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Friday, April 5, 2013

Vegetarian Options - Tempeh Vs Tofu

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Vegetarian options for sources of protein are abundant and high quality at the same time as being low calorie and nutritious. You have certainly heard of tofu but might not have heard of tempeh. What is the difference and which is better? This article will answer these questions and more.
Tofu is made from soybeans and originates from China. First, soy milk is made then the milk is coagulated and then the curds, much like cheese are formed into soft white blocks. Tofu does not have much taste on its own and should never be eaten like this. It should always be marinated or seasoned and preferably pressed before seasoning. The more water you can press out of your tofu, the more space for seasoning.
Tempeh is also made from soybeans but it is the soybeans themselves that are cultured naturally and put through a fermentation process. This method makes the soybeans stick together into its firm block form we see in markets today. It's definitely more meaty in texture than tofu. Its origins are Indonesian and tempeh is still an important source of protein in the islands.
The main difference between tofu and tempeh is the texture. While tofu is soft and devoid of flavor, tempeh has a firm texture and a stronger flavor. As for nutritional value, tofu is high in protein. A serving of tofu has as much protein as a similar serving of hamburger. Tofu is a good source of calcium, iron and B-complex vitamins, it's low in carbs and calories and contains lots of protein: 40 grams per cup! Tempeh is often used for veggie burgers, vegetarian cutlets and bacon. Tempeh is also high in protein at 30 grams for 1 cup and also has lots of B-complex vitamins.
Since both sources of vegetarian protein are high in protein and contain many nutritional advantages, which is better? Well, most vegetarians consume both regularly as there are countless tasty recipes that can be created with each of these versatile vegetarian foods. Some say that tempeh is better because it is slightly less processed, others say that tofu is better because it is higher in protein.
In my opinion, it is a personal choice in taste since both foods are incredibly nutritious and good for you. My favorite is tofu since it is just so flexible and takes on the taste of whatever seasoning you give it. It is perfect for making sauces, desserts, main meals, dairy substitutes like feta cheese and cream cheese and the list goes on and on...Tofu soup, tofu steaks, tofu pot pie, pudding, cheesecake, etc... Tempeh is not quite as flexible and is best reserved for a main meal, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tempeh is perfect for making reuben sandwiches, chicken salad, chili, stroganoff, tortillas and bourguignon.
Want to get cooking? Try new recipes with healthful tofu. Delicious and low fat vegetarian meals are easy to make with the proper instructions.
Get more information on favorite meal plans here: Fast Vegetarian Recipes
And if you are interested in trying tasty tofu recipes on a vegetarian diet, you will want to click here: Vegetarian Recipes with Tofu

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