Gluten Free Brownie Batter Overnight Chia and Oats, a great recipe for pregnant and lactating women- a healthy does of chocolate always starts the day right!
Three cheers for chocolate for breakfast!
But, seriously, when you’re taking care of a newborn, you need quick, energizing meals. You can eat this for breakfast, but it would be equally good as a midnight nursing snack or a quick dinner before rushing off to bed to get in every second of sleep you can manage.
It needs to be made ahead of time, but mix it up, feed your baby, and when you’re done, the yogurt will have soaked into the oats and chia, and blended into a delicious and nutritious meal.
I cringed at the sight of chocolate while I was pregnant. Even before I knew I was pregnant, I started to be repulsed by sweet things, and stayed away from chocolate for the whole 9 months. It wasn’t until after I gave birth that chocolate started to be appealing to me again. Appealing might not be strong enough of a word. Chocolate is a regular, round-the-clock part of my postpartum diet (I’ve been claiming it’s because my baby loves chocolate milk– credible, right?!).
I am sure it’s because taking care of a newborn around the clock is draining, and chocolate is full of pick-me-up ingredients, like sugar and caffeine!
As tempting as it is to pick up a chocolate bar, it’s far better to find sugar free, fruit sweetened alternatives while lactating. Not only will the fruit provide more nutrients, avoiding processed sugar will also lower the risk of developing thrush (yeast infections thrive on sugar).
Other perks of this breakfast recipe?
Protein: Using greek yogurt, chia seeds, and oatmeal will boost the protein. Use fat free or low fat greek yogurt for the biggest protein boost. A diet high in protein while lactating will aid in losing baby weight while providing the most nutrients possible.
Iron: This nutrient is important while both pregnant and lactating. During pregnancy, it’s necessary to produce the extra blood needed to support your growing baby. Most women enter pregnancy with an iron deficiency, and without proper supplementation, the deficiency is increased throughout pregnancy. While it is difficult to meet iron needs with only diet, adding some extra chocolate to meet those needs definitely won’t hurt!
Oxytocin: Yes, the cuddle, “in-love” hormone. This is the same hormone released when you’re snuggling with your baby (skin to skin!), which helps stimulate let-down. So, some dark chocolate has to help, right? If nothing else, enjoying some chocolate will help relax you, which is proven to help with healthy lactation.
Keep in mind there is a big difference between chocolate flavored candy and actual chocolate. I love using cocoa powder for a chocolately boost, with all the health benefits, sans the sugar and extra fat often added to chocolates.
(This recipe originally appeared on Vitamin Sunshine, a blog with healthy, nutritious recipes for an active, vibrant lifestyle.)
Brownie Batter Overnight Chia & Oats by Michelle Miller, author of Vitamin Sunshine
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
This overnight oat recipe boosts tons of superfoods– bananas, chocolate, oats, and chia seeds, all great for lactation. Using greek yogurt amps up the protein, which is essential for boosting energy levels– and you’ll need all the energy you can get with a newborn!
½ cup plain, lowfat or fat free Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons gluten free oatmeal
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ tablespoon raw or natural cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt (optional)
½ frozen banana, sliced
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon dark chocolate, chopped
At least 1 hour before (or the night before), mix together yogurt, oatmeal, chia seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla and sea salt. Sir well, and refrigerate.
Right before serving, add sliced frozen banana and stir in. Top with walnuts and chocolate chips.
Shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, and nut butters are all great healthy fats and delicious optional toppings!
More Quick Overnight Oat Recipes:
Cookie Dough Overnight Chia & Oats, by Vitamin Sunshine
Raspberry Carob Vegan Overnight Oats, by Oh She Glows
Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, by Minimalist Baker
Pregnancy and Lactation, The Journal of Nutrition
Michelle is an American expat, soaking up the sun in Kuala Lumpur, with her husband Alex and their adorable 8 week old son Xander. As an advocate for healthy eating, Michelle creates inventive, produce-heavy meals that are allergy friendly (peanut & soy free), gluten free, and mostly lactose free. Check out her amazing recipes on her blog, Vitamin Sunshine. If you’re a new mom looking for easy to make, nutrient filled recipes, this blog will have you hooked in no time!