Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is TVP?

by Hilary at The Thrive Hive

Many people are curious about what TVP is. TVP stands for texturized vegetable protein. It is an alternative to meat that provides excellent protein, is economical, and is easy to store and use. TVP provides the protein of meat without the fat or the mess that cooking and browning can create. The most popular TVP product is TVP Tacos. In fact many popular fast food chains use this in their recipes as a meat extender. You can make a quick meal, such as tacos, using TVP in 15 minutes for much less than the cost of ground beef and with more nutrition. In our family we also love to use TVP Ham or TVP Bacon on salads and baked potatoes to add flavor and crunch without adding calories. TVP does not last as long as freeze dried meat, but I like to have it in my home store because it costs less and if the needs arises for me to live off of my food storage I will be able to extend the freeze dried meat I do have or use it on it's own and feel confident that my family is getting good nutrition. TVP is also very convenient for camping as it weighs very little and can be quickly rehydrated or added to dishes.
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.
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 facts taken from

Here is a great TVP Taco recipe from Tawny:

5 Minute Taco Night
You Will Need:
*Thrive Taco TVP *Lettuce *Salsa
*Thrive onions *Tomatoes *Corn chips
*Thrive Peppers *Cheese *Tortillas

1.Reconstitute enough TVP for your family’s needs. Remember the TVP almost doubles when reconstituted. For example, if you need 1 cup of TVP, reconstitute half a cup. I reconstitute my TVP by covering it in HOT water and letting it sit. I drain off any excess water. 2. Reconstitute onions and peppers to meet you family’s needs. Again, cover with water, let sit, and drain excess water.

3. While your other ingredients are reconstituting, warm your tortillas in the over.
I warm mine at 300F for 5 min.
4. Again while other ingredients are reconstituting, chop lettuce and tomatoes.
5. I keep grated cheese in my fridge, but if you don’t, now is a great time to grate that cheese. You could also reconstitute some yummy Thrive freeze dried cheese.
6. Open your chips and salsa.
7. Serve
I serve this ‘buffet style’ and let everyone make his or her own plate. Some make Taco Salad with a salsa dressing, some have tacos, some have nachos, and some have a combination of them all! It is a real crowd pleaser!
This is also GREAT served with Beans! Yummy!!
Who doesn’t love a crowd pleaser that is healthy and can be prepared in less time than it takes to order at a fast food restaurant?

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