What exactly is Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)? – The daily meal

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Textured plant protein, commonly called TVP, has baffled consumers for years despite its simplicity and versatility. TVP represents the dehydrated protein derived during the oil extrusion process. While it can also be made from other basic ingredients, such as wheat or oats, soy is almost always the version you’ll find on the grocery shelf. And because it’s purely soy, consumers on gluten-free, vegan, and heart-healthy diets can enjoy this product.

Visually, the TVP looks like crumbled tan or light brown in color, similar in shape and size to cooked ground beef. Most of the time, you’ll find it in a dry, stable bag, often in the flour and pastry aisle of your regular grocery store.

To use in recipes, simply rehydrate with hot water or broth for 5-10 minutes. TVP provides almost no inherent flavor, so it will act like a sponge to absorb the flavors of the liquids and sauces you cook with.

Cost-wise, TVP certainly outperforms the ground beef it often replaces: As of April 2023, the national average cost for ground beef was $5.25 per pound (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), while the equivalent amount of dried TVP to replace 1 pound of ground beef (about 0.33 pounds) came in at just $3.46 when purchased from Bob’s Red Mill.

TVP is delicious and nutritious

While TVP doesn’t have its strong flavor, it adds a satisfying texture that makes it feel hearty and hearty. Most would describe Hydrated TVP as a bit chewy, which may come as a pleasant surprise to some. Unless you know the trick to making tofu crispy or the secret to making beans meatier, many carnivores reject vegetarian proteins due to their texture. TVP is unique because its tougher texture is closer to meat than most substitutes.

TVP is high in protein and virtually fat-free, making it a great candidate for some healthy recipe swaps. Usually, TVP replaces ground beef, so you’ll keep the protein punch while significantly reducing saturated fat and cholesterol. TVP provides almost no sodium but boasts healthy doses of magnesium, potassium and fiber. According to a 2021 study published in Nutrients, this specific combination of nutrients may provide significant heart health benefits; and soy itself has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as LDL cholesterol, according to a 2019 study in the same journal.

How do you use TVP for cooking?

This nutritious and versatile ingredient is surprisingly easy to use. All it takes is a little hot water and a quick soak to turn those dry crumbs into a ready-to-eat protein. To replace TVP with a pound of ground beef, for example, just soak 1 cup of TVP in 1 cup of boiling water for about ten minutes and you’re done. To maximize the taste potential of the final product, make sure your moisturizing liquid is flavorful, such as by using broth, bouillon or diluted sauce such as barbecue or teriyaki.

TVP can hold its own in many of the same dishes you prepare with ground beef, such as casseroles or chili. If you’re celebrating Taco Tuesday, TVP makes an excellent addition to many other classic plant-based proteins like black beans or refried beans. Beginners should try to gradually increase the ratio of TVP to ground beef with each batch of recipes, as the moisture and texture will be slightly different between the two. Even if you’re not looking to eliminate meat altogether, you can use TVP as a filler to stretch the meat in burgers to reduce overall beef consumption. With such strong cost and nutrition boasts, TVP is sure to earn a place in your pantry today.

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