Table of Contents
Ambiques and Cowpeas
What is the origin of Ambiques and Cowpeas ?
There are several species in the genus Vigna, seven of which are commercially harvested for their grains. They come from India, the Far East, and West Africa. Despite the fact that they have been and continue to be the staple meal for millions of people throughout the world, little is known about their domestication.
For example, we know that amberico red (azuki) and amberico green (mungo) were imported to Japan roughly 1000 years before our time, but we don't know when they were domesticated. Aside from cowpea, which was consumed in Europe before the dawn of our period, legumes of the genus Vigna were only recently brought to the West, thanks to waves of immigration from Asia and Africa. Furthermore, unlike rice and soybeans, they have never played a significant part in our societies.
We now have a better understanding of cowpea, which was cultivated 5,000 to 6,000 years ago in Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia), as well as sorghum, an important crop on the continent. Cowpea was, of course, eaten in the wild long before it was domesticated.
The Greeks imported the moth cowpea, a subspecies, from Marseilles to what was still Gaul at the beginning of our period, from where it progressively spread to the rest of the nation. It was widely used until the Renaissance, despite the fact that medical writings from the Middle Ages accuse it of inducing “terrible and misleading nightmares.”
It will be displaced by the New World bean after the invasion, and its culture will only endure in a few parts of France: Vendée, Poitou, and Charente. It is still grown in Italy, Spain, and, particularly, Portugal. It is also prevalent in Arab nations, and it is one of the most important native legumes in Brazil.
It is thought to have been transported to America from Jamaica in considerable quantities by black slave traffickers about 1675 to feed their unfortunate cargo. It swiftly expanded throughout the West Indies because it is well suited to tropical temperatures and is nutrient-rich. It was widely grown during the 18th century. Its cultivation extended throughout the southern states after it arrived in the United States around 1700, displacing the pea, which was poorly suited to hot temperatures and arid soils. It continues to play a major role in feeding the people of these areas today.
What Are The Nutritional and caloric values of Ambiques and Cowpeas ?
Ambiques and cowpeas come in a broad range of colors. These legumes are high in dietary fiber, complex carbs, and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to your health. Phosphorus, iron, zinc, and copper are among the minerals found in them. Pulses are among the top five foods with the highest micronutrient / price ratio, in addition to their inexpensive cost. The following information applies to the same family of plants as amber, mung, azuki, and cowpea.
Amberic and cowpea characteristics
Excellent dietary fiber sources; high in vegetable proteins; antioxidant power; starch sources; promote transit and cardiovascular health
The following are some of the nutrients found in large quantities in amberic and cowpeas:
** Phosphorus. Phosphorus is abundant in azuki (see our Phosphorus Nutrient List), while cowpea and mung are also rich sources. After calcium, phosphorus is the second most prevalent mineral in the body. It is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It also has a role in tissue development and regeneration, as well as assisting in the maintenance of appropriate blood pH. Last but not least, phosphorus is a component of cell membranes.
** Iron. For humans, azuki and cowpea are great suppliers of iron, while mung is also a decent supply. Mungos, azukis, and cowpeas are sources for women, as the demands of the two sexes differ. Iron is found in every cell in the body. This mineral is required for oxygen delivery and the production of red blood cells in the blood. It also helps to make new cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in nerve impulses).
** Zinc. Because men and women require different amounts of zinc, azuki is an excellent supply for women and a decent source for males. Mungo and cowpea, on the other hand, are sources. Zinc is involved in immunological responses, the generation of genetic material, taste perception, wound healing, and embryonic development, among other things. It also interacts with thyroid hormones and sex hormones. It is involved in the synthesis (manufacturing), storage, and release of insulin in the pancreas.
** Manganese. Manganese is abundant in azuki, whereas mung and cowpea are also significant sources. Manganese is a cofactor for various enzymes that help in a variety of metabolic activities. It also aids in the prevention of free radical damage.
** Copper. Copper is abundant in azuki and cowpea, whereas mung is a source. Copper is required for the creation of hemoglobin and collagen (a protein involved in the development and repair of tissues) in the body, as it is a component of various enzymes. Several copper-containing enzymes also aid the body's anti-free radical defenses.
** Folate. Mung, azuki, and cowpea are excellent sources of folate, while mung is also an excellent source. Folate (vitamin B9) is required for the formation of all body cells, including red blood cells. This vitamin is necessary for the creation of genetic material (DNA, RNA), the proper functioning of the neurological and immunological systems, as well as wound and wound healing. Consumption is critical throughout periods of growth and development of the fetus since it is required for the formation of new cells.
