How to Make Banana Leaf Tempeh

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Note from Shannon: Please welcome Sarah, Cultures for Health Customer Service Rep and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper.

One of the questions we get here at Cultures for Health is how to make tempeh without plastic. Many people have worked hard to reduce the plastic in their homes, and then are faced with having to use plastic bags to make tempeh. And it is tough to avoid. Rhizopus spores stick to everything! So cloth is not an option.

But the mold needs a balance of low moisture and airflow, so a solid container is also not an option. The acidity and moisture also limit paper and metal. I decided I would test a traditional method for making tempeh to see if I could use it in my home kitchen. It was easy, fun and pretty!

Here’s how I did it…

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Sarah Firkins

Sarah Firkins

I live in Oregon with my 4 kids. I hop between my kitchen and sewing room. As the daughter of a ranch-girl turned County Extension Agent, I really believe that with enough ingenuity and know-how, anything can be made. I try to keep some cultured vegetables and condiments on hand, as well as a robust supply of yogurt. What really excites me though is finding old ways of culturing foods from around the world and making it work in my life. “I wonder” is a phrase I utter a lot, and can make my kids nervous! I love to learn and share what I’ve discovered.

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Adventures in Soy

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Note from Shannon: Please welcome Janet Creasy, CFH Content Contributor and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.

Health claims about soy abound. Being mostly a vegetarian, I do believe there are many health benefits of soy but I am leery of the myriad products that contain processed soy. Therefore, ingesting the whole food always makes the most sense to me.

Looking for options to expand my soy diet, I did some research into the Asian culture and found some foods that I was not well apprised of:  natto, tempeh and the more common tofu. Thankfully, the amazing folks at Cultures for Health carry some great soy cultures that helped me in my quest for preparing, cooking and eating in a more healthy fashion.

Let’s explore some of the ways in which you can eat soy (fermented or not).

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Janet Creasy

Janet Creasy

Janet is primarily a proud mama of two tween girls and is married to a stellar man wired for engineering. She spends a great deal of time in the kitchen and garden. She enjoys the full life cycle of real food as primal fuel for our body; which she feels is critical to how we approach the world around us. She finds immense joy in seeing how many food culture ‘science’ projects she can keep going at one time! Her favorites are kombucha, yogurt and tempeh and she is delving currently into rice flour sourdough and water kefir.

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Orange-Glazed Broccoli and Tempeh Recipe

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The fermentation of soy has been practiced for many, many years, going far beyond the boom in soy products we have seen in America over the past half-century. Tempeh is just one of the varieties of fermented soy you can make.

Making tempeh is fairly simple and involves only a few simple ingredients – whole soybeans, vinegar, and a specific tempeh starter.

For those who would like to consume more plant-based proteins, it is a good option as the fermentation process results in a meat-like taste and texture and also gives you a more digestible food.

Combining tempeh into a stir fry with broccoli, orange, and ginger is a delicious way to serve it up.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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