The humble field pea, also known as cowpeas or black-eyed beans, has been eaten by humans throughout recorded history.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used them in their diets.
In recent years, more people have started eating them again because they’re packed full of nutrients like protein and fiber.
They’re also easy to prepare, making them perfect for busy families who don’t want to spend too much time preparing food.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Field Peas?
Field peas are versatile when it comes to cooking methods.
You can boil them, roast them, stir fry them, or even make them into soup.
Here’s how you should go about cooking your next batch of field peas.
- Remove any damaged pods from the pod before boiling.
- Don’t add salt until after the peas are cooked. Adding salt will toughen up the skins of the peas.
- Boil the field peas for at least 15 minutes (or until tender).
- If you plan on using them in another meal, let the cooked field peas cool completely before placing them in an airtight container.
- You can freeze fresh field peas in ice cube trays and then transfer them to freezer bags once frozen.
- When serving, reheat the field peas in water just until heated through.
- To avoid overboiling, use a large pot and lower the heat if necessary.
How to make soup out of field peas
Soup is one of the easiest ways to enjoy this versatile legume.
If you want to turn your leftover field peas into something new, here’s what you need to do:
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add enough water to cover the mixture and place it back in the pot.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue stirring occasionally until thickened.
- Stir in additional seasonings such as chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, etc., according to taste.
- Let the soup sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
How to make fried field peas
Fried field peas are tasty snacks that make great finger foods.
To get crispy, drain off excess moisture and coat each bean lightly with flour before frying them in oil.
Once done, remove them from the oil and serve immediately.
Here’s how to make fried field peas:
- Drain off any excess moisture from the raw field peas and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, pepper, and sugar in a bowl.
- Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, dredge half of the dried field peas in the cornmeal mix to coat them.
- Transfer the coated field peas to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any extra oil.
- Continue coating and frying the remaining field peas until golden brown.
- Let the finished product cool slightly before serving.
How to steam field peas
Steaming field peas is a quick and delicious method of preparation that doesn’t require much effort.
Just follow these steps:
- Cut open the top third of the outer shell of each field pea.
- Wash the inside of the shells thoroughly under running water.
- Place the cleaned field peas in a steamer basket set over a pan filled with 2 inches of water.
- Cover the pan tightly and bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Cook the field peas for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size, turning frequently so they cook evenly.
- After removing the field peas from the water, allow them to cool for several minutes before transferring them to an airtight container.
What Are Some Common Field Pea Recipes?
Field peas are often referred to as “black eyed beans” due to their dark coloration.
However, there are many different types of field peas available on grocery store shelves today.
These include green, yellow, red, and brown varieties.
They all taste very similar, so you shouldn’t need any special equipment or fancy ingredients to make your own delicious dishes using field peas.
You just need to know how to cook them properly!
1. Field Pea Soup Recipe
This is one of the simplest ways to enjoy field peas.
All you need to do is boil water until it boils over.
Then add the field peas and simmer for about 20 minutes.
When cooked, drain off excess liquid and pour into bowls.
Add salt and pepper if desired.
Serve warm or cold.
2. Baked Beans
Baked beans are another classic recipe that uses field peas.
To begin with, soak dried field peas overnight in enough water to cover them completely.
Drain and rinse well before cooking.
Next, combine 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 1/4 cup of ketchup in a medium saucepan.
Cook this mixture over low heat while stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Once cooled, transfer the ketchup mixture to a blender along with 1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans, 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato soup, 3 cups of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, 1/2 cup of molasses, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Blend everything together until smooth.
Pour the blended bean mixture back into the pan and bring it to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Once finished, remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally during cooling process.
When cooled, pour the baked beans into glass jars and place lids on top.
Store in refrigerator for up to three months.
5. Field Pea Salad Recipes
These simple salad recipes use field peas as the main ingredient.
Try these out when you go shopping for fresh produce.
- Green Bean and Field Pea Salad
- Sweet Potato and Field Pea Fritter Salad
- Chickpea and Field Pea Salad
- Cabbage and Red Lentil Dal with Indian Spices
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Field Peas?
Field peas contain high levels of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, zinc, folate, potassium, and antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, and vitamin E.
These micronutrients help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
They also provide essential amino acids, which include all 20 standard proteins required by our bodies.
