Tempeh, French Toast and banana leaves

“To ferment your own food is to lodge a small but eloquent protest – on behalf of the senses and the microbes – against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe. It is also a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we remain passive consumers of its standardized commodities, rather than creators of idiosyncratic products expressive of ourselves and of the places where we live, because your pale ale or sourdough bread or kimchi is going to taste nothing like mine or anyone else’s.”
― Michael Pollan

Tempeh is basically a fermented bean patty. It is typically made from soybeans when you find it in the stores. BUT we can make our own! Why would you make your own tempeh? Well for one you get to choose the beans you want to use. Second, you get bulk tempeh which is cheaper than store bought. And last, it’s fulfilling to make your own ferments!!!


So first, you will soak the beans over night(raw not canned). 2 cups of beans is a good amount to start with. I used chick peas.

Next you can cook them for 30-40 minutes.

Let them cool before you add ingredients.

In a bowl add the 1 packet of tempeh starter and 2 tbsp vinegar. You can find the tempeh starters online!


Put the tempeh on a towel or two and dry, during this you could also start to dehull the beans and discard the hulls. We can even start to smush the beans . You can use your hands for this, A way to do this is to put a towel over the beans and smash from there.


Next, you can start to form the patties. So I have used banana leaves because my tempeh making partner has banana trees, but if you don’t have access to that simple use a plastic bag, and poke a couple holes. There are many alternatives, I have only used banana leaves but do your research!


We put the tempeh in a bread maker that goes to low temperatures. It was put in at 87 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a bread maker you can use a dehydrator that goes that low, the oven turned off with the light on, and there are plenty of innovative ways to do this. You could even wrap it up in towels and put it in a not cooled cooler and let it heat that way. There are so many options, be creative! The temperature for the tempeh should be between 85 and 91 degrees.


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This isn’t relevant to tempeh but I made some french toast sticks with left over wallah bread. The bread was getting really hard so I put some water on it and microwaved it, and then cut into sticks. The mix I used was 1 banana, about a cup of flax milk, a bit of apple sauce, turmeric, all spice, sugar and cinnamon. I used an immersion blender to mix this, any type of blender/food processor will do. I dipped the bread in the mix and put them on an oiled pan and baked at 350 for about 10 minutes on each side. Yum!  Oh and the dip was melted earth balance and some crushed up oreos.





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