If beans and legumes like black-eyed peas aren't a regular part of your diet, they should be, says the Harvard School of Public Health. Unlike animal-based foods, beans and legumes are naturally low in fat, have no cholesterol and contain enough nutrients for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider them both a vegetable and a protein. A diet rich in plant foods such as beans can significantly lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. One of the simplest and quickest ways to incorporate dried beans into your daily meals is to prepare them with a pressure cooker. Always follow the instructions that come with your specific pressure cooker.
Measure the black-eyed peas in a colander or strainer, using approximately 1 cup of beans for a 4-quart pressure cooker and up to 3 cups for a pressure cooker that is 6 quarts or larger. Rinse the beans under cool, running water and remove any stones, debris and broken or discolored beans.
Place the beans in a large bowl. Fill with enough cold water to cover the beans by at least 3 inches. Allow the beans to soak for between six to 24 hours.
Drain the black-eyed peas and put them into the pressure cooker. Add vegetables and seasonings such as garlic cloves, a bay leaf, onions, celery or carrots, if desired.
Pour in 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of black-eyed peas. Stir in 1 tablespoon of canola oil for each cup of black-eyed peas you plan to pressure cook.
Put the pressure cooker's lid in place and use high heat to bring the cooker to high pressure. Turn the heat to low, still maintaining high pressure, and allow the black-eyed peas to cook for 3 minutes.
Turn the heat off and let the pressure return to normal. Check the beans. Replace the pressure cooker's lid and repeat the procedure if they are not as tender as you want, allowing the beans to cook for 2 minutes before checking the beans again.
Drain the beans and use as desired.
Things You Will Need
Dry black-eyed peas
Colander or strainer
Vegetables and seasonings, if desired
If you forgot to presoak the black-eyed peas, you can quick-soak them by boiling them in water for about 2 minutes, then letting them soak in the hot water for 1 hour. You can also simply cook the black-eyed peas in the pressure cooker without soaking, though The Kitchn cautions that they may split open while cooking. Unsoaked black-eyed peas will take slightly longer to pressure cook: approximately 6 to 7 minutes.
Very fresh beans, such as those purchased from a farmer's market, may cook several minutes faster than bagged beans sold at grocery stores.
Do not fill the pressure cooker beyond the halfway point. Check the instructions that came with the cooker if you have any questions about how much you can safely prepare at one time.
Do not attempt to remove the pressure cooker's lid to check the beans until the pressure has released naturally and returned to the normal level. This may take between 5 and 20 minutes.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.