Cowpeas leafy tips nutrition and benefits

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Cowpeas leaves Quick Facts
Name: Cowpeas leaves
Scientific Name: Vigna sinensis (L.) Savi
Calories 12 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B1 (11.33%)
Vitamin C (10.89%)
Manganese (9.48%)
Copper (9.11%)
Vitamin B9 (8.00%)
Cowpeas also called black eyed peas usually cultivated for its edible beans but few grow it as a vegetable. The tender leaves and young pods are used for preparing nutritious vegetable dishes. In contrary to other leafy vegetables, cowpeas requires less maintenance. It thrives in poor soils as well and also a drought resistant. It does not require huge acres of land for its cultivation. In countries such as Kenya, Southeast Asia and other African countries, cowpeas farming has become more prevalent. In Kenya, cowpeas leaves are known as kunde.

Nutritional experts have discovered that leaves encompass more nutritional value. Cowpeas leaves are an excellent source of vitamins as well as antioxidant serving multiple health benefits. Leaves have high content of fiber. The leaves are useful to treat diabetic, cardiovascular and overweight conditions.

Leaves

The plant bears alternate and 3-foliolate leaves with ovate stipules about 0.5 to 2 cm long usually spurred as the base. Petioles are grooved above, swollen at base measuring 15 to 25 cm long. Leaves have ovate to rhombic to lanceolate leaflets about 7-14 cm × 4-10 cm long. Apical ones are symmetrical, glabrous or slightly pubescent and basal ones are asymmetrical.

Culinary uses

  • Boil the leaves or fry it and serve it with porridge.
  • Sundry the boiled leaves to use later.
  • In Botswana and Zimbabwe, leaves are boiled, kneaded to a pulp, squeezed into small balls and then dried.

References:

https://dengarden.com/gardening/Growing-Cowpeas-Black-Eyed-Peas-as-a-Vegetable

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Vigna_unguiculata_(PROTA)

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