Recipe Share~ Steamed Cod or Tempeh and Veggies

This meal is great for your digestion, full of healthy protein and a wonderful dish for pregnancy and the postpartum period that the entire family will enjoy. This is a recipe adapted from my days at Bauman College Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Institute. Print this recipe out and give it to a friend or partner and have them make it for you, or put this together for someone in your tribe who is pregnant or just had a baby.

dandelion-greens-0201.jpg

One of my favorite things about this meal is that it contains dandelion greens. You can replace the dandelions with any leafy green, but I highly recommend giving the dandies a go! This underutilized green has so many health benefits. According to the Dr. Mercola website, "folk medicine claims the dandelion plant is a powerful healer, used to purify the blood, settle digestion and prevent piles and gall stones, among other maladies. The fact is the greens of the humble dandelion provide 535 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain." Vitamin K is also an important nutrient in the weeks leading up to giving birth for you and your baby.

 

Steamed Cod or Tempeh with Veggies Recipe

You can click here for a printable version of this recipe!

Ready To Eat Your Placenta? Enjoy It As A Pate!

   Placenta encapsulation has become something of a buzz-topic lately in the parenting community. Love it or hate it, consuming your placenta has gotten some press and many women are now taking the precious organ home with them after having their babies.

 My own experience with placenta encapsulation

started after the birth of my first daughter. After struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety for her entire first year of life, I knew when we consciously conceived our second child that I would do everything in my power to have a different postpartum experience. I read books, got attuned to reiki, watched documentaries, and somewhere in the process of learning everything I possibly could about having a healthy, natural pregnancy and birth, I came across the practice of encapsulating your placenta. One of the benefits, I learned, was to balance your hormones and avoid PPD, so I was on board. I may have been vaguely aware of the option to possibly consume the placenta raw in a smoothie, but that sounded so terrible to me at the time that I didn't even look into any options besides capsules.

 

   Fast-forward to now, my second daughter is almost 5 years old and I have been encapsulating placentas for families ever since her birth. My experience with consuming my placenta was so empowering and the effects so noticeable, I knew I wanted to share this practice with others, and I recently had the opportunity to consume my placenta a second time after giving birth to a baby as a surrogate. I recommend taking home your placenta to all surrogates if you can!

I've learned that placenta smoothies, while not for me, don't have to be as gross as it sounds. With powerful blenders now available such as Vitamix and Ninja blenders, texture isn't really an issue- it's more of a mental hurdle I hear. I personally still haven't made a smoothie for myself (team capsules for me!), but in the last five years I've learned that there are many more options available than I first realized, and I'd love to share one of those options with you here!

Why would you want to cook your placenta vs. encapsulate?

One big reason to take your placenta home and create a meal with it rather than putting it in capsules would be cost. For the price of some simple ingredients you might already have on hand, you can create something nourishing and beneficial, reaping the benefits of your placenta, without the hefty price tag.

You might also consider the benefit of combining the nutrients of your placenta with the supportive nutrients of the other ingredients. Nutrient-dense, warming foods are already an important staple to healing postpartum, so why not throw in extra nutrition that has the benefit of balancing hormones, reducing mood swings, and replenishing lost minerals and iron.

Women who cook with their placenta describe the experience as something grounding, empowering, and even sacred. It is like a ceremony that closes one chapter- pregnancy- and opens the next- motherhood.

This recipe is one I adapted from the book Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra. If you have any fascination or love for placentas, Robin Lim will make you fall in love with this part of birth even more in her book about the often ignored organ. She shares a recipe in the back of the book for a Placenta Pate, that I found so intriguing I came up with my own version of the recipe. My addition and changes of the recipe come from my Natural Chef background, and to simply add nutrient-density to benefit the postpartum mother and for taste.

She shares in her book the benefits of consuming the placenta for all mammals, including humans:

  • Increased effectiveness of mother-infant bonding
  • Reduction of postpartum hemorrhage
  • Protection from ill effects of placental cells that may remain in the uterus after birth
  • Replenishment of mother's nutrients
  • Documented experiences link ingestion of placenta with a reduction of symptoms of postpartum depression
  • Supports lactation
  • Reduces the mother's pain after childbirth

I experienced these positive effects and more myself!

