other members of my family eat them, will they lactate?
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 ½ C almond flour
- 1 C flour (white, sprouted wheat or gluten-free flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- ¼ C butter (½ stick), softened
- ¼ - ⅓ C maple syrup
- 3-4 overripe bananas (about 1.5 cups mashed)
- 1TBS almond extract
- 1 C mini chocolate chips
- ¾ C sliced almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a mini-muffin tin with coconut oil cooking spray (or rub with butter). Be sure to grease the surface of the pan as well.
- Mash the bananas on a plate with a fork or potato masher.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the melted butter (making sure it’s not hot or it will cook the eggs), eggs, bananas and maple syrup with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it looks creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the almond extract.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, slowly by hand. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Spoon, put about 1.5 TBS of batter in each muffin cup, or to the top of each muffin cup.
- Gently press a few sliced almonds on top of each muffin,
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until you see them getting nice and golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes.