TVP is one of those foods that may sound a little weird, but if you are vegetarian, vegan, or simply want to reduce your meat consumption, you definitely need to know about it. TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. The name makes it sound like it's made from vegetables, yet it's a soy-based meat alternative. It's a dry pantry staple that is rehydrated and cooked to use in place of meat in just about any recipe that you want.
TVP can also go by the name textured soy protein, soya chunks, or soy meat. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is all used the same way in cooking.
❓ How is TVP produced?
Textured vegetable protein is made from soy flour mixed with water to form a paste. This soy paste is then put under pressure to cook and form a shape before it is dehydrated. It comes in the form of dry crumbles or chunks and takes the flavor of any broth that it is rehydrated in.
📜 History of TVP
TVP was first made in the 1960s by the Archer Daniels Midland Company which has a trademark on the name TVP. It later became popular in the 1970s when it was approved for the school lunch program. Due to its meat-like texture and ability to be seasoned in a variety of ways, it's become a popular plant-based meat substitute for vegetarians.
❤️ Why you'll love TVP
- It's a low-fat, high-protein meat alternative.
- You can keep it in your pantry until you are ready to cook it.
- It will keep for years in a cool dry place before rehydrating.
- TVP is great for camping or backpacking since it's lightweight and doesn't need refrigeration until after it is rehydrated.
🏪 Where to buy it
You can find TVP on the shelf in the health food section of most major grocery stores. It is also commonly sold in bulk in health food stores. If you have trouble finding it, you can always order it online.
👍 Favorite brands
There is not a big difference in taste between brands of TVP, but there are a few key things that you may want to consider. One of the biggest factors for you may be the use of organic soybeans or non-GMO soybeans in the processing of TVP. There are many different shapes and sizes that seem to vary among brands, so you may want to choose the size based on the texture that you prefer. Overall I am very happy with Anthony's brand TVP since it is organic and non-GMO plus has a nice texture, and comes in a large bag that will last my family a while.
Some types of TVP come pre-flavored. If you get TVP with seasoning already in it, you just need to add hot water and not season it as much.
🔘 TVP vs Soy Curls
Butler soy curls are very similar to TVP and can be used interchangeably in most recipes. The main difference is that TVP is usually made from defatted soy flour and soy curls are made from whole soybeans. If you prefer a less processed product, use Butler Soy Curls instead.
🥄 How to prepare it
The hot water to TVP ratio is 1:1. Remember, you can rehydrate your TVP in any flavored broth that you want. You can eat it simply rehydrated in broth or you can sauté the rehydrated TVP to give it more flavor and texture.
Dry TVP can be directly added to soups, stews, or chili. Just remember to add an extra cup of broth to your soups for each cup of TVP that you use. The TVP will double in size once it's rehydrated so 1 cup of dry TVP will expand into 2 cups of meat substitute.
🌟 TVP recipes
Rehydrate the TVP then sauté it
Rehydrate the TVP then mix it with other ingredients and form it into shapes
- Vegan Meatballs
- Vegan Sausage Links
- Easy Baked Vegan Chicken Nuggets - from Sarahs Vegan Guide
- Vegan Sheekh Kababs - from The Curious Chickpea
Add it to sauces, soups, stews, and chili
- Vegan TVP Bolognese
- Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry - from My Quiet Kitchen
- Vegan Stew
- Creamy Vegan White Chili - from My Quiet Kitchen
- Meaty Vegan Chili - from Elephantastic
- Barley Vegan Beef Stew - from Veggie Society
Add TVP to make meaty meals
- Vegan Beef Stroganoff
- Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- Vegan Tuna
- Mexican-Style Vegan Rice Casserole - from My Pure Plants
- Vegan Burritos - from The Stingy Vegan
- TVP Shepard's Pie - from Vegan Punks
- Soya Chunks Pulao - from Cookilicious
- TVP Vegan Larb - from Very Vegan Val
- Instant Pot Vegan Tamales - from Conflicted Vegan
Hydrate the TVP then dehydrate it again to achieve a crunchy or chewy texture
🍞 Is TVP gluten-free?
Yes, TVP is naturally gluten-free since it is just soy flour. This makes it a great meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians who are also gluten-free.
Dry TVP - Keep dry TVP in a sealed container in a cool dry place. It will keep well for a few months. I do notice that it will start to absorb flavors if left in a plastic bag for too long. If you want it to keep more than 2 months in the pantry, store it in a tightly sealed glass jar for the best flavor.
Rehydrated TVP - Once you rehydrate and cook the TVP, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
✨ How to rehydrate TVP
- 1 cup TVP
- 1 cup hot broth (or water)
- Boil broth (or hot water) then turn off heat and add the TVP.
- Stir it well, then cover and let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the flavor and rehydreate.
- Use as you would "meat" crumbles in any recipe.
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