Vegan Southern Black-Eyed Peas
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
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It's almost New Years y'all! And with that comes the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's day which is said to bring prosperity in that new year. While I can't speak for the effectiveness of this tradition, I can say that many southerners definitely take it seriously. When my family still ran Soul Vegetarian restaurant in Tallahassee, our customers came diligently both the day before and the day of to get their vegan black-eyed peas and we were only happy to oblige!
I was a full adult before I learned that black-eyed peas and greens were traditionally made with animal parts in it. It confused me to no end when people would ask me how I eat black-eyed peas if I'm vegan and then they'd assume my vegan peas must certainly be horrible. Now here I am trying to imagine eating beans with meat floating around it and I just cannot y'all. I can't! But anyway, this recipe is for Southern style VEGAN black-eyed peas and yes, they are DELICIOUS! In fact, these are the best black-eyed peas I've ever made in my life. No, really, they are that good! You're going to taste every bit of that southern goodness without sacrificing your health or a farm animal to enjoy to it.
I start by soaking my dried peas overnight. I recommend a minimum of 8 hours but I find it easier to just put them to soak before bed and get to them whenever I'm ready the next day. That might be 10 or 12 hours later and that's just fine. To soak your beans, put them in a bowl or pot with a lid and double your amount of beans with water. Soaking your beans has a similar effect that soaking raw nuts has. It allows your body to digest it easier, thus reducing gassy reactions. We all know beans can make you do that thing that rhymes with "art" right? Exactly. So be sure to soak your beans! If you are truly in a hurry, you can do a quick soak by bringing the peas and water to a boil, turning the heat off and letting it sit for 1 hour.
After soaking the beans, cooking them is a breeze and doesn't take very long at all. You'll notice they start off very watery but quickly thicken as it cooks. By the time your black-eyed peas are done, they'll be that thick and creamy texture we know and love. Be careful not to cook them on too high a temperature and stir often or else they will burn. If you think your beans aren't cooked enough but are too thick, add a little more water and let them cook another 15-20 minutes.
A note about the ingredients: I didn't specify a salt or cooking oil because there are so many options to choose from and people typically have their preferences already. But if you were wondering, I use Sunflower oil and Himalayan Pink Salt. For smoke flavor, the magic trick we use to give that true Southern twist, I use the Colgin brand Hickory flavor.
I think we've covered everything and now it's time to cook! Follow the recipe below and you'll also find a downloadable print version at the very end. If you have any questions, I'm always here to help. Leave a comment or send me a message and look for the instructional YouTube video coming next week!
Vegan Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas
Vegan & Plant-Based Recipes by Prahkeet M.
Prep Time: 1-8 Hours Cook Time: 1.5 Hours Serves 6-8
· 1 lb Dried Black-eyed Peas · ½ Onion chopped small · 1 Tomato chopped small · 1 tbsp Minced garlic · ¼ cup Cooking oil · 8 cups Water · 2 tsp Salt · 2 tsp Garlic Granules or Powder · 1 tsp Black pepper · ½ tsp Paprika · 1 tsp Mrs. Dash (or your preferred all-purpose seasoning mix) · 2 tsp Smoke Flavor · ½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Pre-soak peas in a covered bowl or pot with 12 cups of water for 8-12 hours. After soaking, drain and rinse beans. I recommend soaking the beans overnight to help prevent gassiness.*Quick soak method- place peas in a pot with 8 cups of water and bring to boil, turn off heat then let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2. In a stock pot, sautee onions, tomatoes and garlic in the cooking oil of your choice on medium-high heat. Sautee until the veggies visibly cook enough without turning brown.
3. Add peas to the pot followed by the 12 cups of water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, turn temperature down and secure the pot with a lid. Continue to cook on medium heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
4. After 1 hour, turn heat down to very low. Add all dry seasonings, vinegar and smoke flavor to your peas. Mix well and secure lid back on to the pot. Continue to cook on very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often so it will not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. After 20 minutes your peas should be perfectly soft and ready to eat! Enjoy!
*TIP: If your beans aren’t tender enough or the mixture seems too thick, add 1 more cup of water at the beginning of stage 4 and cook for an additional 15 minutes. FREE PRINTABLE RECIPE DOWNLOAD BELOW