** Magnesium. Magnesium is abundant in azuki. Mung and cowpea are suitable sources for both women and men, depending on their needs. Magnesium has a role in bone growth, protein synthesis, enzymatic reactions, muscular contraction, dental health, and immune system function. It is also involved in energy metabolism and nerve impulse transmission.
** B1 vitamin. Vitamin B1 is found in cowpea, mung, and azuki, among other foods. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a coenzyme that is required for the synthesis of energy, mostly from carbohydrates. It also aids in the passage of nerve impulses and encourages optimal development.
** Potassium. Potassium is found in azuki and cowpea. Potassium is utilized in the body to help digestion by balancing the pH of the blood and stimulating the generation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It also assists in the contraction of muscles, including the heart, as well as the transmission of nerve signals.
** B2 vitamin. Vitamin B2, commonly known as riboflavin, is found in mung and azuki. It, like vitamin B1, plays a part in all cells' energy metabolism. It also helps with tissue development and repair, hormone synthesis, and red blood cell creation.
** B3 vitamin. Vitamin B3 is found in mung and azuki beans. This vitamin, also known as niacin, is involved in a variety of metabolic processes, including the creation of energy from carbs, lipids, proteins, and alcohol. It also aids in the synthesis of DNA, allowing for appropriate growth and development.
** Pantothenic acid is a kind of B vitamin. Pantothenic acid may be found in mung, azuki, and cowpea. Pantothenic acid, often known as vitamin B5, is a crucial coenzyme that helps us to properly use the energy in the foods we eat. It also plays a role in the synthesis (manufacturing) of steroid hormones, neurotransmitters (neurotransmitter messengers), and hemoglobin at various stages.
** B6 vitamin. Vitamin B6 is found in azuki and cowpea. Vitamin B6, commonly known as pyridoxine, is a coenzyme involved in protein and fatty acid metabolism as well as neurotransmitter synthesis (manufacturing) (messengers in nerve impulses). It also increases red blood cell development and allows them to transport more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also required for the conversion of glycogen to glucose and adds to the immune system's normal functioning. Finally, this vitamin aids in the creation of specific nerve cell components as well as hormone receptor regulation.
Nutritional and caloric values of Ambiques and Cowpeas
For 100 g of Ambiques and Cowpeas :
|Weight / volume
|Dry mung, 100 g
|Dry azuki, 100 g
|Cooked black-eyed peas, 90 g
Why should you eat Ambiques and Cowpeas ?
Regular consumption of legumes has been associated to a variety of health advantages, including improved diabetes control, a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, better body weight management, and a lower risk of colon cancer, according to some research. These advantages are due in part to several substances found in legumes, such as dietary fiber. Dietary guidelines in the United States recommend eating 3 cups of beans a few times a week.
Finally, the community is urged to adopt a diet rich in plant foods, including a range of vegetables and fruits, legumes, and grain products, as one of the primary recommendations in terms of public health and cancer prevention. a small amount of processing
Rich in dietary fiber
Fiber may be found in a variety of legumes. Dietary fibers are chemicals that are not digested by the body and are exclusively present in plant products. Ambera and cowpeas have 6 to 9 grams of fiber per 125 mL serving, with a larger proportion of insoluble fiber than soluble fiber, like other legumes. A diet high in soluble fiber can help balance blood cholesterol, glucose, and insulin levels, whereas a diet high in insoluble fiber can assist maintain appropriate bowel function. It's important to remember that women between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, and men between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume 38 grams per day, and that eating legumes makes it simpler to attain this objective.
Legumes can be digested more slowly when dietary fiber is combined with other chemicals like amylose (a component of starch). Legumes enhance glycemic control (blood sugar level) in diabetics and healthy persons alike, however existing scientific evidence makes it difficult to pinpoint the processes involved. Fibers would almost certainly play a role, but they would not act on their own. Other components found in legumes would be worried as well.
The glycemic index of five legume kinds (mung, chickpea, white bean, black bean, and pigeon pea) was measured in one research. These all have a low glycemic index, with the exception of mung, which has a little higher glycemic index than the other legumes. The authors attribute differences in the glycemic index across legumes to the kind and amount of fiber present, as well as the proportion of amylose. However, the true significance of these two chemicals has yet to be determined.
Antioxidant compounds can be found in legumes. These compounds are mostly present in the plant's seed. Beans also contain volatile compounds that have antioxidant properties. In an in vitro examination of the antioxidant activity of volatile chemicals isolated from several bean species, those recovered from the mung bean had the highest antioxidant potential. Two aromatic chemicals, eugenol and maltol, are likely to be responsible for the antioxidant action.
The outer shell of mungs is efficient against lipid oxidation and, as a result, against cell injury in two further in vitro tests. These findings show that substances with antioxidant properties can be discovered in the mungs' outer layer.
