BREASTMILK BOOSTER: Chickpeas!
Eating healthy is important for both you and your baby. Not only is your newborn directly accessing the nutrients from the foods that you eat; but when you are healthier, you are better equipped to provide the best possible care. With a new baby in the house, this may be easier said than done. One nutrient dense food that helps with breastmilk production and is readily available at the grocery store is chickpeas (or garbanzo beans). Whatever you prefer to call them, these little legugmes are beneficial to postpartum moms in many ways.
1. Chickpeas are full of nutrients and a galactogogue, or promoter of lactation.
Chickpeas provide 20% of your daily intake of protein, fiber, folate, iron and phosphorous. They also have other nutrients such as Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc.
Chickpeas are natural galactogogues, a substance that promotes lactation. In addition, sufficient protein is crucial for producing enough breastmilk for your baby. Chickpeas have one of the highest protein availability of any legume or plant, improving the quality and quantity of your breastmilk. In addition, they also keep you feeling full for longer.
2. Chickpeas are easy to use:
Having nutritious, whole foods easily available is a great tool for making your healthy eating effortless. Canned chickpeas are readily available at any store, and are very cheap, too. Dried chickpeas are even cheaper, but this requires some planning by soaking them in water overnight, so it is up to you what you prefer. Chickpeas are also used to make hummus, a delicious spread. Eat hummus with carrots, pita chips, or spread on a sandwich. There are endless ways to enjoy hummus.
Again, ease of access is the most crucial aspect of eating healthy with a newborn baby. Is it hard to find ways to cook chickpeas? Absolutely not. Here are some great ways to add chickpeas to your diet.
The first recipe is the easiest, so we’ll start with that. If you’re looking for something more involved (or have a helping hand), the second recipe is great for a nice, nutritious dinner that you absolutely deserve!
1. Roasted chickpeas-a great snack!
You can munch on crunchy roasted chickpeas (spiced however you like them) by the handful. You can also add them to top salads in place of croutons! We love this article and recipe from the Kitchn, you can find it here here.
2. Baked Chickpeas with Pita Chips and Yoghurt
This recipe is much faster with canned chickpeas, but you also have the opportunity to use dried chickpeas if you prefer. It’s topped with a delicious creamy tahini sauce and a cucumber tomato salad. Each part of the recipe is super simple, but it does take more time. Read the recipe here.
3. Chickpea cookies! Yes, it's true.
Have a sweet tooth? Don't worry, there are tons of chickpea cookie recipes available (that's right, cookies made from chickpeas). One of our favorites can be found here from The Texanerin.
Short on time? Other chickpea ideas that can be purchased right at the store:
1. Chickpea pasta-yes, they even make pasta from chickpeas now! I use a brand called Banza that you can find at Target.
2. Dried chickpea -not as cheap, but an even easier alternative to roasting your own. They do provide inspiration on different spice combinations, such as cinnamon sugar or Korean BBQ!
3. Hummus! Finding local brands and odd flavors at your grocery store also makes it more interesting and enjoyable. There are even dessert versions available for an indulgent treat!