According to a recent poll, almost two-thirds of Americans are concerned that the price of food will skyrocket within the next year and almost 9 out of 10 say that their prices on staples, such as meat, have already risen to the point of discomfort.
With the economy still in flux, many Americans are now concerned about how they will be able to put nutritious food on the table for their families in the coming months.
One way to save money on your groceries is to supplement what you spend on meat by using textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP. By adding TVP to your ground meat, including when you make burgers or meatloaf, you will stretch your food bill by using less meat, thereby saving money on your overall weekly or monthly grocery spending.
Besides the advantage to your wallet, saving you money for something more enjoyable than grocery shopping, you'll realize advantages to your family's health and to their waistlines!
Unlike oatmeal and other supplements, textured vegetable protein is high in body-strengthening protein so you won’t lose any nutrition by using less meat. But, compared to ground meat, textured vegetable protein is low in calories, and it contains no dangerous cholesterol or harmful fat. By supplementing ground meat with TVP, you’ll reduce calorie and fat intake for you and your family and realize healthy waist-trimming results.
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is very easy to use and takes less than three minutes to prepare. It is a soy product, made from de-fatted soy flour, and is available in most major supermarkets. You can also buy textured vegetable protein online. Because TVP comes dehydrated, resembling little nuggets, it will keep in your cupboard until you are ready to use it.
Cup for cup, you’ll be using TVP like you would ground meat, while cutting the ground meat in half. For example, if you normally make burgers using about a cup of ground meat, you can cut back on the meat by about half a cup. To supplement, you’ll use about a half cup of TVP. Likewise, if you make a meatloaf using about two cups of ground meat, cut back by a cup of meat and supplement with a cup of TVP.
Here’s how to make the TVP ready to add to the ground meat (this takes less than three minutes):
1. Measure the amount of dried TVP you’ll be using and put it into a small pot.
2. Heat the same amount of water in a teapot or pan; you don’t have to be exact in measurement and it’s actually better to use just slightly less water than TVP.
3. When the water is very hot (it doesn’t have to be boiling), slowly pour it over the dried TVP while stirring.
4. Over medium heat, continue stirring the TVP and water mixture until all visible water disappears. This takes just a couple of minutes.
5. Remove to a heat-safe bowl or container. Add your ground meat, seasonings, and other ingredients as you normally would and then prepare and cook according to your recipe.
By cutting the ground meat you would normally use in half, or less, you will be able to stretch your money through these trying times. You will also reduce calories and fat to fit into that favorite outfit!
TVP can also be used by itself, without the ground meat, as a great-tasting meat substitute. Just re-hydrate it as described above, using about one cup water to one cup dried TVP, and use it just like ground meat!