What Makes Project Umami Tempeh Special?

 4 unique Project Umami tempeh flavors

Tempeh’s popularity is rapidly increasing worldwide, and rightly so. This food manages to pack a punch of flavor while simultaneously promoting human and environmental health. Here at Project Umami, our goal is to make delicious tempeh readily accessible to our communities.

With a history going back hundreds of years, tempeh is traditionally made with fermented soybeans. The fermentation process is associated with a myriad of benefits, including promoting gut health and increasing bioavailability of nutrients. Basically, that means that our gut microbiome can flourish, and our bodies can extract and use more of the beneficial nutrients that abound in tempeh.

Why We Make Soy-Free Tempeh

It’s not that we have anything against soy, but Project Umami is really excited to bring a wide audience some of the unique benefits of soy-free tempeh.

  • We want to celebrate local food systems. Colorado is a big producer of dry beans, especially pinto beans. In fact, we generally rank 6th nationwide in dry bean production. It is very important to Project Umami to support local bean farmers and organic production within our state.

Enjoy our Colorado pinto bean and millet tempeh. Fun fact: about 80% of dry bean production in Colorado is pinto beans.

  • Beans and other pulses are nutritional powerhouses. Wait…what are pulses? Well, this is mainly just an issue of terminology, but technically crops like chickpeas are not beans. ‘Pulses’ is a broader term that encompasses chickpeas, dry beans (e.g., pinto and black beans), dry peas (i.e., split peas), and lentils. Pulses are renowned for their incredibly nutrient-rich profile. They are associated with the prevention of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Also, pulses are one of the richest natural sources of dietary fiber, which is considered a dietary component of public health concern in the United States due to dramatic underconsumption by most of the population. In addition, pulses are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Their unique approximate 1-to-1 ratio of dietary fiber to protein can contribute to various benefits, like gut health and increased satiety. In fact, pulses are so special that they are counted in two food groups in USDA MyPlate, both the protein and vegetable groups. This is very unusual, and we want to capitalize on all the benefits of pulses and bring them to you in the form of delicious tempeh!
  • Environmental stewardship is a priority to us. Dry beans and other pulses promote environmental well-being through improving soil health, high water use efficiency, and more. They also store well, helping to prevent food waste. The fermentation process is special because it allows us to use dry pulses and deliver you a living food to savor.
  • The flavor combinations are endless. We already have several flavors we feel confident you will love, including black bean and sunflower seed, pinto bean and millet, chickpea, and yellow and green split pea. Project Umami is always thinking tempeh though, and more flavors are on the way!

Of course, these are only some of the aspects that make Project Umami tempeh so special. To really know, you have to taste it! Check out tempeh selection our online. Or better yet, come visit us at a local farmers’ market if possible for a sample and to talk tempeh!

Article and photos by: A Legume a Day (https://alegumeaday.com/)


Didinger, Chelsea, and Henry J. Thompson. "Defining nutritional and functional niches of legumes: A Call for clarity to distinguish a future role for pulses in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans." Nutrients 13.4 (2021): 1100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066616/

Didinger, Chelsea, and Henry Thompson. "Motivating pulse-centric eating patterns to benefit human and environmental well-being." Nutrients 12.11 (2020): 3500. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698258/

USDA MyPlate: https://www.myplate.gov/