Mother Earth Monday – TVP

I have previously discussed the use of Beef Gravel as an option for your outdoor meals. I would like to add another option to this list in the form of TVP. TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein. I don’t generally advocate things as heavily processed as this, but I do have to admit it is extremely useful for long distance hikes and prepared camp foods well in advance.

Where beef gravel lasts a long time, dry TVP is a lot like pasta and will stick around for nearly an eternity. It hydrates a little quicker than beef gravel. Unlike beef gravel, it brings nothing to the party outside of protein and texture. This can be a bane or a boon depending on what you are cooking. If something has strong flavor like pasta sauce, it will make you feel like you are eating beef. If it is something mildly flavored, it may be less appealing.

TVP comes in a number of forms, though the two most common in my experience have been rough crumbles or pellets with an unappealing resemblance to dog food. Obviously I favor the visual of the former, but also it hydrates better and takes on the flavor of what it is with more readily. It is a good item to have in your coffers, just don’t expect it to be more than it is. Still, between the Beef Gravel and TVP, you are going to need those heavy packs of chicken and tuna far less often.

What are your thoughts?