Nutrisoy is an Australian brand creating high quality organic, plain, flavoured and pre-cooked tofu and tempeh items. We’ve just filled our retail fridges with a comprehensive range of their products to help you enhance your vegan and vegetarian meals. Visit us in store to check out the many flavour options.
Tempeh Versus Tofu
The main difference between tofu and tempeh (both soy curd-like products) is that tempeh is a fermented wholefood and tofu is not.
Traditionally orginating in Indonesia, tempeh is made from naturally fermented cooked soybeans. The beans are cultured for several days, with Rhizopus oligosporus. Once fermented, the soybeans are pressed into a mold.
The resulting tempeh is dry, firm, chewy, and beige/brown in color. These pressed, whole soybeans are visible in your tempeh. The flavor is stronger than tofu and slightly sweet, nutty and earthy. However, just like tofu, tempeh will also absorb other flavours/mairinades well.
Tempeh is rich in nutrients and contains more protein and fibre than tofu. It is also high in vitamin B2, copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Traditionally made tempeh is much less processed than tofu and does not contain any additives.
The most important difference between tofu and tempeh is the process of fermentation. Natural fermentation helps to break down the phytates and other anti-nutrients found in soy, making its proteins more digestible and negating many of its otherwise potentially harmful effects. Fermentation also leads to the bioactive peptides in soy becoming more concentrated, potentially increasing health benefits.
Tempeh is also high in isoflavones, compounds which some research suggests may have cancer preventative properties. Unfermented soy like tofu, also contains isoflavones, however these isoflavones may be more concentrated and bio-available in fermented soy.
In moderation, tofu also has many nutritional benefits and is a versatile, protein-packed food option for most of us, especially if we are choosing tofu brands made from certified organic non GMO soy beans.
Tofu is thought to have originated in China thousands of years ago. With a mild flavor, tofu absorbs the flavours of the ingredients that surround or marinate it.
Curdling fresh heated soy milk, then adding a coagulant will create tofu. Traditionally made tofu will use a natural coagulant. However some commercially made tofu is created with a chemical coagulating substance.
Tofu is high in protein and minerals, but because it is made from unfermented soy, it contains ‘anti-nutrients’. These are compounds that can interfere with the body’s absorption of nutrients, such as phytic acid, which can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Un-fermented soy also contains trypsin inhibitors, which may disrupt the digestion of proteins and goitrogens, which may inhibit the function of the thyroid. If somebody has thyroid health issues it is advisable to avoid tofu.
The presence of phytoestrogens in unfermented soy may mimic estrogen in the body and influence hormonal balance in both men and women.
Non GMO Soy
Of course, at Wise Cicada, we will endorse brands that create tempeh and tofu through traditional processes using certified organic non GMO soy. Mainstream commercial soy crops are one of the most common foods subject to genetic modification. You can read more about the benefits of choosing organic, non GMO Food HERE