We love eating healthy, making our own tempeh helps with that and keeps the prices down too! It is actually pretty easy to make too.
Panfried tempeh with sauteed mushrooms on some whole wheat bread. Nothing screams comfort food more than this, ok, well potato chips, pop and chocolate scream the loudest in that department, but we are trying to keep things healthier right? Right.
I love mushrooms, and tempeh is just that, a fungus, and it grows on cooked beans. Fancy that. It doesn't have to just be on a soy bean either! Which is great if you are avoiding soy products.
I The tempeh shown above is the finished product that started from this batch of cooked black eyed peas. I soaked them over night, drained, refilled and cooked them up. Easy pea-sy. You want them so they are done, but still firm vs soft as they will soften up more in the tempeh making process. I do not take the skins off my beans anymore, I just use a potato masher to break them up a bit and coat the other beans with mashed bean bits. This gives the tempeh starter something to grown on as it has a hard time making it through the tough outer skins of the beans.
The vinegar or lemon just is used to acidfy the beans a wee bit so that no nasty stuff grows on it and it makes it a friendlier place for the Rhizopus oligosporus to grow! Oh yes, that's the technical term for what grows on the beans in Tempeh. You don't need much and I find it doesn't change the flavour in the end.
So far we have made tempeh with soy beans, chick peas, black eyed peas, yellow split peas, white and red navy beans, brown and green lentils, rice (not nice that), we have added sunflower and pepita seeds to it with good success too.
But where do you get the starter you ask, well we bought ours online from a place in Australia, which makes some sense as Tempeh is an Indonesian food. The history of it is quite interesting, check that out sometime. Back to where to get it. You can find starter kits in larger health food stores, and also online. If you are local to us though, we will gladly share enough to set you up. See this is the nice thing about Tempeh, it will give you all you need to keep making it.
All you have to do is.... wait for another blog entry on how I make my own starter powder.
Reverend Julie Savoy