Field peas are rich sources of thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), phosphorus, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
These components make up about 70% of the field pea seeds, while carbohydrates contribute roughly 12%.
Other parts of the seed include fats, fibers, and oils, but most of these substances aren’t digestible.
How Can Field Peas Be Incorporated Into A Healthy Diet?
Field peas are so nutritious, you should include them on your daily menu plan if possible.
If you eat them regularly, you might even find yourself craving them!
Here are just some of the ways in which you can incorporate them into your diet:
- Eat them raw. Raw field peas are delicious when sprinkled onto salads, but cooked versions taste great, too.
- Make soup out of them. You can use either dried or canned field peas to make soups. Just add water to cover, then simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add them to rice dishes. Cooked field peas work well with brown rice, white rice, quinoa, couscous, bulgur, or other grains.
- Try them as a snack. Boil up a batch of fresh field peas and serve them plain or mixed in with hummus. Or try adding them to trail mix.
- Mix them into bean burgers. Field peas are an excellent source of iron, so they’ll help boost your body’s ability to produce red blood cells.
- Scoop them straight from the pod and dip them in batter for fritters or breading.
- Toss them with pasta. Cook whole grain penne with tomato sauce, garlic, basil, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. When it comes to serving, toss the cooked field peas right into the pasta bowl before topping off with more sauce and grating over extra cheese.
What Are Some Tips For Cooking Field Peas?
If you’ve never cooked your own field peas before, here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right foot.
First off, know that most recipes call for dried field peas rather than fresh ones.
You should purchase dried field peas at your local grocery store, where you will find bags labeled “cowpeas” or “black eyed beans.”
If you buy frozen field peas instead, make sure they are organic.
Frozen peas take longer to cook, so it’s best to use them if you’re going to make a soup or stew.
You may notice that all recipes include salt.
Field peas are naturally salty, but this helps balance out any bitterness from the green plant matter (like leaves) which might be present in the pods.
Next, consider how long you plan to cook your field peas.
Cooking times vary depending on how old your field peas are, what type of pot you’ll be using, and whether you’ll be boiling, steaming, or roasting them.
Generally speaking, canned field peas require less cooking time than dry field peas do.
- Add one cup of water per two cups of field peas in a large saucepan over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan.
- Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the field peas are tender, drain and discard the liquid.
- Place the field peas in a metal bowl or pot with enough cold water to completely submerge the peas.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil then remove the bowl/pot from the stovetop.
- Cover the bowl/pot with a lid and steam the peas for 20 minutes.
- Drain the water from the bowl/pot.
- Add additional water to the bowl/pot to replace the water removed during the draining process.
- Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the desired amount of field peas are drained and ready to serve.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the field peas evenly across a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove the tray from the oven and let the field peas cool down before serving.
How Do Field Peas Compare To Other Types Of Peas?
Field peas are different from regular garden peas.
They tend to be smaller than most varieties of peas, but they’re still quite large compared to most bean varieties.
They’re also available year round, which means you can buy them at any grocery store without having to worry about what season it is.
In fact, if you grow your own vegetables, chances are good that you already know how to cook field peas.
You can use all kinds of recipes using field peas, so long as they’re cooked properly.
Here are just a few examples of dishes you can make with field peas:
- Crispy fried green tomatoes
- Green beans with roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese sauce
- Baked beans
- Pasta salad
- Pizza topping
- Fried chicken
What Are The Best Ways To Eat Field Peas?
Field peas can be prepared in many different ways, depending on what kind of meal you plan to serve it with.
- Soup – You can add the cooked field peas to your favorite soup recipes, such as minestrone or lentil soup.
- Stir fry – Add some oil to pan and sauté onions until translucent before adding garlic and ginger paste. Once everything is fragrant, add the field peas and stir fry until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Salad – Boil water and then cook the field peas over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Drain well and allow to cool completely. Combine with salad greens and dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Pasta – Cook pasta according to instructions on packet. When done cooking, drain excess liquid and combine with remaining ingredients (such as pesto) in a bowl. Serve hot.
- Crisps – Cut into strips and bake at 180° C/350° F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Baked potatoes – Bake whole potatoes at 200° C/400° F for around 30 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and scoop out insides, mash with butter and seasonings, and replace skins. Return to oven for another 15 minutes.
If you’d rather not use these dishes as part of your meal, there are plenty more options available!
