When I first got into the prepping lifestyle the first thing I bought was a big can of TVP. I figured it was cheap. Since it had a 30 year shelf life so I could not go wrong…
I went WRONG…. Years later I actually opened the can and tried it. I hated it, and I did not know what to so with it.
Fast Forward a few years. I again am experimenting with how to make tofu. This is being done as an experiment with DIY Kitchen chemistry. Additionally, it is also as a way to eat healthier. I had the idea to see if I could make TVP
What is TVP?
Basically Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a meat replacement or meat extender made from defatted soy flour. This is what is left after you squeeze out soybean oil. TVP is also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya meat
Its popular in food storage because it is cheap, quick to cook, contains no fat. Additionally, it has a protein content equal to that of real meat.
Making TVP is an industrial process where hot soy flour is extruded into various shapes (chunks, flakes, nuggets, grains, and strips) and sizes. The defatted thermoplastic proteins are heated to 150-200°C, which breaks them into a fibrous, insoluble, porous mass that can soak up as much as three times its weight in liquids.
How TVP is Used
TVP can be mixed with ground meat to a ratio of up to 1:3 (rehydrated TVP to meat) without reducing the quality of the final product.
TVP is primarily used as a meat substitute due to its very low cost at less than a third the price of ground beef, and when cooked together will help retain more weight from the meat by absorbing juices normally lost.
Now, this process is beyond my scope, but in doing research caused by my picking up that bean book I figured if I can make tofu I surely can make TVP, so I searched until I found a recipe that gave me a workaround to make a product that is very similar in usage to real TVP.
A Homemade Workaround to DIY TVP
Basically I froze my homemade tofu for 48 hours to give it that meat like texture I discussed earlier. I then let it thaw and once that was done, I simply crumbled it up. If I was making chili or burgers or whatever, I could then mix the thawed tofu crumbles with my meat right then. However, to make the TVP I would need to dehydrate it.
In the dehydrator, the tofu dried very quickly and resembled the hamburger rocks I made a few months ago. The only difference was that the TVP was lighter in color, and did not have a taste. However, that’s a good thing, as the pores created in the freezing process will suck up the cooking water and make the TVP take on the flavor of whatever you a cooking it with.
Next time I make chili, I will tell you how it turns out.