How to Dehydrate Mango

You’d have to be mad to not notice that it’s mango season. These gorgeous fruits of the gods packed with naturally occurring enzymes that aid the

breakdown and digestion of proteins, about 2.5g of fibre per fruit for plenty of prebiotics, vitamin C, vitamin A  and cholesterol lowering pectin. I was able to pick of a box of 15 ripe mangoes for just $10 at my local farmers market and decided to make some mango chips to have on hand as a snack.



The Dehydrator

My dehydrator was purchased from ebay a few years ago for about $40 and it’s made plenty of dehydrated fruit and vegetables and seeded crackers in its time. You can of course spend quite a bit more money on a more intelligent dehydrator with temperature control but mine work just as fine.

Try this one for about the same price that is BPA Free


or invest in the more robust dehydrator for $107 

Always line the trays with baking paper so that your home made produce doesn’t stick to the trays. You can buy purpose made round paper sheets to fit your dehydrator, but I find ripped up sheets works just as well

How To

  • Start with fresh ripe mangoes and wash them in lukewarm water to remove any residue from the skin
  • Mango pulp can be very slippery to cut so be very careful. Start by slicing them in half, avoiding the pip. Peel the skin off each of the halves and slice the pieces into thin (1/2 centimetre thick) slices
  • Place the mango slices onto the trays and dehydrate for approximately 14 hours (depending on the room temperature they make need more or less time so check them after 10 hours. I personally like them still chewy and not dried to a crisp
  • Store in airtight containers

Enjoy your mango slices all year round for extra fibre, digestive enzymes, vitamin C and because they are just so delicious!

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

How much Calcium you need in your diet can vary throughout your life and can also depend on your gender. Take a look at this quick guide on how much you need, as well as recipes for including more calcium rich foods in your diet

Daily Recommendations

  • Infants
    • 0-6 months 210 mg/day
    • 7-12 months 270 mg/day
  • Children & Teens
    • 1-3 year old 500mg/day
    • 4-8 year old 700mg/day
    • 9-11 year old boys 1,000mg/day
    • 12-13 year old boys 1,300mg/day
    • 14-18 year old boys 1,30
    • 0mg/day
    • 9-11 year old girls 1,000mg/day
    • 12-13 year old girls 1,300mg/day
    • 14-18 year old girls 1,300mg/day
  • Men
    • 19-70 year old 1,000mg/day
    • over 70 years 1,300mg/day
  • Women
    • 19-50 year old 1,000mg/day
    • over 51 years 1,300mg/day
  • During Pregnancy
    • 14-18 year old 1,300mg/day
    • 19-50 year old 1,000mg/day
  • Breastfeeding
    • 14-18 year old 1,300mg/day
    • 19-50 year old 1,000mg/day




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Plant Sources of Calcium

When we think about how much calcium we are meant to have per day, we tend to revert to information that was handed to us in a certain tv ad in the 90’s. Dairy milk, cheese, yoghurt, several times a day. Problem is that doesn’t take into account that many people are lactose intolerant, maybe they are vegan or just aren’t suited to dairy in their diet

The good news is – there is a plethora of plant based foods that are abundant in calcium. So before you start reaching for the dairy for your calcium needs – have a read over other options


  • Sesame seeds 975mg (tahini is a great source)
  • Chia seeds 631mg (Chia pudding)
  • Tofu 350mg
  • Almonds 264mg
  • Turnip greens 190mg
  • Dried figs 162mg
  • Brazil nuts 160mg
  • Kale 150mg
  • Kidney beans 143mg
  • Mung beans 132mg
  • Chickpeas 105mg
  • Spinach 99mg
  • Broccoli 47mg
  • Oranges 40mg
  • Soy Milk 25mg

How much Calcium do you need?

Find out here

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Zinc and Pregnancy

When we think about pregnancy and what vitamins are important, we tend to think about folate, iron and vitamin D. And although these are essential, one mineral that often isn’t mentioned to pregnant mums is Zinc


Googling Zinc will put you in the direction of the immune system but as it is necessary for many non-immune related functions including protein synthesis, cellular division and nucleic acid metabolism, making it essential in pregnancy where cells are constantly dividing and multiplying.

