What is TVP
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is an excellent protein source that is easy to store and use. TVP is made from soy flour where the soy oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure and then extruded and dried. Not only is TVP high in protein, but its also high in fiber and low in fat. This makes TVP ideal for food storage and also for every day use. Because TVP is not made from meat, it does not have the contamination risk that many meats have with bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Because it is soy based, it is perfect for those on a vegetarian diet.
TVP is very shelf stable and can sit in a sealed container for at least a year. When sealed in an airtight container (where the oxygen has been removed) the shelf life is much longer. TVP is best stored in a cool, dry place.
To reconstitute TVP, pour ¾ cup boiling water over 1 cup TVP and let stand for 5-10 minutes. It can also be added dry to dishes with adequate liquid such as soups or spaghetti sauce. The texture of TVP can be adjusted by the amount of liquid added, so you can experiment to find out just how you like it. 1 oz of TVP is equivalent to approximately 3 oz of meat. After rehydration, TVP should be treated like meat and must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days.
TVP is also very convenient for camping as it weighs very little and can be quickly rehydrated or added to dishes. It also makes a great quick dinner as you can make sloppy joes or tacos in under 15 minutes for much less than the cost of ground beef and with more nutrition. TVP is a very economical choice that provides the protein of meat without the fat or the mess that cooking and browning can create.