Good news!  The Happy Patch has fresh purple hull (pink eye) peas and butter beans in.  In the near future, we’re expecting white acre and zipper peas.

Summer is such a great time of year to enjoy freshly picked peas of all varieties.  And they’re also good for you.  Purple hull peas, for example are an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, at 13 and 11 grams per cup, respectively.  They also contain lots of folate.

Preparation is key -- too much fatback or salt in the pot can undo the dietary benefits of a delicious serving of summer peas.

As a vegetarian who is (believe it or not) prone to high cholesterol, I’m used to searching online for more health-conscious versions of the Southern cooking we all love.  Based on a couple of recent recipes I’ve found, here is a suggestion for a great way to prepare purple hull peas.  It’s both heart-healthy and delicious.

Saute one chopped onion in a deep saucepan until it begins to caramelize.

Add just a pinch of salt to taste, or substitute sea salt.

Add additional herbs and seasonings to taste; e.g., thyme, French tarragon, red pepper flakes.

Add 5-6 cups shelled, washed purple hull peas.

Add half water and half vegetable stock to cover peas, plus about one inch.

Let boil over medium heat for 45 minutes, or until tender.

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