What is Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)?

I have to say when I first heard of TVP I was thinking it was some chemical ingredient added to vegetarian diets.  I became a bit concerned. Of course, the reason for switching to vegetarianism was to get away from the GMO, antibiotic and hormone fed proteins.  But as I read a bit more about TVP, I realized it wasn’t as alarming as I had originally thought.

TVP is a high-fiber, high-protein meat substitute made from soy flour. You can find it in a variety of shapes, sizes, flavored and unflavored.  You should be able to find it in most grocery stores, organic food stores and even online.  If you have a limited budget, it is an economical way to keep a healthy level of protein in your diet without breaking the bank.  The most common brands you will find are Bob’s Red Mill and Harmony House Foods.

bobs-tvpWhen preparing TVP you will want to rehydrate it before you add it your recipe.  It can be rehydrated in hot/boiled water or broth.  Some recipes will take care of the rehydration within the recipe, so it may not always be necessary to rehydrate before cooking.

Some of the common uses for TVP is in chili, casseroles, and soups. It resembles ground beef and has a similar texture when eating it.  So, it helps to create the illusion of eating meat, but without the environmental impact to animals.