Interesting Facts About Tempeh - The Super Bean Protein
Paneer, tofu, tofu, paneer
Like me, if you too are bored with the same old protein options for vegetarians (or for those no-meat Tuesdays), you'll be glad to know that there's a new vegetarian protein superfood in town.
Tempeh is an easy-to-cook and super versatile ingredient that can be used to make various dishes like curries, snacks, bowls, rolls, salads, stir-fries and more.
It is a nutritional powerhouse and is known as one of the best sources of vegetarian protein. Not just protein, It is also good for your gut, a rich source of Vitamin B12, Iron, Fiber, and so on.
But, since it is new in India, you may still have your doubts, and we get that. So in this article, we'll tell you how it is made, nutrition facts, more details about its taste and so on.
Tempeh Origins: Where It All Began
Almost 1000-2000 years old, Tempeh's story began on the island of Java, Indonesia, where it is still a stable source of protein for a large part of the population.
Tempeh brings an affordable, tasty, eco-friendly source of protein that has been credited with playing a big part in eradicating malnutrition in Java post world war 2.
Tempeh is now gaining a lot of popularity worldwide and is showing up in stores and restaurants and being recognized by culinary and health experts as great food to add to one's diet.
And if so many people are eating so much Tempeh, you know it is good. And the process behind it is one of the reasons why, so let's dig deeper into it.
Meanwhile you can also read everything you need to know about tempeh nad your health.
How Is Tempeh Made
Tempeh is made by controlled fermentation of soybeans with the help of a starter culture (Rhizopus Oligosporus or Rhizopus Oryzae). Soaked, dehulled, and cooked soybeans are carefully fermented with the natural starter culture for 36 hours.
They turn into a firm block called Tempeh that you can use in various cooking applications.
Essentially, Tempeh is a natural protein food made from only 3 ingredients – soybeans, water, and a rhizopus culture.
Effects of Fermentation on Tempeh
The reason soybean needs fermentation is the presence of Phytic Acid. Fermentation breaks down the acid, making soybeans' starch super easy to digest. This means your body can absorb the vitamins and nutrients much faster.
It also gives Tempeh its cake or patty-like consistency. Furthermore, the starter also contains healthy bacteria packed with Vitamin B12.
Nutritional Facts For 100gm of Hello Tempayy's Tempeh
- Calories: 178 kcal ( 9% RDA)*
- Protein: 19 g (35% RDA)
- Total Fat: 6.8 g, (10% RDA)
- Saturated Fat: 1.4g,( 6% RDA)
- Unsaturated Fat: 5.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 10.1g, 8% RDA
- Dietary Fiber: 8.5g, 28% RDA
- Net Carbohydrates: 1.6g
- Sugars: 0g
- Iron: 30% RDA ( Hello Tempeh is fortified with iron)
- Vitamin B-12- 49% RDA ( Hello Tempeh is fortified with Vitamin B-12)
- Calcium: 13% RDA
- Potassium: 8% RDA
*According to ICMR-NIN report, 2020. Percent daily values (%DV) are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may differ depending on your calorie needs.
A low fat, cholesterol-free, and both dairy and gluten-free protein profile is hard to come by. It is even harder to find one that offers all 9 essential amino acids. This is what makes Tempeh calories a great source of lean protein (seriously, not even paneer or tofu can match it).
It is not just great for general fitness and health, but it is also great for building lean muscle, weight loss, better management of PCOS, osteoporosis, and even slowing down the progression of type 2 diabetes.
It isn't just us saying it or something we found on the rumour mill. Check studies to find out how fermented soybean products can help type 2 diabetes patients and how consumption of Soy protein in Tempeh over 8 weeks helped women with PCOS.
Also, read a guide to food rich in soy.
And it isn't just these nutrients and vitamins. The healthy bacteria in Tempeh (due to fermentation) means it is also loaded with Probiotics which are great for your gut.
