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What's the Deal With: TVP

What's the Deal With: TVP

TVP might sound like a new sexually transmitted disease, but it's actually a kind of food made from soybeans. The letters stand for Texturized Vegetable Protein, and it's produced from soy flour after the soybean oil has been removed. It's cooked under pressure, made into little shapes, and then dried. Once added to food, like vegetarian chili, the texture becomes chewy, and it absorbs flavors just like tofu. Add it to foods to increase the amount of protein and fiber, plus it's also high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some varieties are fortified with vitamins, so it's a great way for vegans and vegetarians to get vitamin B12. TVP is dry, so it doesn't need to be refrigerated. That means you can buy it in bulk to save money, store it in an airtight container, and use it as needed.

You can buy it minced or in chunks for about $3 a pound, and some companies even sell flavors. Add it to soups, chili, stir fries, pasta sauce, casseroles, burritos, or pizza.

To see the nutritional info for TVP


Serving Size 1/4 cup
Calories 80
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Carbs 7 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar 3 g
Protein 12 g

Do you cook with TVP? If so tell me what you make with it in the comment section below.

Join The Conversation
digibron digibron 8 years
Thanks for this post! There's a cool vegan cafe near my work that uses TVP in some of their dishes and I never knew what it was before. I'll try it next time I eat there!
foxie foxie 8 years
Gotta be honest, I'm not a huge fan. I spice and spice and spice and yet it still retains that strange nutty taste that I can't bring myself to enjoy. I eat it for nutritional value, but... meh.
green-socks green-socks 8 years
I've used Bob's Red Mill TVP in chili, tomato sauce, stews, curry, and anything I make in the crockpot that I think needs a little thickening up. A little goes a long way, and rarely does anyone know it's in there but me (which is good, because I cook for some picky eaters). It doesn't change the taste, and in terms of texture, it is a lot like very finely ground meat, so my picky eaters just assume they are eating meat. And 1/4 cup certainly goes a long way, just remember that since it's dry, it might not seem like you are adding a lot, but once it absorbs the liquid, it becomes a lot more.
kia kia 8 years
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've never used TVP, but I have used the Boca Crumbles for tacos or chili and my husband, who's a serious meat-eater, could NOT tell the difference. I'm serious. He thought it was just very finely crumbled beef. So I'll definitely have to try the dried stuff at some point.
Peggasus Peggasus 8 years
I actually have a bag of this very same stuff in my pantry that I bought on a trip up to Chicagoland recently, but wasn't sure what to do with it. Mem952, what do you mean by 'if you cook it right?' Do you do it any differently than it says on the package? Will my household of men notice if I substitute half of this for 'real meat?' I hope they wouldn't, as I try all the time to sneak healthy things into the food without them noticing!
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
i love this...i'm a vegetarian and i'm always looking for ways to get more protein. i'll definitely have to try it.
ShedItandGetIt ShedItandGetIt 8 years
I've never used the dried stuff, but I use frozen TVP in chili, sloppy joes, and tacos. The texture is a lot like that of ground beef. Definitely worth trying--it's way healthier than beef!!
mem952 mem952 8 years
if you cook it right TVP can be spookily like real minced meat. you can make a great lasagne or pie with this.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
I love Red Mill stuff, I'm absolutely looking this up!!!
becoming-brina becoming-brina 8 years
I didn't know Red Mill had dried TVP; that's fabulous! I'll be looking for this at Whole Foods this week to add to my vegan curry :-)
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I've never seen this before so I have no idea if it's good or not, but I'm always looking for other ways to get more protein in my diet.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
OoOoooo I had no clue about this.
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