Zero to one-eighty. Black and white. It’s how I roll. There are no 87 degrees or shades of gray. This is precisely why after reading a single recipe made with textured vegetable protein (TVP) I became instantaneously obsessed, and bought two bags of it. Before ever having tried it.
That recipe was for a TVP risotto, which I used as inspiration to make butternut squash and sage TVP risotto, or “soysotto” as I cleverly named it (humor me here, please?) Most people use TVP a substitute for ground meat in dishes like tacos, chili, or bolognese, but I quite like it as risotto. I also quite liked it’s nutty crunchiness dry, raw, and straight out of the bag. Nowhere on the internet does it say you can or should eat TVP raw (I checked), but as a rule of thumb, I like to go big or go home. Upon tasting that satisfyingly crispy bite, I was almost positive I recognized it
as an ingredient in my beloved ZonePerfect protein bars. I say that with about 99.9% confidence. Zone bars list “soy protein nuggets” as an ingredient which I can only deduce is another term for TVP granules.
If “soy protein nuggets” contain “soy protein isolate” (according to the lable) and “TVP” lists “defatted soy flour” as the ingredient, wouldn’t it seem they are one in the same? I tend to think that if you wanted to isolate soy protein, you’d need to remove the fat.
Anyway, as I was crunching on raw TVP while getting ready to make my risotto, my mind was already racing to the next big thing. It seemed obvious to me that TVP would be great in a healthy cookie or energy balls. So obvious that I couldn’t imagine I was the first to think of it.
But maybe I was. Because Google didn’t turn up much of anything like what I was looking for.
So I plowed ahead and did what felt right: classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies. There’s really no better words for these than “ridiculously, uncontrollably addicting.” This time, I changed things up. I bulked them up with protein by swapping some of the oats for TVP, and slimmed them down with stevia and almond milk. Naturally, these changes resulted in a cookie I could feel good about eating. Practically sugar-free, high in good fat and protein, yet sinfully delicious, one or two of these babies make a perfect nighttime treat. But that’s really the only difference between these healthy no-bake cookies and the ones I remember fondly from my childhood. As usual, I struggled licking the sweet, fudge-like batter from the spoon even though it burned my tongue. As usual, I couldn’t wait for them to cool completely before diving into one. And as usual, I was beyond disappointed when they disappeared much too quickly.
No Bake Cookies (Vegan, High Protein, Sugar-Free)
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup NuNaturals Stevia MoreFiber Blend + 1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals pure powdered stevia extract*
3 tablespoons all-natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain oats
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
*or other sweetener of choice to equal the sweetness of 1 cup of sugar
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, toss together the oats, crisp rice cereal, and TVP.
In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, almond milk, and stevia. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined sheet, and slightly flatten them. Let cool until firm, about 1-2 hours.
Store cookies in an air-tight container.
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 5.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 60.1 mg
Potassium 18.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 4.0 g
I’ve shared this recipe with Amy for her Slightly Indulgent Tuesday feature on 5/31.