TVP (or Textured Vegetable Protein) is a common, easy-to-cook protein that’s a staple in the vegetarian kitchen. Here’s how to use it!
What is textured vegetable protein?
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP, or Textured Soy Protein) is dehydrated soy protein that typically comes in granular form, is sandy in color, and is unflavored. Like tofu and tempeh, it has tons of uses because it takes on whatever flavor it is cooked in. This vegan powerhouse is packed with protein and reasonably priced (win-win!). It’s also gluten-free, making it a great plant-based protein for those on gluten-restricted diets!
How is TVP Made?
TVP is made by a process which extracts the proteins from the soy bean. After the elements are separated and while the soy paste is still hot, it is compressed into various shapes (such as flakes, chunks, nuggets, and strips). After it cools, the final step is for the vegetable protein to be dehydrated.
Types of TVP
Textured vegetable protein can be purchased online or in stores. It is often found in a bag and does not need to be refrigerated until it is rehydrated. TVP comes in two main forms – granules and chunks.
Chunks: Chunks are my preferred option as they give your meal more chew. They can be mixed and cooked with any sauce you like, tomato sauce, soy sauce, or anything else yummy! (I especially love chunks in this vegan breakfast sausage!)
Where to Buy TVP
You can usually buy TVP in the flour or baking aisle of your grocery store (Bob’s Mill is the most popular seller). It can also be found online here!
TVP can be stored indefinitely if kept in a cool, dry place. Once you rehydrate it or cook with it, leftovers should be enjoyed within 5 days.
How to cook textured vegetable protein
Cooking a protein that comes in a shelf stable bag? Sounds intimidating, but its not! TVP is basically just dehydrated, so it usually needs to be rehydrated before you can enjoy it.
- Stir: Place 1.5 parts TVP into a bowl and cover with 1 part boiling water or broth
- Sit: Let it sit for 10 minutes until hydrated. At this point the TVP can be used as a meat replacement (like sautéed, roasted, or mixed up as ground “meat)!
Textured vegetable protein health risks
While TVP is plant based and does has quite a bit of nutritional value, because it is soy based it is a health risk to folks allergic to soy. This can result in typical allergy symptoms like a rash, sneezing, and a tight throat.