For some time tofu had enjoyed a center stage in vegetarian cuisine and health diets, but this is changing as more people discover tempeh. Here is why tempeh is superior to all the other vegetarian alternatives and equally enjoyed by non-vegetarians alike:
- Unlike tofu, tempeh is a whole food - nothing is discarded from the soybeans - and totally natural - no chemical processing takes place like with TVP (texturized vegetable protein) which is the main ingredient in most meat analogs.
- Tempeh is also a cultured (fermented) food and this makes it easier to digest. The fermentation process eliminates the substance in the beans that cause gas and indigestion (oligosaccharides) and it also gets rid of some questionable inhibitors (trypsin inhibitors and phytates) that are part of soy. It adds some important vitamins as well.
- Tempeh is rich in protein. Tempeh is comparable to chicken in terms of quantity and quality of protein but has zero cholesterol.
- Tempeh also ranks high in B-vitamins, calcium, essential fatty acids, fiber and healthy enzymes.
- Tempeh has an impressive safety record. There has never been a reported case of food poisoning from soy tempeh.
- Tempeh has a meatier texture and richer flavor than tofu and is better suited to replace meat in most dishes.