So let's get cookin'...

catering.jpg

Placenta Pate

a recipe adapted from Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra, and the kitchen of Jasmine Rose

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 onion, shopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1 small piece of kombu (dried seaweed; optional)
  • The best parts of your fresh placenta, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup water or homemade mineral broth
  • 2 tsp cognac (for a more "classic" version) or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp hemp oil (optional for healthy fats. Skip entirely or replace with vegan butter for taste and texture)
  • black pepper to taste
  • sourdough baguette, toasted, to serve

Preparation:

1. In a large pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes, until soft.

2. Add the garlic, mushrooms, herbs and salt to the pot, sauteing for a minute more.

3. Add in the placenta, cooking and stirring occasionally for 3-4 more minutes.

4. Once the placenta seems browned, but not cooked through, add in broth or water and the kombu. Cover and simmer until cooked, approximately 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on, and let the placenta sit for 5 more minutes, or until cooked through.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the placenta, and herbs to a high powered blender or food processor. Throw away the kombu. Begin to pulse, and then blend. While the blender is running, add in the hemp oil if using, or butter/vegan butter. Continue running and add cognac or red wine vinegar, and blend until completely smooth.

6. Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. Cover and let chill in the fridge for a minimum of 90 minutes.

7. Spread on the baguette to serve. The pate will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

 

If you create this Placenta Pate, I'd love to hear how you liked it! Comment below or find me on Instagram @jasmine.rose.doula

 

 

LACTATION COOKIE RECIPE

jennifer-pallian-146562.jpg

 The cookies.

That's how we refer to them in our house, and everyone knows exactly what I am talking about!

In 2010, shortly after giving birth to my first daughter, a younger me was getting used to the idea of staying home full time after working as a personal chef in the Bay Area. My first child was an adventure... we had our share of struggles after her preterm delivery, and like most first time moms who begin their feeding journey with pumping, breastfeeding was one of those struggles. I am still so thankful that during that time I happened to have a breastfeeding cafe just down the street! In my postpartum depression haze, I would pack up myself and my baby once a week just to sit and enjoy being surrounded by people who could get it. (I highly recommend finding a similar group whether you are struggling or not!) After we ditched the pump and bottle, one of my other issues became a lack of good supply, and being me, I turned to food and herbs to help.

Plain fenugreek didn't agree with me and didn't seem to work well anyway, and I got turned on to the idea of taking the herb with other foods. After a few internet searches, I was really disappointed to find that the only lactation cookies for sale were way out of my price range, and any recipes I could find were full of sugar and refined ingredients. Didn't it seem strange to eat a cookie as a supplement multiple times a day if it is basically a sugar bomb?

So I created my own! I found some old recipes from school that were already vegan and/or healthier than the average cookie, and I began to experiment with ingredients that I had researched to help boost milk supply. There was a lot of trial and error (so much error...) and I basically ate cookies for every meal for days, but after a few weeks, I had a recipe that really seemed to work! I was extremely excited, and it didn't take long for me to wrap everything up in a pretty bow and start a small home business out of it. I had cookies and granola, and it was just my luck that I got invited to bring them to a breastfeeding convention where Dr. Sears would be speaking. I sold out that day and could barely keep up the demand from that day on!

The reason we call these cookies "THE cookies" now is because my small business didn't last. It was a lot of work and I just couldn't quite get over the hump that would take my small kitchen project to an actual sustainable business. So I let it go with love... but nobody else did! To this very day I get inquiries about these cookies. I get asked to please do someone a favor and make a batch. I get asked to bring them to parties. My husband is constantly asking me when I am going to do something with these cookies, because they won't go away! ( I say this with love, so please don't be offended if you are one of the cookie lovers out there! )

I have several versions of THE cookie by now and I love them all, and I believe it's time to share one of them with you. These are the original cookie- my very first eureka cookie that helped me breastfeed my oldest child successfully and launch a small and fun business venture out of my teeny tiny kitchen. They are easy to customize, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have for these last 7 years!

(If you are having real issues with breastfeeding or struggling with your supply, I highly recommend speaking to a trained professional who can help you. If you are local to me, don't hesitate to reach out! I have a lot of resources and help that I can send your way~)

 

Jasmine's Lactation Cookies (the vegan version)

 

1/3 cup coconut oil - soft but not melted

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax, whisked with 2 Tbsp warm water and left to sit for 1 minute)

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup organic rolled oats

1/2 cup organic sprouted spelt flour (or any flour you have on hand. Bob's Red Mill GF flour works well)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp brewers yeast

1 tsp powdered fenugreek

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

----------

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, flax egg and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, brewers yeast and fenugreek.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until the dough is moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover the dough and let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Scoop about a Tbsp of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Makes about 20-24 cookies.