3 Super Tasty Recipes That Can Help You Recover from Pregnancy and Birth
byHeng OuJun 14, 2016
Photograph by Twenty20
plays a big role in postpartum recovery, but even though you may be craving it,
a plate of nachos is the last thing your body needs right now.
Inspired by the
Chinese period of postpartum rest and recovery called zuo yuezi, I
developed 60 recipes that support the specific needs of new mothers. Each dish
or drink subscribes to some fairly specific guidelines around eating during the
first weeks after birth (cold and crunchy foods are no-nos, dishes that are
protein dense and/or packed with vibrant greens are ideal), but as I discovered
during my own postpartum experiences, healthy eating doesn’t have to be
difficult or tasteless.
These three recipes support lactation, help to
maintain your energy reserves, and promote recovery from birth— and they're big on yum-factor.
oatmeal can be dull and gummy, so I gave mine an upgrade that’s ideal for new mothers, but
that’s also a delicious meal option for the whole family.
provide a steady stream of energy while also boosting lactation and chia gives a
necessary shot of protein. Make a big batch of congee and freeze individual
portions in muffin tins for a quick, hearty meal whenever you need it.
2 cups (180 g) rolled oats
11⁄2 cup (235 g) steel-cut oats
1-inch (2.5-cm) knob of fresh
ginger, peeled and halved
Pinch of sea salt
1⁄4 cup (40 g) chia seeds
1⁄2 cup (50 g) quinoa flakes (optional; add
another 1⁄2 cup/120
ml water if using)
For the toppings:
1 cup (240 ml) milk (or cream,
coconut milk, or nut milk of your choice)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup, or to taste
Fresh or frozen fruit or berries,
for serving (optional)
Chopped almonds or other nuts,
for serving (optional)
In a medium pot, bring 41⁄2 cups (1
L) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rolled and steel-cut oats,
the ginger, and salt. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook—three-quarters
of the way covered— for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer
for another 15 minutes; add more water if needed, keeping an eye on the pot so
it doesn’t boil over. Add the chia seeds and quinoa flakes, if
using, during the last 15 minutes of cooking, stirring occasionally so the
seeds and flakes separate and incorporate into the mixture. Once the grains are
soft and creamy, and most of the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat.
When you are ready to eat, serve
warm with the milk, coconut oil or butter, maple syrup to taste, plus fresh
fruit and almonds, if you like.
Portion-freezing option: After
the congee is cooked (and the chia seeds and quinoa have been added), let it
cool on the stovetop. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Portion the congee
into 1⁄2 cup
(115 g) servings in the cups of the muffin tin. Flash-freeze for 4 to
5 hours, or until firm. Twist or tap out each serving and place them in
large zip-tight plastic bags. When you are ready to eat, add one or two to a
saucepan with some milk or water and reheat over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes,
is at the heart of postpartum eating. Mother’s Bowls infuse postpartum eating with
flexibility and versatility. All you need are few scoops of cooked grains,
veggies, and some protein and you’re ready to mix and match as you like —they are
a great way to clean out the fridge! I also love these dishes because they are
a quick way
to consume a hearty meal; you get all of the essential nutritional elements of a
comprehensive lunch or dinner (or breakfast — it’s always the right time to eat
well) in one neat
In a medium frying pan, over
medium-low heat, combine the following and heat until warm:
Leftover congee (try the Oats & Chia
Fresh greens (arugula, chard, kale, spinach)
Pan-fried or oven-baked bacon or
Chili powder (optional)
Season with the chili powder if
you want some extra heat and if that matches the leftover congee you’re using.
Transfer to a bowl and eat warm.
postpartum eating doesn’t mean boring postpartum eating. If someone offers to help
during the first weeks after birth, ask them to make you these chewy, sweet protein-packed
bars. And then watch how hard it is to keep them for yourself!
Makes an 8-inch square pan
1 cup (240 g) peanut butter
1⁄2 cup (1 stick/115 g) salted grass-fed butter 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) honey
2 cups (30 g) organic puffed rice
Pinch of sea salt
Optional add-ins: chocolate
chips, peanuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit of your choice
In a small saucepan, melt the
peanut butter, butter, and honey over medium heat, stirring until well
Put the puffed rice in a mixing
bowl with the pinch of sea salt, add the peanut butter mixture, and stir until
the cereal is evenly coated. Stir in any optional ingredients
you’d like. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch (20-cm)
square pan and press down gently to cover the bottom. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or up
to several hours. When they are hard to the touch, cut into squares and enjoy.
They will soften at room temperature, so best to keep them chilled until you
are ready to eat.