We’ve talked about the benefits of probiotics for immunity before but did you know they can benefit your body through pregnancy also?
Studies have shown a few benefits of including probiotics in your diet when you are pregnant. Besides the fact that it could potentially keep preeclampsia at bay, it may also help relieve constipation. Furthermore, it can strongly benefit at birth to provide healthy bacteria to your newborn.
As the baby is born and passes through the birth canal, its skin and gut are colonized by the mother’s microorganisms. This is why it is especially important to consume probiotic foods if you’ve had to take antibioticsthrough your pregnancy as they tend to deplete the healthy bacteria from the gut. This process of colonization for your baby will come in very handy to avoid digestive problems and allergies in the months to come.
Although yogurt is the most commonly thought of food when we mention probiotics, other fermented foods, like lacto fermented vegetables, can provide a great source. Miso paste happens to be one of these since it is fermented soybeans!
Traditionally, Miso soup is made with dried bonito flakes and kombu (kelp) based broth named Dashi. I will share how to make the Dashi but you can substitute for water or any other broth you have handy. Just keep in mind that the kelp used for the base of this broth is full of nutrients like calcium and potassium but especially iodine which is super helpful with thyroid health. You can find the bonito flakes and kombu in the ethnic aisle of certain grocery stores or in Asian markets.
I like my soups to have some substance so I know it will fill me up and provide me with some energy until the next meal. I chose to add edamame beans as a protein but this is mostly because I am not a fan of tofu. If you want to go more the traditional route, you can use tofu as your protein!
It wouldn’t be a wholesome soup if we didn’t include some vegetables. You can get creative here. I decided to add some steamed spinach for added calcium and antioxidants, shredded carrots for texture and green onions for flavor. I also like to add rice noodles so I feel like I am getting a good filling meal out of my soup!
If you are using water or other broth as your base, you can add shredded nori to get some added iodine.
Vegetable miso soup
- 4-6 cup water see notes
- 30 g bonito flakes
- 20 g kombu 4″x5″ piece
- 4 cups dashi see notes
- 3 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (miso)
- 100 g rice vermicelli see notes
- 2 cups spinach steamed
- 1 carrot peeled & julienne
- 3 green onions diced
- 1 cup edamame cooked
- Gently clean the kombu with a damp cloth without removing the white powdery substance. Make sure not to wash the kombu.
- Put the kombu in a pot with the water and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Just before the boiling point (when you can see bubbles starting to form around the edges) remove the kombu. If you leave the kombu past boiling point it will turn bitter.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes
- Add the bonito flakes and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.
- Once it is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds then turn off burner.
- Let the broth sit off the heat for 10 minutes.
- Strain through a sieve lined with a cheese cloth or a piece of paper towel.
- The dashi is now ready and can be used right away, stored in the fridge or frozen.
- Heat your broth of choice in a soup pot and add 3 tbsp of miso paste. Stir occasionally as you bring to a boil.
- Prep your vegetables as you broth is warming up.
- In your serving bowls, place your noodles and cover with broth. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Dish up your vegetables evenly in the serving bowls and enjoy!
- You can use 4 cups of water for a bolder taste or 6 cups for a milder taste. Keep extras in the fridge or freezer.
- You can substitute dashi for water or any stock of your choice.
- If using a thicker noodle you may need to pre cook it first.