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Texturized vegetable protein (TVP) is a dehydrated food product made from soy flour. TVP is used as a meat substitute, or it can be added to meat. It can be a good source of protein and fiber and will stay fresh for a long period of time.
Soy flour is created by cooking soy beans, extracting their oil, and then drying them. The soy flour is then shaped into small pieces or chunks that are dried again. TVP can be purchased plain or have flavorings and other ingredients added to it.
There are many nutritional benefits to texturized vegetable protein. It is extremely high in protein, fiber, and potassium. TVP also has a good amount of calcium and magnesium, and it can be fortified with vitamins. TVP that does not contain added flavorings has zero cholesterol. Added ingredients can sometimes change its nutritional composition.
Since texturized vegetable protein is dehydrated, it has to be cooked in hot water to gain an edible consistency. It is sometimes cooked in other dishes. TVP is most often used as a meat substitute. It can also be added to dishes that already contain meat to make the dish thicker and heartier. Texturized vegetable protein has the ability to absorb other flavorings and spices, so it will go into any dish and take on that taste.
People who cook with TVP will add it to soups or casseroles or use it as a filling. Since it is an inexpensive food and has a long shelf-life, many people keep it in their food pantry all the time. It is also a good food product to have during outdoor activities such as camping. It is quick to cook and can be a high-protein filler that is ready in minutes.
Many people use texturized vegetable protein, but it is especially popular with vegetarians since it can be a meat substitute. Vegetarians use it because it can contain the same amount of protein that comes in a serving of meat. TVP can also be a good ingredient for those on a gluten-free diet. It usually does not contain wheat or any form of gluten, so it can be eaten by people with those allergies or people with Celiac disease.
Soy allergies are one of the most common food allergies known to people. Those who have a soy allergy should not consume texturized vegetable protein. Even though most TVP does not contain gluten, people on a gluten-free diet should always check packaging to be sure wheat or gluten has not been added.