Warm, creamy and satisfying, black-eyed peas are a favorite Southern staple. A bag of dried peas is easily customizable to suit your tastes. You can add vegetables, meat, and any herbs and spices you enjoy to make this meal all your own. Unlike other types of dried beans, black-eyed peas cook relatively quickly and don't require time-consuming soaking beforehand. Simply combine the peas with liquid in your slow cooker, and you'll have a hot dinner ready in under 4 hours. Serve the beans on a bed of rice for a complete, filling meal.
Sort through the dried peas carefully and remove any debris or blemished specimens, including partial peas.
Rinse the beans thoroughly under cold, running water.
Combine the peas with the liquid in the slow cooker. You may use plain water, or opt for chicken or vegetable stock for a flavor boost. You'll need about 3 cups of water for every cup of dried peas.
Add aromatics and spices to the slow cooker for an ultra-flavorful dish. Sliced onions, minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme, cumin and chili powder all make excellent additions. You can even toss in diced vegetables like carrots, celery or canned tomatoes, if you wish.
Set the slow cooker to high and cook the peas until they are tender, about 3 to 4 hours. Season the peas with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Try adding a ham bone, ham hock, or cooked, crumbled bacon to the peas while they cook for a burst of salty, smoky flavor.
For an extra helping of vegetables, toss in chopped leafy greens like collards, kale or swiss chard during the last 30 minutes of cooking.