Are Field Peas Good For You?
Field peas are one of the most nutritious foods on Earth.
They contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
In fact, some studies indicate that they may even help reduce your risk of cancer.
They’re high in calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin A, zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, magnesium, folate, pantothenic acid, selenium, and protein.
These nutrients make field peas one of the best plant sources of these important elements.
Because they’re so rich in nutrients, you should only consume about half an ounce per day.
That amount will give you enough energy to get through the rest of the day without feeling hungry or tired.
- Vitamin C (1,000 mg)
- Calcium (300–400 mg)
- Iron (18–24 mg)
- Zinc (7–11 mg)
- Copper (0.4 mg)
- Phosphorus (500–700 mg)
- Manganese (5–6 mg)
- Potassium (800–900 mg)
- Magnesium (100–200 mg)
- Folate (70 mcg)
- Pantothenic Acid (15 mg)
- Riboflavin (1.8 mg)
- Niacin (20 mg)
- Selenium (50 mcg)
- Thiamin (0.9 mg)
- Lutein + Zeaxanthin (1,000 mcg)
- Chlorophyll (30 mg)
- Beta Carotene (10 mg)
Other benefits from eating field peas include:
- May lower cholesterol levels
- Help prevent heart disease
- Promote healthy eyesight
- Improve bone density
- Lower blood pressure
How Do You Grow Field Peas?
You might think it would take a lot of work to grow your own field peas, but it doesn’t.
All you need are some seeds and a little bit of patience.
Here are instructions on how to plant and care for field peas.
- Sow the seed outdoors in early spring after the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C). You should use fresh, clean dirt from outside.
- Once you get past the first frost, water the plants regularly until they sprout leaves.
- When the pods start to form, snip off the top third of each pod using scissors so the plant will produce bigger pods later.
- Keep cutting the tops off every few days to encourage more growth. When the pods start growing larger, pluck out any bad ones.
- Continue harvesting the pods when they reach 2 inches long (5 centimeters) and leave the rest to mature into green beans.
- Field peas aren’t actually edible yet.
- They only become ready once they’ve reached maturity at about 6 inches (15 cm) long.
If you live where temperatures are consistently below freezing during winter months, however, you may find yourself having trouble germinating the seeds. In this case, consider planting them indoors in pots instead.
Caring for Field Peas Indoors
Growing field peas inside isn’t difficult, but there are still several steps involved before you harvest them.
First, make sure the room where you plan to grow your field peas stays between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 27 C), otherwise the seeds won’t germinate properly.
Second, keep an eye on the weather forecast if you know the temperature drops below 55 F (13 C) on cold nights because this could cause problems with germination.
For instance, if your area experiences snowfall during the night, you might not see much difference in temperature overnight, which could affect whether the seeds germinate correctly.
Even though you won’t notice any changes, the air temperature around the seeds remains colder than normal, creating less heat for the seeds to absorb.
Finally, remove all weeds from the potting mixture.
A large number of weed seeds can interfere with proper germination.
What Is The History Of Field Peas?
Cowpeas are one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history.
The first record of domesticated cowpeas comes from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) where farmers began cultivating them around 5,000 BC.
They were later spread across Europe through trade routes.
Cowpeas became popular among European peasants during the Middle Ages when they were grown on large farms.
During this period, cowpeas were often fed to livestock so they could produce enough milk to make cheeses.
This eventually led to an increase in people consuming cowpeas directly instead of just feeding it to animals.
Field peas were then reintroduced into modern times after being forgotten over centuries.
In 1882, the U.S. Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to plant them again because they had become extinct in America due to a fungus called Phytophthora infestans, which wiped out most varieties of legumes worldwide.
- 1 Pot
- 4 cups field peas
- ½ cups chicken
- ½ ounces salt pork
- 2 teaspoons bacon grease
- Salt and Peper
- Add 2 12 cups of water or chicken stock to a pot with 4 cups of fresh field peas. The peas should be barely covered in liquid.
- Add 2 tablespoons of bacon grease or 112 ounces of fat seasoning.
- Heat to a boil over medium-high.
- Remove foam if it starts to form.
- Boil for two minutes, then turn heat down. Cook peas for 25 to 30 minutes at a simmer, or until they are just soft but not overdone.
- For seasoning, taste.
- Serve on its own or alongside cornbread.