Burrata is a delicate pillowy soft cheese, with a lovely creamy interior, delicious and nutritious. If you are wondering if you can eat burrata cheese as a pregnant woman, whether it is safe for you and your unborn child or has many nutrients that can benefit your pregnancy, you should read this article.
What is burrata?
Burrata is a delicate mozzarella-style soft cheese with a creamy filling. It originated in the South of Italy, in the region of Apulia. It is usually made from cow’s milk, but sometimes also buffalo milk. The outer layer is mozzarella, stretched in a special process and then filled with “stracciatella” (strands of cheese) and cream and tied up to form a pouch with a creamy inside.
Is burrata safe to eat for pregnant women?
As burrata is classified as soft cheese, you may wonder if eating it while pregnant carries any health risks for you or your unborn child. Soft cheeses are often labeled as risky for pregnant women, as certain harmful bacteria that cause food-borne illness and could affect your pregnancy negatively may grow in soft cheeses. According to the FDA, food-borne illnesses like listeria among others can cause miscarriage, low infant birth weight, and developmental disabilities. Therefore it is imperative to prevent these illnesses.
However, most developed countries legally require all dairy products to be made from pasteurized milk. Pasteurization is a heat treatment process through which all harmful bacteria in the milk are destroyed, even before the cheese is made. All factories where food is produced, processed, and packaged have to adhere to strict guidelines to ensure that it is clean and sterile to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens that could cause illness or harm the development of your baby.
There are exceptions, smaller, or home-based producers of burrata cheese may not need to adhere to such stringent guidelines, and unpasteurized milk and potentially harmful germs, may slip in. Therefore it is very important to ensure that you purchase your burrata from a reputable producer. This ensures that you eat only pregnancy-safe cheeses.
How do I know if my burrata cheese is made from pasteurized milk or not?
More often than not, the label on the cheese will clearly state that it is made from pasteurized milk. Small-scale cheesemakers might not have that much detail on their labels, but you could ask them to confirm whether or not it was made from pasteurized milk.
How to safely store your burrata cheese
Remember to also store your burrata correctly to prevent contamination and spoilage. You can store the unopened burrata up to its best-before date in the original protective packaging in your fridge at 4֯C (below 40֯F). After opening, you can store it in the fridge for 1-2 days in an airtight container in its original liquid. The liquid is usually a brine of water, whey, and salt, which helps slow the growth of bacteria, thereby protecting the cheese from spoilage.
As burrata is a fresh cheese (not matured for an extended period) it is considered at its finest if consumed within 24 hours of opening.
What health benefits can pregnant women get from eating burrata cheese?
Burrata is not only good for you but also contains valuable nutrients for the development of your unborn baby. The bodies of pregnant women have greater nutrition requirements than usual to support the changes happening in their own bodies, but also to provide for the development and growth of their babies.
A recent scientific study, published in the Advances in Nutrition Journal, found that including dairy products in the expecting mother’s diet is excellent for the growth of the baby, and mothers who regularly consumed dairy foods during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to healthy weight babies.
Two to three portions of dairy per day are recommended for expectant mothers. A single portion of burrata is 30g, about the size of a matchbox, but with cheese this delicious, it’s hard to stick to just one portion, making it easy to get your 3 portions per day!
Cheese is packed with great nutrients that are easily absorbed by the mother’s body. As with all dairy products, burrata is a great source of calories, providing extra energy for the mother to support her growing baby. Let’s see what the well-known dietetics textbook, Krause’s Food and The Nutrition Care Process has to say on the matter of the nutrient value of cheese for expectant mothers:
Protein content of burrata cheese
Protein is also a key component of cheese, this provides the building blocks to ensure the growth of the baby.
Essential vitamins in burrata cheese
Several vitamins, including vitamin B12, are found in burrata, which help support the development of the baby’s brain and bodily functions.
Mineral content in burrata cheese
Burrata is especially rich in the mineral calcium, which is absolutely essential for the development and growth of the baby’s bones during pregnancy but also helps support the mother’s bones, as they are under increased stress during pregnancy.
A single portion, the size of a matchbox, of burrata contains more than 10% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium!
How to include burrata in your diet
Burrata is traditionally eaten fresh, with salads or bread, cut open to let the delicious creamy filling flow out.
Delicious and simple meal ideas with burrata
Burrata is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and even makes a great snack.
For breakfast, pair burrata with fresh berries and toast.
For a lazy lunch option, you could prepare a delicious salad with fresh greens, burrata, blood orange, and ancient grains like quinoa.
Burrata is equally delicious as supper in a pasta dish with a rich sauce of roasted tomatoes, the heat will allow the cheese to melt and become even gooier.
When the burrata is cooked, the heat will also help ensure that any bacteria that could cause foodborne illness is destroyed. For a snack, you could enjoy your burrata with fruit or even on its own, to fully appreciate the delicate nature of this cheese.
Flavours that complement burrata
Burrata goes well with a fresh tomato and basil leaf salad, drizzled with good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The acidity of the balsamic vinegar and the freshness of the tomatoes perfectly complement the creamy softness of the cheese.
Other great foods to combine with burrata include ripe figs, rockets,s, or berries. Adding plant foods not only adds to the flavor but also adds more essential nutrients, like vitamin C to form a complete meal. Vitamin C helps build a strong immune system, further protecting you and your unborn baby from any illnesses.
Burrata recipe going viral!
Haily Bieber recently went viral for making pizza-style toast, topping the bread with marinara sauce, pizza toppings, and burrata, and grilling it. Sounds delicious right? You can find her recipe here.
Alternative options to burrata
If you want to prepare a recipe that calls for burrata, but are unable to find burrata, or are unsure if the burrata available to you is made from pasteurized milk, you could use these alternatives: Any pasteurized fresh white cheese, such as mozzarella or bocconcini or even cream cheese.
If you prefer cheese of a non-animal origin, vegan cream cheese or vegan mozzarella would also be suitable alternatives. Again, always make sure to only consume food that is within its best before date and obtained from reputable sources!
In conclusion, as long as it is pasteurized you can freely enjoy this soft creamy cheese during pregnancy, knowing that you are consuming something delicious, as well as safe, healthy, and beneficial for both you and your baby.
If you would like more info on what you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy, or just need some delicious recipes, go to the app store and take a look at our app Pregnancy Diet: Food and Recipes.
Q and A
- Is burrata safe to eat during pregnancy?
Burrata is safe to eat in pregnancy, but only if it is produced by a reputable manufacturer and made from pasteurized milk.
- Is burrata a healthy option to eat during pregnancy?
Yes, it contains several nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, like vitamin B12, and minerals like calcium that are beneficial for the development of your unborn child.
- What benefits can I get from eating burrata pregnant?
Protein is important for the growth of your unborn child, minerals for the formation and growth of their bones, and vitamins for the development of the brain and bodily functions.
- Can I eat smoked burrata while pregnant?
Hot smoking burrata can destroy potentially harmful bacteria, but soft cheeses are usually cold smoked, this is unlikely to have any effect on the amount of bacteria present in the cheese. Therefore it is preferable to still ensure that you only eat pasteurized burrata, even if it is smoked.
- What are the risks of eating unpasteurized burrata while pregnant?
Unpasteurized dairy products may contain bacteria like listeria that can cause foodborne illnesses harmful to you and your unborn baby. The negative effects include miscarriage, low infant birth weight, and developmental disabilities.