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Black Eyed Peas with Luck for New Year’s Eve!

March 27, 2017

Need one more side dish to complete your final holiday meal for the year? Need something traditionally “New Year’s” and also super delicious? How about something superstitious that will bring you luck in the New Year? Bring on the Black Eyed Peas!

I lived in the south-eastern US for a few years, and while there I was introduced to the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for New Year’s. Apparently, according to southern folklore, you should make black eyed peas the first food you eat on New Year’s Day (read: eat it at midnight) to bring prosperity and luck throughout the entire next year.

The catch is that you have to eat at least 365 black eyed-peas, or not all of your days will be covered. Also there is a tradition of putting a shiny penny in just before serving, and whoever gets that little token will be the luckiest one of all!

 I love black-eyed peas (with ketchup!) so I eat them year-round, not just at the beginning… so luckily I know a few great ways to prepare them for maximum flavor and nutrition. VitaClay is great for black-eyed peas, because like other legumes, they should be soaked before being cooked to neutralize phytates and unlock nutrients for our bodies.  

How to Soak Black Eyed Peas

To soak, simply cover the dried black eyed peas with water in the clay pot, set to “warm” for about 10 minutes, then turn it off, cover it up and let it sit a few hours. To boost the soaking power, add an acidic medium like a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

How to Make Black Eyed Peas

After you’ve soaked for a few hours, they’re ready to cook (and now they’ll cook faster, too!) Just strain the water and add fresh water—or even better, broth—and a few spices like turmeric, kelp granules, no-salt spice blend—whatever you like that will add flavor and nutrients. You can add bacon too, for a bit more flavor.

 Once you’ve got your black eyed peas cooking, there are a few options for the final dish:

  • Plain (garnished with sea salt, ketchup and/or hot sauce, and sometimes served with greens such as collards or mustard)
  • Texas Caviar: A Mexican flair: chop up some onions, tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, bell peppers, avocadoes, cilantro, and a bit of Italian dressing. Mix it up and serve with tortilla chips
  • Black Eyed Pea Salad: After they cool, add sea salt, chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Mix and dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Hoppin John: Cook the black eyed peas with rice and a ham hock, and add in whatever veggies you like: it’s really a full meal!

 

Do you eat black eyed peas for New Year’s? How do you make it?

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