Tempeh is a soy product made by fermenting whole soybeans.
Tempeh is a super food.
Sadly, I've found many people have never even heard of tempeh! Wha?! How?! It's so yummy! It's a must try curious cooks..
But be warned, tempeh is the underdog of vegan protein products.
Well just look at it! Instead of a friendly, silky smooth, shiny texture tofu-esque texture - tempeh is bumpy, hard and sometimes discolored in shades of cream, brown and gray.
But don't let it's rugged exterior looks fool you.
In a tofu vs. tempeh battle, I'd put my money on the gnarly looking bumpy stuff...
Before you judge - do a taste test...
Tofu is Great. Yes tofu is a healthy, vegan, soybean product. But tempeh has a few health benefits that tofu does not:
Tempeh Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
1. Whole beans - Tempeh is made from whole soybeans.
2. Easier to digest - The tempeh fermentation process changes the properties of the soybeans. As a result, tempeh can be much easier to digest for some individuals. Enzymes and fermentation also release and 'pre-digest' some of the nutrients and allow the good stuff like zinc, iron and calcium to be more easily absorbed by your body.
3. High fiber content - One serving of tempeh contains more fiber than most peoples consume in one day. Around 7 grams per 4 ounces, a 1/2 cup.
4. Nutty Flavor - Tofu is bland ...some people say. Tempeh has a unique nutty/savory/bitter/fermented flavor and texture that many people, including me, love. If you have a super picky eater, try EVOO/maple syrup sauteed tempeh sticks with flavorful, familiar dipping sauces - and they will love it. Tell them it's like fries, only healthier.
5. Low Sodium - Tempeh is extremely low in sodium, which is rare for a fermented soy product (like miso).
6. Natural antibiotics - Rhizopus moulds produce natural, heat-stable antibiotic agents against some disease-causing organisms. Indonesians who eat tempeh as a regular part of their diet recognize it as a medicine for dysentery and rarely fall victim to the intestinal diseases to which they are constantly exposed.
Favorite Tempeh Recipes:
My Smoky Tempeh Wrap
TMT Pita (the vegan blt)
Sunny Mushroom Tempeh Bagel
Napa Valley Salad with Lemon Pepper Tempeh Croutons (lemon pepper crouton pics shown in this post)
Olive Tapenade Tempeh Vegan Sandwich
Broccoli Jack Soup with Mapoltle Tempeh Croutons
Cheezy Chili Bread Bowl with San Marzano Tomatoes and Tempeh
Tempeh Bacon Shiitake Jalapeno Stuffing
or try the super easy recipe below...
Easy Tempeh Triangles Recipe:
maple or agave syrup
apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1. slice tempeh into triangles - slice thin.
2. Soak tempeh triangles in a marinade of EVOO, maple syrup or agave syrup, lemon juice or vinegar, sea salt and pepper.
3. Saute on high or grill until edges brown.
4. Remove from heat - drizzle leftover marinade over top - pinch of salt/pepper and serve!
Serving Suggestion: I love adding these easy tempeh triangles to the top of a big green chopped salad.