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Black-eyed pea

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Beans blackeye

Black-eyed Beans have a scented aroma, creamy texture and distinctive flavor. These beans are characterized by their kidney shaped, white skin with a small black eye and very fine wrinkles. Originally from Africa, it is one of the most widely dispersed beans in the world. Black-eyed peas are really a type of pea, which gives it its distinctive flavor and rapid cooking potential, with no pre-soaking needed.

Black-eyed peas are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are low in sodium. They are high in potassium, iron, and fiber.

The black-eyed pea, also called black-eyed bean, blackeye, field peas, lobiya or chawli, is a subspecies of the cowpea, grown for its medium-sized edible bean, pale-colored with a prominent black spot. Its currently accepted botanical name is Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata, although previously it was classified in the genus Phaseolus. Vigna unguiculata subsp. dekindtiana is the wild relative and Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis is the related asparagus bean. Other beans of somewhat similar appearance, such as the "Frijol ojo de cabra" ("Goat's eye bean") of Northern Mexico are sometimes incorrectly called "black eyed peas" and vice versa.

Preparation Edit

Sort peas to remove foreign matter, such as small stones, and rinse in cold water. Soaking the beans not only makes the beans cook faster, but by discarding the soaking water gas-forming properties of the beans are lessened.

Cooking Edit

Rather than soaking blackeyes, cover the beans with sufficient water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Discard water and cook in beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. If your recipe calls for other ingredients, add them to the broth and beans mixture just as if you were cooking with plain water. Cooking time is about 45 minutes. Try it. Even long-term blackeye fans might prefer this cooking method.

Use approximately 1¾ quarts boiling water for each pound of soaked beans to be cooked. Cook for approximately ½ hour. Add additional boiling water if beans become dry. Drain, if desired. Serve tossed with butter (or margarine) and/or seasoning, or use in recipes. One ½ teaspoon of salt per pound of beans may be added, after cooking, if desired.

Storage Edit

Dry Black-Eyed Peas Edit

Store dry black-eyed peas in a cool, dry place off the floor. High temperatures cause hardening of the black-eyed peas; high humidity may cause mold.

Cooked Black-Eyed Peas Edit

Store cooked black-eyed peas in a covered non-metallic container and refrigerate. Use within 2 days. They can also be frozen.

Uses & Tips Edit

Black-eyed pea Recipes Edit

Sources Edit

  • Vegetable of the Month: Beans by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, public domain government resource—original source of Description section, Hot Soak and Gas Free Soak Methods & picture
  • Peas, Black-Eyed, Dry by the US Department of Agriculture, public domain government resource—original Source of Storage, Preparation, Quick/Overnight Soak Methods, Cooking and Uses & Tip Sections

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