Cowpeas also exhibit antioxidant activity, which is enhanced when they are fermented and then heated in an autoclave. Fermentation increases the quantity of phenolic chemicals in the food. Antioxidant properties are seen in several phenolic compounds. The high temperature obtained during the autoclave treatment permits the production of novel antioxidant-active molecules (by-products of the Maillard process).
Proanthocyanidins (a kind of polyphenol) are found in azukis and are considered effective natural antioxidants. Proanthocyanidins, which are antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, have been shown to give superior protection in studies. Proanthocyanidins have been found to reduce oxidative damage in a variety of disorders, including inflammation, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.
The outer shell of azukis, which includes polyphenols and fiber, appears to prevent the invasion of a certain type of cell (macrophages) and the development of glomeruli (blood capillaries) to the kidneys, according to recent research in diabetic rats and people with renal issues. Diabetic nephropathy, a kidney disorder that can lead to renal failure, is caused by the development of these capillaries. These early findings will need to be confirmed in a clinical trial involving diabetic individuals with kidney disease.
Good source of starch
An average of 50% starch is contained in dry mungs, with roughly 11% of it in the form of resistant starch. This form of starch, like dietary fiber, avoids digestion in the small intestine. Mung starch is unique in that it contains significantly more amylose than most other legumes. Mung starch has unique culinary qualities because to its chemical composition. Vermicelli prepared from this starch, for example, is more heat resistant, preventing it from breaking or deforming while cooking.
Mung starch is a low-glycemic-index sugar that is slowly digested. In the case of mung starch, it appears that the high amylose concentration and presence of resistant starch help to improve glucose response. This was one of the findings of a human investigation, which found that mung starch-based pasta had a lower glycemic response than other forms of raw and processed starch (tapioca and extruded wheat). Researchers discovered that mung starch was absorbed more slowly in humans than maize starch or glucose, resulting in a lower rise in blood sugar levels and a lower glycemic index. lower.
When compared to wheat starch, taking mung starch for five weeks reduced blood glucose levels after feeding in healthy rats. Using mung starch instead of wheat starch in the feed of healthy diabetic rats resulted in lower blood triglyceride levels and fat cell volume. This difference in adipose tissue cells was also seen in a second animal investigation, this time comparing mung starch to maize starch. The findings of these research suggest that eating mung starch can help healthy people improve their carbohydrate and blood fat profiles. It's thought that the starch in mung beans might give similar advantages to diabetics. To be sure, controlled clinical trials are required.
How can you choose the finest Ambiques and Cowpeas and properly store it?
Ambérico and cowpeas, like other legumes, are members of the Fabaceae family. They come from Asia, namely the Indian subcontinent. They are becoming increasingly popular in France, and may be bought canned or dried throughout the year in most supermarkets and grocery stores.
Legumes, unlike animal protein, are poor in methionine (an important amino acid for the body), making their protein incomplete. People who eat little or no animal protein, on the other hand, can combine beans with grain products or nuts to have a complete protein source (which contains all of the essential amino acids). Adults don't need to look for this complementarity in the same meal because obtaining it the same day is generally enough. Protein complementarity should be achieved in the same meal for children, adolescents, and pregnant women, on the other hand.
Green long-hulled cowpea pods can be found at Asian grocery stores as well as select urban supermarkets. They can also be found in a tin. The majority of supermarkets sell young amberico (mung or green ambique) shoots, sometimes known as “bean sprouts.” They should be hard and crispy, with a white germ.
Dry grains of the bulk of the seven species listed above can be purchased in ethnic markets or a few western supermarket shops. Cowpea is a common English name for the black-eyed cowpea. Azuki flakes are found in France, but not in North America, to our knowledge.
How to Prepare Ambiques and Cowpeas ?
Before entering the kitchen,
Before cooking the amberic and cowpeas in water, dry roast them for around ten minutes, depending on the recipe. They'll take on a lovely nutty flavor after that.
Ambiques and cowpeas are quite adaptable and may be utilized in a variety of dishes. Amberic is also simpler to digest than many other legumes. All lentil recipes, as well as meals made with their flour, are suited for amberic and cowpeas. Furthermore, we shall not hesitate to use any of the grains listed on this sheet in the recipes.
** An crucial step is to soak.
Cowpea grains are traditionally steeped for a few hours in Africa, then massaged between the palms to remove the skin, which is less edible than the heart. When this treatment is done to the legumes in issue, they become more digestible. This is also why a lot of them come shelled and split.
