Featured Article/ Food Trends

Ontario Tempeh – Closer to home than we thought!

For a long time, meat has been considered a major part of the Canadian diet. Growing up, it seemed so many families would have meat for breakfast, meat for lunch and meat for dinner almost every day! Over the years Canadians have started to not only reduce the amount of meat they were eating, but some were becoming vegans – cutting out all meat, including dairy, honey, eggs and other animal-derived products.

While the carnivorous diet is a way of life for my dad and sister, my mom and I have never been big meat eaters. At a young age, I decided that meat was simply not something I required to enjoy mealtime and was totally vegetarian for about 7 years. While I still enjoy mostly plant-based meals, I’ve reintroduced meats into my meals – for me, it’s all about balance.

That being said, veganism has always intrigued me. So, when I sat down with the Love Local Food team to talk about editorial articles, I expressed interest in writing an article on the vegan diet. As my research into meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh or seitan began, my storyline took a turn for the better when I discovered a local tempeh producer that we had no idea existed right in our backyard, Henry’s Tempeh.

Joining the local food movement and working to meet the growing demand for tempeh in Ontario, Henry’s Tempeh in Kitchener have put themselves on the map with their nutritious and flavourful tempeh products.

Tempeh is a highly nutritious soybean product originating from Indonesia and is popular throughout Asia. As an excellent source of protein for vegan and vegetarian diets, tempeh is now also becoming increasingly popular in North America.

Using only locally sourced, certified organic soybeans, Henry’s Tempeh works directly with Konzelmann Farms in Wyoming, Ontario to source the finest soybeans. Konzelmann Farms is a 2000-acre fully certified family-run organic farm who grow spelt, soybeans, black beans, corn, and oats. With this partnership and growing industry demand, the future looks healthy for Ontario tempeh!


About Henry’s Tempeh

Journeying from BC to Ontario to Indonesia and back, Henry’s Tempeh has quite the story to tell. Current co-owner Paul, spent 3 years living in Indonesia, learning the language, providing aid relief after experiencing earthquakes, and learning all about tempeh and making it a staple in his diet. One day, he stumbled across a job posting with a tempeh company in his hometown of Kitchener and the rest is history! Taking over from the original ‘Henry’ in 2012, now-owners Paul, Jason and Phil expanded to a new facility in 2016, but still smile when loyal customers call and email looking to speak to ‘Henry’ all these years later. We love that all employees still respond to the name, without every correcting a caller. Head to their website to read the full history, it is heartwarming and fascinating!

All about Tempeh

Why choose tempeh?
Tempeh has twice the protein of tofu, making it a great plant-based source of protein for any diet, including vegan and vegetarian diets. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of dietary fibre, and vitamins and the soy carbohydrates in tempeh become more digestible as a result of the fermentation process. Plus, it is delicious!

How to store tempeh
Fresh tempeh, in the unopened vacuum sealed pouch, can be kept in the refrigerator (2 – 4°C) until the best-before date stamped on the package (4 months from manufacture). Once the package has been opened, the tempeh will generally keep well for several days, provided it is stored in a sealed container and in the refrigerator. Frozen tempeh keeps well for several months.

How to enjoy tempeh
Typically, tempeh is eaten cooked and can be marinated, grilled, grated, stir-fried, pan-fried, toasted, baked or steamed. Henry’s Tempeh comes in 5 flavours, all of which are high in protein, gluten-free, vegan, and a product of Ontario!

Try tempeh in this tasty tempeh quinoa power bowl! It’s drizzled with a dreamy lemon tahini sauce and is a healthy meal packed with vegan protein. Share your own tempeh recipes with us using the hashtag #LoveLocalFood.

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