Similar to other beans, black-eyed peas can be soaked but it’s not necessary. I usually forget to soak the beans which just lengthens the cook time. Just make sure you rinse the peas well before cooking.
Buy beans out of bins you know have quick turnover or from companies that go through inventory at a quick pace. Two of my favorites: Bob’s Red Mill and Rancho Gordo.
Store dried beans in an airtight container, away from light. I prefer to keep my beans in glass jars, kept in my pantry cupboard. While beans can last for some time, I don’t have any beans older than a year in my pantry.
There are quite a few varieties of black-eyed peas that, for the most part, have a similar look. This is a good list of peas you can grow yourself!
Black-eyed peas (also called cowpeas or Southern peas) are a bit deceptive in nature given that these cute little peas are not really peas at all, but beans. These peas are popular especially in southern cuisine, eaten on New Year’s day for good luck. Normally black-eyed peas get the pairing with pork but these little beans are great from a vegetarian standpoint. Black-eyed peas are lovely in soups, stews, and casseroles.
Black-eyed peas are one of the quickest cooking beans and great for when you are in slightly more of a time crunch to get dinner on the table. You can freeze black eyed peas but I’ve found that the texture is a bit more mealy and turns to mush quicker.
Purchase Black-eyed Peas