Begging for help with black-eyed pea pods!

gardeningwithnoskill(Oviedo, FL)January 3, 2010

I just picked a bunch of black-eyed pea pods from my square foot garden and I have NO clue what to do with them. Some are sort of dry and brown, some are not so dry, but are greenish brown and some are more greenish.


I put them in the fridge overnight and now they're on the counter. Do I open the pods?? And if I do, what do I do with the peas inside? I have some black-eyed pea recipes, but I have no clue if it means the raw peas right from the pod... or is there some drying process?

I literally have no clue what to do with this bag of pea pods and I read that you need to do whatever you do with peas right away... it's been about 18 hrs since they've been picked.

Thanks so much!

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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Well, I don't have experience with black-eyed peas in particular, but they're a bean, basically... So I would go ahead and shuck them out of their shells and cook 'em up.

Your recipes may call for dried, canned or fresh beans depending. If it doesn't actually say, look at how long the beans are supposed to be cooked- if it's only a few minutes then the recipe is probably for canned beans. In that case you would need to cook your beans first. If it is a long time (like an hour or so) then the recipe is likely for dried beans. In that case you would need to check your beans earlier than the recipe says because fresh beans cook faster than dried.

I have had fresh black-eyed peas from the market here, and they did go funky kind of quickly in the fridge, but we're talking a couple of days, not hours. :) Hope this helps, and hopefully someone more knowledgable will give you some more info!



    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 12:57PM
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Yep, they need to be shelled. To the best of my knowledge there is nothing you can use those shells for.
After shelling (I use a pea sheller attached to a hand mixer base)wash, sort, and freeze for later use. You can also cook and can instead of freezing.
If you know someone with a pea sheller it would save you a world of time. Otherwise, grab 2 bowls and find a good movie, split the pods lengthwise (the dryer ones will be easier) and remove the peas.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 1:00PM
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Cowpeas come in 3 basic variations, green shell types, dry types, and snap (mostly known as yardlong) types. All of the dry types can be picked in the green mature stage and shelled.

Pick your peas dry on the vine if you want to shell them and store them as dry peas. These peas can then be cooked in water for about an hour to prepare them for eating. They need a bit of seasoning such as salt, pepper, or hot pepper.

Pick your peas green mature if you want them to taste the best. Shell them and cook them in water for about 45 minutes. Serve with homemade cornbread and other veggies. Season as above.

Pick yardlong peas before green mature stage for best snaps. The snaps can be cooked like green beans in water for about 40 minutes. They can also be seasoned as above but you can add a bit of onion or garlic or even cook some new potatoes in them.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 1:44PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As Dar said you have a choice of using them as "picked green and shelled" (often called shellies or shelled peas) for fresh eating or dried on the vine for dry storage. Best not to mix the two as they require very different cooking times before eating. ;)

Down here black-eyed peas are almost always allowed to dry completely on the vine and stored as dry peas. That is the easiest. Then cooked as you would any dried bean or pea. We always harvest a couple of meals while still in the young green pod stage for fresh eating and let the rest dry on the vine.

You will know they are ready to be harvested when the pods are brown, dry, and the peas rattle in the pods.

Just posted our recipe for Hoppin' John, a traditional New Year dish made with black-eyed peas, over on the Harvest forum here. Check it out. ;)


    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 3:18PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Just a note, if your peas are the green kind (my favorites), they may not need an entire hour of cooking. The cream peas I plant will usally be tender in about 30 minutes. The only way to know is to check them. An 80 year old woman in my church taught me how to cook them: remove them from the shells. Put them in a boiler and cover with water. Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil, a heaping teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are tender. Boy, oh boy, would I love to have some of them fresh right now! :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 2:32PM
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I love black-eyed peas, I always use fresh (green) I don't use the shells. I put them in a sauce pan with chicken stock, bacon cut into small pieces and cubed potatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes :) it's heaven on earth

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 11:34AM
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Blackeyes are not the preferred cowpea down here, but most folks who use them do it as green shellies. Pinkeye Purple hulls are more popular, a liitle more flavor and the pods are a bit more tender young. Blackeyes can be used as snaps, but you have to pick the pods early.
A pot of cream peas with snaps

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 11:46AM
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Now I'm craving blackeyed peas and have to wait until this summer :/ lol

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 3:18PM
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I planted black eyed peas from seed this year. The plants sprouted, got almost a foot tall, and then exploded into growth. I have beans everywhere! Obviously, you have to harvest daily. Its interesting to read some of the responses to the question. I shelled half of a gallon freezer bag and don't know exactly what to do with them. No one wants to eat BEP's everyday so I need to know how to store the peas that will come. I grew up on bagged dry peas and, when mama was in a hurry, canned peas. I would like to keep some to use as seed for next year. Kinda lost here...are there "stages" in the peas once they're picked? Please help!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 4:21PM
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