Textured Vegetable Protein: What Is It, And Is It Healthy?
Been wondering what textured vegetable protein, or TVP, is? Here are some conclusive answers about the vegan meat substitute that packs texture, flavour and is hard to miss on the plant-based scene.
Here at allplants we know you’ve already got a lot on your plate, so we’re trying to make all the other stuff a little easier by giving you tasty vegan recipes, dispelling vegan myths and generally helping you on your mission to eat more plants.
What is textured vegetable protein?
The chunky vegan protein is usually produced during the extraction of oil from soybeans (the protein isolate can also be extracted from pea and wheat in the same way). The soy flour which is left first has its fatty acids removed, and is shaped into chunks, flakes, slices and shreds, then is pressure cooked to temperatures of 200°C, becoming fully dehydrated.
It has a few different aliases, so look out for the names textured soy protein or soy chunks on the shelves too.
Is TVP healthy?
Unlike lots of other processed protein products, TVP retains most of its minerals, like zinc, iron, potassium and calcium along with a fair amount of fibre. Because the high calorie oils have been extracted, TVP is about 50% protein in its dry weight.
Where to buy TVP and how to use it
If you’re thinking that it’s not that easy to come across textured vegetable protein in supermarkets, then think again. It’s widely available in its pure dehydrated form in all the shapes and sizes your vegan cooking could ever need.
Vegan favourites Granose’s soya mince is 100% TVP, so you may have already been using it for years without realising. Simply rehydrate and add it to your favourite tomato sauce for a delicious take on bolognese.
Photo credits: Granose
Holland & Barrets natural soya protein chunks, a perfect larger bite, in anything from curries to burritos.
If you want to stock up, then the best value options are in bulk like this 20 kilo bag from Wholefoods online. If you’ve got the space, why not?
There are so many plant-based possibilities when it comes to using TVP, so the only instruction is to let your imagination run wild.
by Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Interns who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.