Low levels of zinc can negatively impact infant development and lead to poor birth outcomes by impacting the levels of many hormones required for the onset of labour. The two the main causes of premature birth are systemic and intra-uterine infections, both of which are negatively affected by low Zinc status. Zinc is also a vital component for immune regulation, and with the re-organsation of many cells in different places during pregnancy, ensuring that the immune system has the co-factors it requires to regulate where and when cells are changed is important for the health of the mum as well as the bub. Large population studies have showed a higher risk of low birth weight as a result of low zinc levels in the mother during pregnancy



So how much Zinc?

Guidelines currently suggest that pregnant woman require 9.6 mg zinc per day however worldwide, 80% of pregnant women do not consume enough zinc on a daily basis. Perhaps one of the reasons behind this is that pregnant women need to avoid cold/deli meats and soft cheeses, avoiding ham and turkey on sandwiches as well as pre-prepared meats such as sausages and roast chicken from the supermarket. So what are pregnancy friendly sources of Zinc for you and your little one?

Mum & Bub Friendly Sources of Zinc


Meat, Poultry & Fish


  • Ground beef, 75% lean (6.18mg/100 g)
  • Lamb shoulder (7.73mg/100 g
  • Turkey, chops dark meat (4.41mg/100 g)
  • Pork steaks (3.25mg/100 g)
  • Chicken, home cooked, dark meat (2.86mg/100 g)
  • Salmon, grilled (0.93mg/100 g)
  • Egg, hard boiled (0.53mg/each)

Beans & Legumes

  • White/Butter beans (2.93mg/cup)
  • Chickpeas (2.54mg/cup)
  • Lentils (2.51mg/cup)
  • Soybeans (1.98mg/cup)
  • Split peas (1.96mg/cup)
  • Black beans (1.93mg/cup)
  • Kidney beans (1.89mg/cup)
  • Navy beans (1.87mg/cup)
  • Lima beans (1.79mg/cup)
  • Pinto beans (1.68mg/cup)
  • Mung beans, raw sprouts (0.43mg/cup)
  • Alfalfa seeds, raw sprouts (0.30mg/cup)


Nuts & Seeds

  • Sesame seeds (2.80mg/2 tbsp)
  • Pumpkin seeds (2.57mg/2 tbsp)
  • Pine nuts (1.83mg/2 tbsp)
  • Pecans (1.28mg/20 halves)
  • Brazil nuts (1.15mg/8 nuts)
  • Peanuts, dry roasted (0.94mg/28 nuts)
  • Walnuts (0.88mg/14 halves)
  • Almonds (0.87mg/24 nuts)
  • Sunflower seeds (0.85/2 tbsp)
  • Hazelnuts (0.69mg/20 nuts)


  • Shiitake mushrooms, cooked (1.93mg/cup)
  • Green peas, boiled (1.90mg/cup)
  • Spinach, boiled (1.37mg/cup)
  • Cabbage, boiled (0.80mg/cup)
  • Asparagus, boiled (0.76mg/cup)
  • Okra, boiled (0.69mg/cup)
  • Broccoli, steamed (0.62mg/cup)
  • Beetroot, boiled (0.60mg/cup)
  • Silverbeet, boiled (0.58mg/cup)
  • Pumpkin, boiled (0.56mg/cup)
  • Brussel sprouts, boiled (0.51mg/cup)



  • Rice, wild (2.20mg/cup)
  • Rice, brown (1.23mg/cup)
  • Oat bran (1.16mg/cup) avoid if gluten sensitive
  • Buckwheat groats (1.02mg/cup)
  • Rice, white (0.77mg/cup)
  • Couscous (0.41mg/cup) avoid if gluten sensitive


  • Blackberries (0.76mg/cup)
  • Raspberries (0.52mg/cup)
  • Dates (0.52mg/cup)
  • Coconut (0.50mg/0.5 cup)
  • Raisins (0.32mg/cup)
  • Peach (0.29mg/cup)
  • Cantaloupe (0.29mg/cup)
  • Strawberries (0.23mg/cup)
  • Blueberries (0.23mg/cup)
  • Nectarines (0.23mg/cup)
  • Banana (0.23mg/cup)
  • Pineapple (0.19mg/cup)

For a custom nutritional plan that covers your particular taste and needs, visit Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD.

