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General information and discussion about cultivating beans, peas, peanuts, clover and vetch.

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Old February 10, 2017   #1
MuddyToes
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Default How to eat cowpeas

I put this question in the MMMM Questions thread but didn't get an answer. Trying again here.

I got 21 Pea and Red Rippers from the MMMM Bean Swap. I think they will love the heat and humidity here. My question is, are the pods edible like Chinese long beans, or are they too tough or not palatable? Would they be work in a stir fry or should I save them for soups and stews. Also, if anyone has a favorite recipe for cowpeas, I would appreciate your sharing. We didn't eat these growing up. I don't know the best way to prepare them. My mom only cooked snap beans with ham and boiled potatoes. All the other veggies we had came from a can.
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Old February 10, 2017   #2
rhines81
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When I see cow peas, I am thinking about black-eye peas. I just buy the cans at the supermarket, too much trouble to rinse, soak and cook fresh. I do not think the pods would be edible, but I could be wrong.

1 can drained with a pat of butter heated up, and eat ... a very healthy, balanced food!
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Old February 11, 2017   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyToes View Post
I put this question in the MMMM Questions thread but didn't get an answer. Trying again here.

I got 21 Pea and Red Rippers from the MMMM Bean Swap. I think they will love the heat and humidity here. My question is, are the pods edible like Chinese long beans, or are they too tough or not palatable? Would they be work in a stir fry or should I save them for soups and stews. Also, if anyone has a favorite recipe for cowpeas, I would appreciate your sharing. We didn't eat these growing up. I don't know the best way to prepare them. My mom only cooked snap beans with ham and boiled potatoes. All the other veggies we had came from a can.
Mostly as shelly beans or dried mature beans. You can, and I also do this, is pick some of the thin ones and snap them into the fresh shelly beans. The very young pods are pretty tender. As the pod ages and the "peas" get bigger, the pod toughens up to where you don't want to eat it- but the chickens and hogs like them.

Red Rippers make good gravy as they cook. I just cook most cowpeas with either smoked ham hock, fat back or a ham bone, garlic and onion, s& p to taste.

I sometimes will make an odd dish that has okra, tomatoes and whatever vegetables I have laying about, all cooked together, take the side meat off any bones or dice the fat back, cook until thickened and serve over rice - sort of a b a s ta rdized gumbo.

That, with some corn bread or biscuits will load you up for an afternoon's work, or in my case, a nap!
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Old February 11, 2017   #4
AlittleSalt
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Cowpeas as in Black Eyed Peas - the hulls are edible, but you use them as snaps. I pick them when they are still small and tender. The way I cook a bag of Black eyed peas is by checking that there is not chunks of dirt or tiny rock. Rinse them in cold water, and cook them as you would cook pinto beans. They usually take about an hour depending on how high the burner is set. About half way through cooking them, add the snaps cut into bite size pieces, and then bacon if you like it.

Growing Black Eyed Peas in a small garden - just grow them for the snaps - they freeze very well. Otherwise, it takes a LOT of Black Eyed pea plants to make a pound of dried shelled peas, and it turns into a chore shelling them. Just buy them in the bag - they cost around a dollar.

If you got some in the swap called, "Sugar Snap" you eat them shell and all.

Here's a link to Peas http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/peas/

Another for Cowpeas http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/cowpeas/

lol, I was typing as Imp was.
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Old February 11, 2017   #5
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Thanks Imp and Salt. Bacon, corn bread and gravy sounds like heaven. I suspect they will grow well here. The yardlong beans are in the same family and I got a decent harvest from those.
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Old February 11, 2017   #6
BigVanVader
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I quit growing beans after 1 season, way to much trouble for very little reward. I just buy them ready to heat up and add a few things like fatback or a hambone.
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Old February 11, 2017   #7
JohnJones
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Growing up, Pink Eye Purple Hull Cowpeas WERE peas to me. Both of my Grannys grew large pea patches and we shelled em on the porch and cooked em up or put em up.

But, with the availability of large bags of fresh shelled peas at my local produce stand in late summer and fall, as others have said, it's just too much trouble to grow them out. Takes a lot of productive garden real estate.

Mature purple hulls are still one of my very favorite foods. I just put a quart of peas in with water and bring them to a boil and lower to a simmer. Let them go 45 minutes or so and they will produce a tasty pot liquor. I rarely add the same things twice. Almost always bacon fat, salt and pepper and often butter, cayenne pepper sauce or flakes and whatever other seasoning strikes my fancy. Spooned over fresh sliced cornbread with a sliced mater and they are an essential comfort food for me.

I would be interested to hear about what you are able to make of the young peas. Hope it goes well if you grow them.
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Old February 11, 2017   #8
Worth1
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Cook but not to mush and make cold pea salad with them.
I see no extra trouble cooking dried peas of any kind.
They dont take forever like beans do.
My favorite is brown crowder peas.
These types are all varieties of cow peas.
The Chinese yard long bean is a cow pea not a bean.

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Old February 11, 2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I quit growing beans after 1 season, way to much trouble for very little reward. I just buy them ready to heat up and add a few things like fatback or a hambone.
BVV, you're right. Unless you can grow them by the acre, I didn't think they were worth the space. I buy mine from Camellia Brand, from Louisiana. They offer free shipping with a $25 order. I love their Lady Cream peas and Crowders!

Here's a link: http://www.camelliabrand.com/product...-peas-lentils/
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Old February 11, 2017   #10
dmforcier
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I eat my peas with honey.
I've done it all my life.
Yes it does taste funny but
it keeps them on the knife.
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Old February 11, 2017   #11
Zeedman
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For the cowpeas listed in the OP, I would agree with Imp's suggestion of shellies. Those are large peas, well suited to shelling when mature, but not yet dry.

21 Peas & Red Ripper are allegedly the same cultivar; I've only grown 21 Peas, so can't vouch for the comparison personally. Be prepared for very long, rampant vines, which can be trained onto a trellis. In my climate, the yield was nothing special; so I would have to agree with others who said the same. IMO still worth growing for the fresh shellies, but for dry beans, there are many other varieties with a better yield, and a smaller footprint.
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Old February 11, 2017   #12
PhilaGardener
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21 Peas went right up a short trellis for me and were quite good as shellies!
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Old February 11, 2017   #13
Tracydr
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We eat either fresh shelled or dried,just like other dried beans. Usually I make them very simply,boiled and maybe a little ham/onions and garlic,or chiles,or just plain with butter.
We like limas a bit better but I buy peas and limas at our local produce stand. They keep them frozen when not in season and must have a machine to shell them.
I will be growing some this year but probably more limas in my open spaces. They both do great and heat and humidity.
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Old February 11, 2017   #14
MuddyToes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
We like limas a bit better but I buy peas and limas at our local produce stand. They keep them frozen when not in season and must have a machine to shell them.
I will be growing some this year but probably more limas in my open spaces. They both do great and heat and humidity.
I have plans for a big variety of limas. They did well here last year, too.

I like all kinds of beans.

Thanks for the cooking tips.
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Old February 11, 2017   #15
MuddyToes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Cook but not to mush and make cold pea salad with them.
I see no extra trouble cooking dried peas of any kind.
They dont take forever like beans do.
My favorite is brown crowder peas.
These types are all varieties of cow peas.
The Chinese yard long bean is a cow pea not a bean.

Worth
Good idea. I made potato and pea sprout salad for dinner tonight with green peas. I will try it with cow peas this summer.
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