TVP What? Textured Vegetable Protein

Do you eat TVP? Do I eat what? TVP (textured vegetable protein), a food product bursting with vegetable protein. Am I vegetarian or vegan? No, I eat everything… but I’m always on the lookout for ways to increase my vegetable protein intake.

When I made this discovery, I immediately fell in love. I quickly began to wonder. Why do these little pellets have such energizing abilities? How can these granules add so much texture and such a boost of energy to my diet? How do I use TVP? I put some in my energy cookies to make them crispier and in my granola to increase the protein content, and I also put it in my chili (cooked version) for a sin carne version (without meat). If you’re not yet familiar with this product, I invite you to try it. Oh yes, and I also use it in my soups and stews. I’m crazy about this product.

It didn’t take long before I wanted to find out more about it. Although I’m more the type to listen to my instincts when it comes to what to do with the new ingredients I discover, I decided to go and ask my friend and nutritionist Isabelle. Here’s what she had to say.

TVP is the acronym used to refer to textured vegetable protein. Increasingly popular in vegan diets, TVP deserved to be recognized for its nutritional properties, but also for its great versatility in the kitchen.

What exactly is TVP?

TVP is made from soy flour, a by-product of soy oil production. It is therefore, from the outset, a food product that helps reduce food waste! Once the soy flour has been defatted, the protein, fibre and several nutrients contained in soybeans are retained. The TVP is then dried and sold in various forms (flakes, small granules, chunks, etc.). They don’t contain any salt, sugar or food additives. They can be consumed both dry, for the crispiness, and rehydrated in a recipe. What’s more, TVP is very appealing because of its impressive nutritional qualities and its low cost.

I personally love the fact that it can be added either dry or rehydrated to recipes

What is the nutritional value of TVP?

Nutritionally, TVP has a lot going for it. Because it is a food product obtained from soybeans, TVP is an excellent source of complete protein. A serving of ¼ cup (60 ml) of dry TVP (approximately 25g) contains 13g of protein. As a comparison, it takes 50g of cooked lean ground beef (approximately 100ml) to obtain a comparable protein intake. TVP also has the advantage of being low in fat, particularly saturated fat, and it is also high in dietary fibre. A 25g serving of dry TVP provides 5g of fibre, which is equivalent to the amount of fibre contained in 2 cups of raw broccoli!

How to cook with TVP?

TVP doesn’t taste of much if you don’t make a little effort. It is therefore very versatile and can be adapted to a wide variety of recipes. A great tip for enhancing the flavour of TVP is to rehydrate it using stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, miso, etc.). It typically takes an equal portion of hot liquid to rehydrate TVP (that is to say 1 cup of TVP mixed with 1 cup of hot stock). To replace 1lb (454g) of ground meat, you’ll need 1⅔ cups of dry TVP which is then rehydrated in the same amount of liquid for about 10 minutes. If there’s a little liquid left over at the end, you can simply drain the TVP to remove any excess liquid. Once rehydrated, TVP is a wonderful substitute for ground meat in most recipes. You can also add dry TVP to recipes like granola mixes, muffins and granola bars. This will improve the nutritional value of the recipes while optimizing their satiating effect. It can also be eaten dry, as it is, in sweet and savoury dishes. For example, you can sprinkle it on salads or a bowl of yogurt to add an extra bit of crunch.

If it’s not yet one of your staple foods in the pantry, you will certainly have everything to gain from getting to know textured vegetable protein! Look for it at grocery stores in the organic products aisle, at bulk food stores and at health food stores.

Thank youski Isabelle for your invaluable collaboration.

Let the energy be with you.

Mériane AKA Madame


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