Recipe: Lactation Cookies

Lactation Cookies Recipe

Have you started to find that your breast milk isn’t flowing like it used to? Give them a natural (and delicious!) boost with these Lactation Cookies! You’ll have liquid gold flowing freely in no time

Ingredients Prep time: approx. 15 minutes

Oven temp: preheat to 170C

Makes approx. 14-16 cookies, using a dessert spoon per cookie (double the recipe for more)

When making these lactation cookies, please try to source organic, local ingredients wherever possible. They’re so much better for you. Wherever possible, healthy alternatives are used, however the lactation cookies need to be sweet enough to hide the very bitter taste of one of the most powerful ingredients.

If you’re already breastfeeding, try eating the dough as well as the cookies, as it seems to be even more effective at increasing supply. Do not eat uncooked dough if you are pregnant. There is a risk of bacterial infection from eating raw egg.

1 cup self raising wholemeal flour (if you have plain flour, add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder) 

1/2 cup organic, virgin coconut oil

3/4 cup brown sugar (if you want to reduce sugar, you could try just 1/2 cup, but try this first time)

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 egg

2-3 tablespoons of water (depends on how moist you prefer the cookies to be)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional, for flavour)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, for flavour)

1-2 tablespoons of brewers yeast – do not substitute with bakers yeast or any other yeast. This is a KEY ingredient. Nutritional yeast and bakers yeast are different

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 & 1/2 cups steel cut oats, but rolled oats are fine

OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of your favourite biscuit ingredients (see suggested list below)


In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flaxseed and water, let them sit for a few minutes before adding to mix.

Add the dry ingredients (apart from the oats and your additional ingredients) and mix well again. Finally, stir in the oats and your additional ingredients.

Make the biscuits (A dessert spoon is a rough size guide) and place them onto a lightly greased or lined baking tray. Flatten them a little with your fingers or a spatula – if you like a soft centre, don’t squash them down too much. If you like you can just make them into balls.

Bake the lactation cookies for around 10-12 minutes, depending on how well cooked or crunchy you like your biscuits.

Boosting Your Lactation Cookies For Better Results Try the above lactation cookies recipe first, but if you don’t notice much of an increase in supply, add more brewers yeast. If you like, add more flaxseed meal too, but don’t forget to increase the water when you add more dry ingredients. Add a tablespoon of water for each tablespoon of flaxseed meal.


Lactation Cookies – Ingredient and Variation Ideas

There are so many delicious ingredients you can add to your lactation cookies to flavour them up. You might like to add coconut, banana, grated apple, chic chips, sultanas, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dates

Coconut and banana

Choc chip and cranberry

White choc chips and macadamias

Dried apricot and white chocolate

Apple cinnamon: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of vanilla, 1/2 cup stewed apple and 1/2 cup sultanas

“I have only used them for about 24 hours and the milk is flowing! So happy and excited that they are working so well!” — Rika-Marie

“I was eating 1-2 each feed and had only just cooked them so they were still quite soft. I noticed a huge difference when I had them, and I soaked through everything. When my son is feeding I hold a cup under my other breast and collect about 40mls just from leakage!” — Ryatha

“I made a particularly potent batch this week. I haven’t needed to use breast pads for a couple of months, but after this batch, my friends call me ‘Wet Patches’. I doubled the flaxseed meal, added cocoa and hazelnut meal – they taste like Nutella.” — Audax

“I love these things!! Made a heap yesterday, and ate some dough as well, oh yum! First time in a week I’ve been full, and bubs got boobie drunk!” — Sarah

“I started eating cooked lactation cookies at a rate of approximately 2 per feed. Average 24 hour yield over 5 days was: Before: 372ml. After: 412ml. Increase of 40ml, or 11%. Stopped eating cookies for 2 days. Average 24 hour yield: 397ml. Decrease of 4%. Started eating raw lactation cookie dough which, is supposed to be even more effective than cooked dough, also at a rate of the equivalent of 2 per feed. Average 24 hour yield over 4 days: 449ml. Increase (from cooked dough average) of 37ml, or 8%. Increase (from no dough in the previous 2 days) of 52ml, or 13%. Increase (from before eating any cookies or dough) of 77ml, or 20%. Conclusion: When I ate the cookies, raw or cooked, it made a positive, measurable difference to my supply, but the raw dough made a bigger difference.”