Lobia – The Hidden, Healthy Gem

What is Lobia?

Lobia, also called cowpea and black-eyed peas, is a textured oval-shaped bean with a black eye. A native to Africa, lobia is cultivated in Latin America, South-east Asia and southern parts of the United States.

It is an interesting fact to know that the famous hip-hop music band, ‘Black Eyed Peas’ chose to name themselves after this super bean.

Available in both dried and fresh forms, lobia is used in various soup and salad recipes as well as dal and vegetable preparations to enhance their nutritive value multi-fold. Purple eye, light brown eye, red eye, cream, crowder, and clay are different variants of cowpeas. Although not as popular as chickpea or kidney bean, lobia ranks much higher on nutrition, making it a hidden healthy gem.

They are brimming with the goodness of B-complex vitamins, protein, zinc, calcium, and iron.

What are the Health Benefits of Lobia?

From its magical cholesterol-lowering properties to being diabetic friendly as well as promoting weight loss, lobia is a super bean with a bevy of health benefits. The different varieties of lobia are abundant with anti-oxidant compounds which keep aging and cancer at bay. Lobia also contains a significant amount of flavonoids that protect against cardiovascular problems. Additionally, it also eases problems associated with urination.

* Good for pregnant women: Iron, protein, and folate are the key nutrients whose requirement increases substantially during pregnancy. Being a rich source of these vital nutrients, lobia is a must include in the diet of pregnant women. A diet rich in folate lowers the risk of neural tube defects in the newborn.

* Assists weight loss: A high protein and high fiber legume, lobia keeps hunger pangs at bay by promoting satiety. A serving of lobia provides fewer calories in comparison to commercially available calorie-laden snacks, making it a smart, nutritious option for people on a weight loss program.

* Keeps cholesterol levels in check: Incorporating cowpeas in your diet on a regular basis lowers cholesterol levels. They are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance and binds cholesterol and bile acids in the small intestine and eliminates them from the body. Since cholesterol is an integral component of bile, the liver utilizes more cholesterol for producing more bile acid.

* Helps digestive system: Lobia cures problems associated with stomach, pancreas as well as spleen. Being a fiber-rich food, it keeps the digestive system working like a well-oiled machine.

* Great for diabetics: Apart from the aforementioned health advantages, lobia is considered a super-food for diabetics. The protein and soluble fiber content of the super nutritious legume are on the higher side, which makes it a low glycemic index food and ideal for diabetics.

  • Lobia Recipes

Some innovative recipes to include this nutrition-packed bean in your diet are:

1. Veggie and Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups peeled and diced cucumbers
  • 1 cup boiled lobia
  • 2/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives

Method:

  • Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt, oregano, and pepper in a bowl until they combine properly.
  • Add cucumber, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, feta, onion, and olives. Toss well.
  • You can serve it at room temperature or chilled.

2. Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa and Corn

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 1 large chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large chopped green bell pepper
  • 6 minced cloves garlic
  • 2.5 cups black-eyed peas (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups boiled corn
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  • Heat a large, non-stick pot. Add oil, garlic and onions and cook, until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add black-eyed peas, broth, and the spices. Bring to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Simmer the flame to low, and cook until the peas are tender.
  • Add quinoa and cook until the quinoa becomes tender for approximately 20 minutes. Add the boiled corn, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve hot.

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