Black eyed peas are flavorful, hearty, and surprisingly healthy. Make this black-eyed peas recipe in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Black-eyed peas are a staple in Southern cooking. Growing up, my Mother served them every year on New Years day. Of course as a child, I protested but it didn’t matter, I still had to eat at least one spoonful. These days, there’s no protest: I actually like black-eyed peas and closing out 2020, I could use the luck.
New Years Day Luck
A popular southern tradition is eating black-eyed peas on New Years day. The reasoning behind this is debatable & I’m not interested in debating it. Personally I was raised to think that we ate black-eyed peas on New Years because they look like coins & symbolized prosperity and good luck. Eating black-eyed peas along with greens meant for a financially prosperous new year.
What Are Black-Eyed Peas & Are They Healthy?
Black-eyed peas are legumes and yes, black-eyed peas are healthy. They are not only a great source of fiber and protein, they are also a good source of complex carbs which provides energy and can aid weight loss.
Another New Years day tradition for good luck is to eat pork. This is because pigs root forward, the same direction we should be moving in the new year. Hence the addition of pork in this recipe. I use a ham hock. If you can’t find or don’t want to use ham hock, you can substitute 8 ounces of cooked bacon or diced, cooked ham. If you do not eat pork, you can also use smoked poultry like smoked turkey legs or wings. This black-eyed peas recipe can easily be made vegan or vegetarian. To do so, use vegetable broth and omit the meat all together.
Dry Or Canned Black-Eye Peas
This black-eyed peas recipe is best made with dried black-eyed peas. The best part…NO pre-soak! That’s right, after you rinse the black-eyed peas, add them directly to the slow cooker or Instant Pot. You can use canned peas. If you choose to use canned peas, be sure to buy enough. 15-ounces of canned black-eyed peas is not the same as 16 ounces of dried black-eyed peas. You will need at least four 15-ounce cans of black-eyed peas. Canned black-eyed peas are cooked so if you use canned, you can cut the cooking time by an hour for the slow cooker and 20 minutes for the Instant Pot. Also, if you use canned, drain & rinse them first. I suggest you use dried black-eyed peas.
Other soul food recipes you might enjoy:
- 16 ounces dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 8 ounces ham hock
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oil (for the pressure cooker)
- 1 bay leaf
- Add the black-eyed peas, broth, water, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne, bay leaf, and hot sauce (if using) to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well. Add the ham hock.
- Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the ham hock. Shred the meat and stir the shredded meat back to into the slow cooker.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.
- Turn on the pressure cooker and select sauté. Once hot add the oil & the onion and cook a few minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add black-eyed peas, broth, water, bay leaf, salt, cumin, cayenne, pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Stir to mix well. Add the ham hock.
- Close lid and seal valve. Cook high pressure for 45 minutes. Natural release pressure for 15 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the ham hock. Shred the meat and stir the shredded meat back to into the Instant Pot.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.
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