** Salty version of ambérico with peas
* Amberic and cowpeas can be germinated. Whole grains are preferable over shelled and broken grains. Young shoots can be eaten raw or sautéed for a few minutes;
* they can also be prepared in a salad with chicken, green onions, and parsley. Drizzle with a honey mustard vinaigrette and garnish with dried cranberries and toasted peanuts. They may also be made using potatoes, green onions, and Indian spices and boiled in water. Serve immediately with a side of green veggies.
** Daring beans in a sweet form
* To make a spread, combine red ambera puree, grated ginger, lemon juice, and tahini;
* to make ambérico pudding, boil the beans with a little sugar and arrowroot starch diluted in water. Return to the heat until all of the water has been absorbed. Serve with a dash of coconut milk, hot or cold.
** Thanks to amberic and cowpeas, I'm traveling in the kitchen.
* Thiébou Niébé is made in Africa by simmering cowpeas for approximately 20 minutes, then browning an onion and beef cubes in oil, then adding other vegetables (cassava, carrots, okra) and a large amount of water. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 15 minutes. These are then taken out of the pan, along with a small amount of sauce, and replaced with rice and half-cooked cowpeas. Cooking will continue until the rice is done. We serve it with a dipping sauce.
* The green ambiques are used to make Harusame vermicelli, which is named from its look when cooked and meaning “fine spring rain.” When cooking, keep an eye on them since they decompose fast.
* Another Congolese pudding is moyin-moyin, which is made by cooking cowpeas after soaking them overnight and removing their peel. After that, mash them to make a thick puree. Add water gradually until the mash is workable. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients and add a few drops of oil. Combine the tomatoes, onion, and hot pepper, finely chopped, along with salt and pepper, in a mixing bowl, and stir into the cowpeas. In ramekins, the cooking is done in the oven (30 to 35 minutes) in a bain-marie. Africans may make this meal their own by adding a little meat (fresh, cooked, or tinned), fish or shellfish (fresh, dry, or smoked), carrots, peas, peppers, a hard-boiled egg, and so on to the basic veggies.
* This fundamental dish is adapted into Accras. We prepare patties that are fried in oil and served with a spicy sauce instead of baking the mash in ramekins in the oven. Cowpeas are frequently boiled with maize (fresh, frozen, or dried) until disintegrated and a thick purée forms.
* All legumes may be used to make soup or mash in India: boil them in water with turmeric, then smash them and add tomatoes, fresh cilantro, spicy peppers, and salt. Cook for another 15 minutes. Add onions to the soup after sautéing them with cumin. Over basmati rice, serve. Changing the spice balance (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cardamom, coriander, garam masala, mustard seeds, assa-foetida, tamarind, spicy peppers, lemon, etc.) and serving with different veggies allows for endless permutations. It's worth noting that several of these spices contain carminative characteristics, which help with legume digestion.
* Rajasthani bread is a complicated dish created of green ambers that have been split and boiled with spices in a huge amount of water, as well as dumplings made of wheat, salt, and oil or clarified butter (baflas). The meatballs are made and poached in amberic water for 25 minutes before being removed.
We slather them with butter, create a little depression in the center with our thumbs, and bake them until they crack and turn a wonderful golden hue. The ambiques are drained and then cooked in oil with onions for a few minutes. They're served with carrots and chutney on meatballs.
Contraindications and allergies to Ambiques and Cowpeas
In patients with irritable bowel syndrome and/or intestinal hypersensitivity, ambérico and cowpeas, like most legumes, can cause digestive issues. As long as the individual digestive tolerance is respected, the amount taken, the soaking, and the cooking style can have a good influence on the symptoms.
** Both Harmful and Beneficial Compounds in Legumes
Phytochemicals found in legumes, such as lectins and saponins, can reduce the bioavailability of some nutrients. However, studies believe that this effect has minimal influence on health in a North American setting, where there is abundance and dietary diversity, and nutritional insufficiency is minor. In recent years, research in vitro and in animals has linked the ingestion of these chemicals to a variety of health advantages, including decreased cancer cell development and better blood lipids.
** Digestive disorders
Cowpeas, like most legumes, are frequently limited in their usage due to the gastrointestinal pain they induce when eaten (for example, gas and bloating). Beans include oligosaccharides (sugars) such stachyose, raffinose, and verbascose, which produce gas. Because humans lack the enzymes needed to break down these oligosaccharides, they are difficult to digest.
In the ileum, the oligosaccharides ferment (lower part of the small intestine). Various techniques, like as soaking, boiling, and husking, can be employed to reduce gas and improve bean digestibility. Shelling is a mechanical process that removes the beans from their husks in an industrial setting. Bean husks contain polyphenols, which can reduce protein digestion and consequently cause digestive discomfort.