2014 didn't seem to slow down one bit as it hastened upon us. I hope that the New Year provided a time of good company and good cheer. For my family, a New Year's Day tradition has always involved enjoying some Black-Eyed Peas, and I don't mean the musical group :) My father has been a steadfast believer in the idea that black-eyed peas are supposed to bring you good luck, and has always made sure that anyone in our home on New Year's Day had a sampling of his homemade black-eyed peas. Some say it is a Southern tradition, which could explain why it is often accompanied by some turnip greens and cornbread, but nevertheless, the hope of good luck is something that draws many to this food. It has been said to be lucky because the black-eyed peas swell when cooked, symbolizing prosperity.
I will leave you to your own beliefs about the prosperity black-eyed peas may bring to you and yours, but I will tell you some of the amazing nutritional benefits of this food. It is usually known as a plant food, but the United States Department of Agriculture includes it in the meat and beans section of their MyPlate, primarily because it is packed with enough protein to be considered an adequate source. Vegetarians might use black-eyed peas to substitute for meat when planning meals. Consuming legumes, which is what black-eyed peas are considered, are desirable for everyone due to their high content of other nutrients such as zinc, iron, and potassium. Black-eyed peas are also a good source of fiber, which most of us do not get enough of in our daily diets. Maybe you didn't consume black-eyed peas this New Year, but their fabulous nutritional benefits make them ideal for any day of the year, so show them some love!