Herbal Healer

Herbal Healer: What are black-eyed peas?

2012-11-07T21:00:00Z Herbal Healer: What are black-eyed peas?Ted PanDeva Zagar Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 07, 2012 9:00 pm  • 

Technically a bean rather than a pea, the black-eyed pea has been cultivated in China and India since prehistoric times. By 1674 this nutritious legume had reached the Western Hemisphere via slaves forcibly relocated from their West African homeland. It conquered Southern cuisine just as the Northern Army was conquering the Confederate South; by ignoring corn and beans as animal feed as they were hauling off everything else considered edible, the hungry, marauding troops of General Sherman assured the survival and success of the black-eyed pea in kitchens across Dixie.

What does it do?

As legumes, black-eye peas enrich the soil by adding nitrogen. Extremely nutritious—its calcium, folate and pre-vitamin A levels being exceptionally high—this humble bean earned the enthusiastic backing of noted plant scientist George Washington Carver. One serving—a half cup—delivers a whopping 20 grams of protein (about 40% of the daily requirement for adult males). Mixed with an inexpensive grain like rice, the black-eyed pea adds up to a mealtime offering that guarantees complete protein. So good in taste and texture and so good for you, the black-eyed pea has become a New Year’s symbol of good luck in many cultures. The Babylonian Talmud encourages Jews to enjoy black-eyed peas during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. In other traditions, eating 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day was thought to assure good fortune for every day in the coming year.

About the herb

Native to West Africa, the black-eyed pea spread across the ancient world and into modern cookbooks worldwide. Pale in color with a prominent black spot, this kidney-shaped bean bears a resemblance to the eye. Requiring no pre-soaking, this legume is appreciated by chefs for its rapid preparation and cooking time. Thomas Jefferson—the president noted for his devotion to agriculture—praised the black-eyed pea as an “excellent food for man and beast.”

Recommended Dosage

Serve sprouted black-eyed peas with your wholesome raw vegetable salad, or factor the lightly cooked legume into any dish to add a snappy flavor, a smooth texture and a respectable level of health-enhancing nutrients. Black-eyed peas can also be dried, ground into flour and used as a thickener when baking flat breads.

The opinions expressed are solely the writer’s. NOTE: Visit herbalastrology.com to read Ted PanDeva Zagar’s other articles and columns that discuss the benefits of herbs and natural foods. DISCLAIMER: The author’s comments are not intended to serve as medical advice, and he urges his readers to seek qualified wellness professionals to resolve matters of health.

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