VEGAN BACON?!? It may sound too good, but it’s totally true! Not pork or turkey bacon (obviously), but tempeh bacon. If you’ve never had it, tempeh is a just fermented soy product—that’s sturdy enough to slice and sear until crispy!
And, it’s a great plant-based low carb protein option for anyone on a vegan lifestyle. In one serving of this tempeh bacon, you get a whopping 19 grams of protein and only 5 grams of net carbs!
On its own, tempeh has a pretty mild, plain taste—not exactly the smoky, umami goodness we associate with traditional bacon… But, with a bit of liquid smoke, you can give your tempeh bacon that authentic, bacon-y flavor!
Of course, you can still make this recipe without the liquid smoke, it just won’t taste as much like bacon. Enjoy your tempeh bacon as is, serve as a soft with a vegan omelette or tofu scramble, or chop into bacon bits for a salad topping!
Vegan ‘Meat’ Substitutes vs. Homemade Tempeh Bacon
In the grocery store, you’ll often find an entire section dedicated to vegan ‘meat’ alternatives. But, those ‘meatless meats’ are usually just highly processed soy products—lacking in nutrients and laden with food additives, just like other ultra processed foods!
Of course, with homemade tempeh bacon, a major benefit is that YOU are in control the ingredients and what goes into your body. And, you can’t get much simple than the few ingredients in this tempeh bacon recipe.
No preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors, no sneaky added sugars! Plus, because tempeh comes from fermented soybeans, it has some added benefits over traditional soy products.
The Benefits of Tempeh
All soy products—including tempeh—are rich in protein, satiating fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But, those nutrients aren’t always easy for our bodies to use. Soybeans (like other legumes and grains) are actually seeds from the soybean plant.
And, in order to survive and make more soybean plants, those seeds contain ‘anti-nutrients’ and are naturally resistant to digestion. So, for some people, grains and legumes can cause serious digestive strain! Plus, that means we aren’t getting the nutrients that we think we are from most soy products.
But, because tempeh is fermented, it’s easier to digest! The fermentation process helps to break down some of those anti-nutrients, which makes the wholesome nutrients in soy more accessible to the body.
So, that means your body can metabolize and actually use more of the nutrients from your homemade tempeh bacon!
The Power of Probiotics
Also, fermentation gives tempeh an added benefit that other soy products don’t have: probiotics.
Basically, probiotics are healthy bacteria that our bodies need. When we eat fermented foods—like tempeh or yogurt with live active cultures—they help to protect our gut lining and feed the beneficial bacteria living in our gut!
On the other hand, digestion-resistant legumes and grains—like soybeans—can cause digestive strain, which can actually damage the gut over time. For maximum nutrition and health benefits, opt for sprouted grains and legumes, or fermented soy products.
All the more reason to give this homemade tempeh bacon a try!