Protein Day 2021: Here’s why you need to try tempeh, the plant-based superfood

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From eating clean to working out regularly, most of us try to incorporate healthy habits into our lifestyle.

“Today’s health-conscious individuals are looking for versatile foods and dietary solutions that will help them aggressively meet their nutrition goals, especially their protein requirement,” says Siddharth Ramasubramanian, founder and CEO, Vegolution, a Bengaluru-based food start up.

Most of us including nutritionists have considered only animal protein as offering complete proteins as they are packed with nine essential amino acids that the human body needs to function, explains Ramasubramanian. This posed to be an issue for vegans and vegetarians alike.

“However, recently, researchers have identified that some plant-based foods can be healthy sources of the nine essential amino acids. This means people can meet their needs by adopting a plant-based protein diet,” he further explains.

What is tempeh and its benefits?

One of the prominent plant-based protein gaining mainstream popularity is tempeh. “It has emerged as a new source of protein in this category because it is delicious, versatile, nutritious, wholesome, 100 per cent vegetarian protein-rich, and made out of fermented soybeans,” explains the founder.

This plant-based protein is enriched with riboflavin, iron, protein, calcium, and manganese.  “Tempeh has a dry and firm but chewy texture and a slightly nutty taste. It can be steamed, sautéed or baked and is often marinated to add more flavour,” as per Healthline. 

According to Ramasubramanian, there are various benefits of this nourishing food such that “where 84 per cent of Indians are protein deficient, tempeh holds the power to address this gap and drive the people from being protein-deficient to protein-positive.”

Tempehs often come in the form of stiff small rectangular cakes. In order to cook them, one needs to make them soft by steaming them for a good 10-15 minutes. Since it easily soaks in flavours, you can marinate it with items of your choice and have it with noodles or in the soup or even sautée it a bit or bake it as per your choice.

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