Tempeh Health Benefits:
- Packed with gut-friendly protein (19g per 100g- 35% RDA)
- Good for the gut (fermented, rich in probiotics)
- High fibre and low carb
- Low fat and cholesterol-free (only 1.4 g of saturated fat per 100g)
- Packed with other micronutrients (B-Vitamins, Iron, Calcium)
- Really low glycemic index
Tempeh Taste, Flavor, and Texture
Tempeh has a mild nutty flavour with a firm, earthy texture, unlike Paneer or Tofu, which are softer. It is a blank slate as an ingredient and provides a neutral base for nearly any dish.
It absorbs the flavour of the sauces and condiments, making Tempeh versatile and suitable for any cuisine or cooking style.
When you cook it, Tempeh holds its shape better than both paneer and tofu making it easier to use in a variety of dishes.
Hello Tempayy offers both natural, plain Tempeh and pre-marinated Tempeh. The pre-marinated Tempeh is available in multiple flavours like:
- Roasted Chettinad Tempeh Cubes
- Spiced Tawa Masala Tempeh Cubes
- Peppery Szechuan Chili Soybean Tempeh Cubes
- Spicy Peri Peri Tempeh Cubes
- Simply Sriracha Tempeh Cubes (yes, we've got something for every taste bud).
How to Cook Tempeh
Tempeh is tempe(h)stuous, but in the positive connotation of the term. Being porous, it soaks flavours beautifully and gives body to whatever flavour is added (Unlike paneer/tofu, which only coat). You can also use it in multiple forms- cubes, mince, mash- making it versatile and easy to cook.
Tempeh is usable in various cooking styles, cuisines, and consumption moments. It is perfect for curries, kebabs, rolls, bowls, stir-fries, salads, and much more.
The only trick to cooking Tempeh - season it liberally, pan-toss it, and it's ready to be added to any recipe. Check out these tempeh recipes to get a better idea of what you can make with it and its steps.
Hello Tempayy gives you easy to cook cubes that do not require cutting or slicing and are ready to cook right out of the packet.
Pre-marinated Tempeh takes only a few minutes to prepare. So if you are late for work in the morning or cannot cook before that morning10 am meeting, a packet of marinated Tempeh is all you need to keep you and your family satiated.
Who is Tempeh for?
Getting your protein as a vegan/vegetarian can be a challenge, but that's where Tempeh comes in! Tempeh is an excellent source of protein, making it a great addition to your diet if you are vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian.
Delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-cook, Tempeh is now accessible and affordable: Check the range of tempeh products at hellotempayy.com! It also helps as a nice diversion from the usual Paneer and Tofu.
Tempeh cooks well, with its ability to absorb a lot of flavours and fit right into your cooking style. Go ahead, and mix up your routine with this super-bean protein!
If it's not just a protein-rich ingredient, one could benefit from its gut-friendly composition. It contains isoflavones, which has been associated with reduced cholesterol levels. So that’s the answer of the question - is tempeh good for gut health.
It is a helpful inclusion to the diet if you're looking to control appetite and manage weight. To get started with this wonder ingredient, have a look at Hello Tempayy's ready-to-cook range of tempeh flavours here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tempeh
Is Tempeh Gluten-Free?
Yes, if you get your Tempeh from Hello Tempayy, you get 100% gluten-free and low-carb Tempeh. If you are buying Tempeh from other sources, make sure your Tempeh is made out of soy alone and does not include any gluten-related products in the making. The back of the packet should give you all the required info about gluten and tempeh carbs.
Can You Make Tempeh At Home?
Yes, you can make Tempeh at home, but you'll need the starter culture for it, and it is a lengthy process, with each batch of Tempeh taking 30-40 hours to make. It also requires a temperature-controlled incubator for controlling the fermentation.
But whether you make it at home or get it online, it packs the same nutritional punch.
Is Tempeh Vegan?
Tempeh is 100% vegan and dairy-free as it is a plant-based protein. This makes it an excellent choice for lactose intolerant people that cannot eat paneer.