Cowpeas are very common in African farm lands due to the fact that they can be cultivated in semi-arid areas with average or little rainfall. They are also referred to as black-eyed peas. They are legumes and have quite a number of health benefits.
Cowpeas are used in various dishes. They can be cooked as soups or as main dishes. They are known by many local names in various countries. They are also cultivated in the Americas and Asia.
In many Kenyan and African communities, the leaves of the cowpea plant are used as vegetables. They can be cooked as a separate vegetable dish or cooked together with other dishes. In Kenya, the greens referred to as kunde are mostly cooked as a side dish with ugali/sima. They are also added to boiled maize and beans referred to as githerito make the dish more nutritious.
The cowpeas leaves are a good source of Vitamins A and C. These vitamins help boost the immune system and act as antioxidants. It is the softer leaves that are harvested because they are tastier and easier to cook. They are cooked with tomatoes and other vegetables. Beef can also be included.
Cowpeas are a good source of proteins and fiber. They also provide potassium, calcium and carbohydrates. Therefore, due to the many health benefits of cowpeas/ black-eyed peas, they are very much recommended by health experts.