Red Cowpeas looks like beans, but are smaller, and red in color, with a great nutty flavor. The red varieties are more common. Like other legumes, they are very rich in protein and other nutrients. This seed crop is also called red chori, and in botanical terms, referred to as Vigna unguiculata. Cow peas feature in many African foods.
They are used in preparing various soups, or boiled and eaten with yam, plantain, and cocoyam. They can be cooked by boiling until becomes soft and tender, and eaten with rice, or as a side meal. Cow peas can also be used in making peas casseroles, purees and cake. Cow peas cook faster than beans. Cow peas’ flavor can be improved by adding chilies, garlic, tomatoes and onions.
This leguminous seed is made of 25% protein. It is also rich in complex carbohydrate, a group of vitamin B (thiamine – vitamin B1, riboflavin – vitamin B2, niacin – vitamin B3), as well as vitamin C, all necessary for maintaining good health and fighting diseases. It also contains calcium, vitamin A, Phosphorous, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, folic acid and high in dietary fiber. It is totally Trans fat and cholesterol free. Like beans, cow peas with rice alone would provide a high nutritious balance diet that can wipe out many malnutrition diseases seen in developing countries. It is cheap and thus easily affordable too.