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Tempeh - One of the World's Healthiest Foods

Updated on July 23, 2017

Tempeh, an Indonesian specialty, is a wonderful source of proteins; and offers health benefits
like lowering blood sugar levels and preventing cancers

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is made from soy beans; and is now gaining increased popularity, as people look for ways to enhance their dietary intake of soy. What’s more, tempeh has versatility and a very unique taste.

Tempeh is made by cooking and de-hulling soy beans; and inoculating them with a culturing agent, like, Rhizopus oligosporus. This inoculated product is then incubated overnight, until it forms a chunky, solid cake.

Tempeh is a very good source of protein. It also supplies manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B complex and iron. Additionally, it provides generous amounts of mono-saturated fats. Half a cup of tempeh provides about 94 calories.

Health Benefits of Tempeh

Being a product of the soy beans, tempeh provides similar health benefits:

  • Tempeh helps lower cholesterol appreciably. The protein content, essential fatty acids and lecithin in the beans help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Isoflavones in soy cut down the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer and colon cancer.
  • Soy also generates plant estrogen. This too helps fight cancer; and helps ward off the symptoms of menopause effectively.
  • Tempeh improves glucose tolerance and increases sensitivity to insulin.
  • Tempeh is an excellent source of vitamin B 12. The organism that helps make tempeh, also makes vitamin B 12.

How to Cook Tempeh

One way to cook tempeh is to marinate it in olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and other spices / herbs. Set it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then, bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

There are a host of quick serve ideas for tempeh, and the product can be easily integrated in to the daily menu. Tempeh sandwiches, tempeh burgers, stir fry tempeh, tempeh and spaghetti are just a few delicious options.

Here are a few scrumptious, yet wholesome recipes using tempeh that help you get a generous dose of soy protein:

  • Tempeh Marinade: For the marinade, blend together the following: soy sauce or tamari, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil, some chili, and one spoon of basil / parsley. Let this mixture sit for half an hour. Bake it well. Use this tempeh marinade for various tempeh recipes.
  • Baked Tempeh: This is a delectable recipe using baked tempeh. Bake tempeh, place it in a food processor and blend well with some olive oil, coriander, cumin seeds and pumpkin seeds. Make a smooth purée. This blend makes a yummy spread.
  • Tempeh Stir Fry or Tempeh with Spaghetti: Add two tablespoons olive oil to a saucepan. Add a few favorite spices. Put in diced vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.) and tempeh sauce. Toss well. Add the spaghetti. Serve hot.
  • Tempeh Burger / Tempeh Sandwich: Grill tempeh and place it on a slice of whole grain bread. Top with some soy cheese / regular cheese. Grill for 10 minutes. To make a topping, blend tomato ketchup with soy mayonnaise.


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    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 3 years ago from USA

      I do love tempeh, but am not a fan of tofu. My body seems to like the effects of tempeh, but it does not respond the same way to tofu. Great article!

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 3 years ago from United States

      I have never heard of tempeh, but I am a fan of tofu. I definitely have to try and buy this. Thanks for sharing the wonderful ways to cook tempeh and its many health benefits. Very helpful Hub. Voted up!!!