What is Tempeh?
Hailing from Indonesia and first documented in the early 1800s, Tempeh is rumoured to have been discovered accidentally as the by-product of Tofu production. Tempeh is a cake-form soy product, traditionally made through the natural processes of fermentation and culturing, plus a soaking and partial cooking.
The end result of production is a veggie burger-like consistency offering a rich source of protein ideal for vegan and vegetarian palates wanting an alternative to more widely accessible meat substitutes. Because the whole soybean is the end result the nutritional advantages are apparent in the higher content of vitamins, fibre and protein compared to Tofu. Tempeh has all the fibre of the soybeans and gains some digestive benefits from the enzymes formed during the fermentation process. What is Tempeh? It’s a magical food stuff waiting to be discovered by you!
Rich in Isoflavones
Tempeh is a complete protein food that contains essential amino acids for our bodies. Isoflavones have many health benefits: they strengthen our bones, help to ease menopausal symptoms, reduce risk of coronary heart disease and some cancers. Soy contains many types of isoflavones, but the most beneficial are genistein and daidzein. The highest amounts of soy isoflavones can be found in soy nuts and tempeh.
How to Make Tempeh.
If you’re going to make your own Tempeh, please purchase your culture from an accredited source.
Personally, I am a) too lazy to make my own batch of Tempeh from scratch and b) too worried about the stories of cross-contamination of bacteria and molds if the Tempeh starter isn’t produced in a controlled environment. For those wishing to have a go, the below link will take you to the tempeh.info site where all of your questions can be answered and you can buy your Tempeh starter culture. Their culture is completely regulated and tested and there’s loads of success stories on their customer reviews’ page. I am in awe of anyone doing this!