I love black-eyed peas. They’re nutritious, full of fiber, and fill me up! Nothing like slow-cooked black-eyed peas during the cold months.
Since moving to Arkansas, oh, over 20 years ago, I’ve learned that people around here tend to like purple hull peas better than black-eyed peas. One of my Master Gardener instructors told me an interesting story. The University of Arkansas has a pea station where it grows all kinds of peas. Whenever it invites the public to come and pick the peas, they only pick purple hull, much to the researchers’ dismay. Arkansans love purple hull, and I don’t think any amount of research will change that (and it shouldn’t be!).
Since I try to eat close to home as possible, I freeze purple hull and black-eyed peas whenever they’re in season. It’s easy to freeze them. Here’s what you do:
- Shell peas.
- Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes.
- Cool immediately; drain well.
- Pack, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom.
- Seal; freeze.
Last year I froze about 5 bags of purple hull and black-eyed peas. They came very handy in the winter whenever I whipped up a batch of slow-cooked black-eyed peas. (Have I told you how much I love that recipe?)
So this weekend, grab peas of your choice at the Certified Arkansas Farmers’ Market and freeze them!