Textured Vegetable Protein: TVP Long-Term Storage Meat Substitute

Unless you're a hardcore vegan, you may not have come across textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a potential food substance before. However, when you're making your long term food plans, it will quickly become a key part of your diet. It's made from superheated soybean flour that is then shaped and cooled which allows it to be stored for years on end without it going bad.

Key Benefits

Reading a description of textured vegetable protein may not make your mouth water but it represents a great alternative to buying tons of canned meat or as a way of getting protein when your game hunting isn't going so well. Textured vegetable protein also has the following benefits over canned meat:

Flavorings

When you buy canned beef, you'll get canned beef at the end. When you buy textured protein, it will often come with its own flavoring pack that will turn the bland substance into whatever meat you might need for that meal. The flavorings are added before you add the boiling water and you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference in taste.

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Already Flavored

Most long term storage food providers that produce TVP, will usually do the flavoring before it is packed in #10 cans. So you would look for Chicken-flavored TVP or Sausage-flavored TVP, and not have to worry about messing with a flavoring packet.

Disease free

Once out in the open, and indeed before it is packaged away, meat is susceptible to all sorts of diseases and infections which can be easily transferred to humans. These include diseases such as E.Coli, which could easily be fatal without the benefits of modern medicine. Vegetable protein doesn't suffer the same problem making it a much safer option for your cooking.

Return on Weight

With canned meat, what you see is what you get. A tin of chicken bits that weighs a pound will give you a pound of chicken bits. The freeze dried appearance of the vegetable protein means that you'll get a three or four times return, meaning that a tub holding a pound of protein will become three pounds of ground beef protein when you've added the boiling water.

Cooking with Textured Vegetable Protein TVP

Admittedly, you have to make some creative twists to your cooking when you use textured vegetable protein. You can't use the juices from it as you would with meat and you need to prepare it ahead of time instead of being able to throw it in as you would with meat into a casserole. However, it's easy to get ready. When you're ready for it, you simply add boiling water and you have a substance that has a similar or higher protein content than meat that you can use in your cooking in exactly the same way.

If you leave it without flavorings it can taste bland but it's super absorbent meaning that it will take on the flavor of whatever it's being cooked in. This means that you can add a bit of flavor by being thoughtful about your use to rehydrate it. If you use beef stock, you'll get a heavy beefy flavor, while if you add some hot sauce to the water, you'll give it a kick making it perfect for a Mexican style dish.

As with any long term storage survival foods, you will need to experiment with textured vegetable protein ahead of time. This will give you an idea of how to get the best out of it, which of your favorite recipes will need editing to incorporate it and to get the members of your survival party used to the texture.

While it tastes like meat, the texture can feel slightly different which may be off putting. However, in a survival situation, your party will need to be able to eat to get the protein on board, so you should give them some opportunities to try it ahead of time, especially if you've got younger children in your group.

Even if you balk at the idea of TVP-remember it could be worth buying at least a can or 3. While surviving you could be dealing with a medical emergency, fixing a collapsed shelter etc. and the last thing you need is to provide a square meal for your hungry campers at the end of an impossible day. TVP provides a solid backup to get a good filling meal in an easy and efficient way.




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