Tofu Versus Tempeh
Whilst leading a plant based lifestyle, people tend to share a common fear. Meat-eating bystanders tend to be the ones feeling most of the fear, constantly questioning where plant based eaters get their protein from. This idea that vegetarians and vegans are not able to consume enough protein with the absence of animal products and/or by products is extremely skewed. I have been vegan for four years now and vegetarian for six. Not once have I reaped the effects of lack of protein in my diet.
At the beginning I placed a lot of focus on my protein consumption, constantly trying to add protein to every meal. I no longer make an effort to receive enough protein as the protein already comes in the plants I am consuming. So where am I going with this rant? Well, a good source of protein for plant based eaters and meat-eaters alike is that which comes from the soybean.
That’s right, today we are going to be talking about all things related to tofu and tempeh. What is the difference between tofu and tempeh? Is tempeh the same as tofu? Which is healthier, tofu or tempeh? These questions and more will all be answered for you after reading this blog. Check it out!
What Are They?
Before I get too deep into talking about these foods and how they differ, it’s important you know what each food really is. Tofu is simply the solid curds of coagulated soy milk pressed into white blocks of versatile protein. Whereas tempeh is simply fermented soybeans.
Both of these foods sprout from the same food, soybeans, but take different turns when they take their destined forms. Does tempeh taste like tofu? Yes, in actuality, tofu and tempeh both have a very similar taste to them. Being very neutral in their flavour profiles, tofu and tempeh are versatile foods that are complementary in various dishes. Just another thing to love about these foods!
Though these foods taste the same, they differ greatly in their textures. Tofu has a more spongy texture to it, perhaps providing a softer chew. Tempeh, due to its fermentation, preserves the beans, therefore has a more dense and chewy experience. So is tempeh and tofu the same? I wouldn’t venture to say they are exactly the same, however, they do have a lot in common.
Is tempeh healthier than tempeh? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Both foods are very similar in their nutrient values. Tempeh is slightly higher in protein, fibre and potassium whereas tofu is higher in calcium and slightly lower in calories.
However, despite their slight differences in nutritional values, these foods are both great for your health. I know some of you may fear soy products and I don’t blame you. When all you are constantly hearing is how bad soy products are for you, how could you not shy away from them? I am here to inform you that everything healthy, when consumed in moderation, is beneficial for your health, soy products included. So is tempeh better for you than tofu? Some may argue yes as tempeh is fermented therefore contains probiotics therefore supports gut health.
Others may say no as it is a more dense protein and is higher in calories. I would say they are both great foods, similar in nutrient values. Whichever of the two work better for you and your lifestyle, that’s the one that’s better for you!
Let’s talk about tofu dishes! Everyone is always wondering, “Is tofu the same as tempeh?” and the answer is no. These foods are not the same. They can be found in similar dishes as well as completely different dishes. As mentioned earlier, due to their neutral flavor profiles, these foods are extremely versatile.
So where can we look to find tofu in dishes? Tofu can commonly be found mixed into curries and grilled as BBQ steaks. Tofu can also be found impersonating scrambled eggs or even disguised as a vegan alfredo sauce. I recommend trying tofu in any and all of these ways as you will not be disappointed.
Enough of all of these “Is tempeh better than tofu?” shenanigans. They are both delicious and unique in their own ways. So where does tempeh fall into the picture when talking about dishes to cook up in the kitchen? Thanks to tempeh dense texture, tempeh crumbles up in a way similar to that of ground beef. I love adding crumbled tempeh into a tomato sauce and serving that up on top of a delicious noodle.
Tempeh, if and when seasoned properly, can make an impeccable stand-in for bacon. All of the amazing flavors without any of the animal cruelty. That’s what I’m talking about! Tempeh also can be served up as a side dish similar to the way you would serve a side of meat. Seasoned and stir-fried up on the stove, there’s no going wrong there.
So what’s the difference between tofu and tempeh? One of the differences is that they belong in different dishes as they both have their own roles to play.
Take Your Pick
So after all of this talk about these two foods, what is tempeh vs tofu anyways? Why even have this conversation? If it is not clear to you, it is clear to me that these foods both have their place and deserve all of the hype surrounding them.
Both delicious and nutritious, why pass up either of these amazing plant based proteins? So have your pick, will it be tofu or tempeh? I hope you choose both! The next time you hear someone asking, “What’s the difference between tofu and tempeh?”, I encourage you to instil some of this new-found knowledge in them. And if they are asking “Why is tempeh better than tofu?”, well, share this blog with them.
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