Beans and Cowpeas


Beans are protein rich legumes of varying varieties and sub-varieties, belonging to the family of plants called Fabaceae. There are also called cowpeas. Pulses and lentils also belongs to this family of plants.

Picture of Beans

Interestingly, they are all kidney shaped.

There are the white variety, kidney type, red and black eye variety to mention a few.

If you want to see a few more types of these legumes, follow through by clicking on the picture. Remember to return here to read about these fabulous pulses.

These nutritious seeds feature regularly in African foods all over the continent as far back as 5,000 years ago in early Egyptian civilizations to date. A combination of rice and beans is commonly eaten everyday by millions of people.

They contain more protein than is found in egg or fish. In terms of quality, the proteins found in these legumes are of the same quality as that found in meat, or milk.

Can you see so many reasons to include this delicious seeds in your meal?

Cowpeas and rice cooked together has been advocated as a very rich but inexpensive dish that can be used to wipe out malnutrition by the United Nations.

Black eye pea is popular in south of America, and still eaten on New Year day in commemoration of this plant helping in the survival from hunger during the American Civil war.

Cowpeas find use in several kinds of African and Jamaican dishes.

It can be boiled on its own and served with stew as a main meal. It is also boiled in combination with maize (fresh sweet corn)or even grounded and used in making:

  • Bean cake (akara)

  • Moi-moi

  • Soup like Adalu

  • ówo, and gbegiri soups in West Africa,

  • Koki in Central Africa and

  • Mbaazi wa Nazi in East Africa.

There are remarkable rich in calcium, folic acid (often prescribed as folic acid tablet for pregnant women) and vitamin A.

Do you also know that these legumes have very low fat content, and if well cooked, will provide a weight losing diet and prevent obesity?

Because of the tremendous energy that is involved in preparing most of these recipes, modern technology has made it possible to get your cowpea in flour forms, ready to use. Look out for these when shopping next time.

How to enjoy a meal of Beans

Peas are very low in fat and packed full of protein and other nutrients.

Many refrain from eating these legumes because of the tendency to cause bloating and trapped wind and excessive farting.

The solution to this is to soak the beans overnight for about 6-8 hours. This also helps to reduce the cooking time. What it also does is to help remove some otherwise potentially toxic component of these legumes called lectins from some species that have high concentration of this chemical.

Soaking for a long time will facilitate the digestion later.

Avoid cooking your cowpeas with potash, as it removes most of the nutrients, especially vitamin B12.

You can order the regular plain black eye beans here

We stock the sweet variety of bean called ewa oloyin in Yoruba. If you need a supply urgently, it can be obtained from our African food shop .

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