- Okra is a member of the Malvaceae botanical family. This botanical family also consists of cacao, cotton and durian, a fruit grown on trees in Southeast Asia.
- Okra is a versatile food that can be used fresh, dried or frozen. Prepare by sautéing, roasting, boiling, frying or try pickling it.
- Add to salads, soups, or salsas.
- It is known for its slimy juice that’s released when preparing and cooking. To avoid the sliminess, cook on high heat or soak in vinegar for half an hour to reduce, or even eliminate, sliminess.
- Choose okra that’s bright in color and firm to the touch, avoiding pods that are soft, bruised, dull-looking, or those that have dark spots.
- Store okra in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in a paper or plastic bag.
- Don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it.
- It’s best used within 3 to 4 days.
- To store longer, you can freeze it:
- Cut off the stem, but don’t cut into the pod.
- Bring water to a boil and blanch okra pods for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Drain and cool in ice water.
- Place whole pods or sliced pods on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze.
- Once frozen, move to an air tight freezer bag and store in the freezer until use.
- Okra is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C, and a good source of manganese.
- Vitamin K is essential in blood clotting and bone building.
- Vitamin C increases absorption of iron, helps to heal wounds, and repairs and maintains cartilage, bones and teeth.
- Manganese has many roles in the body including metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, regulation of blood sugar, and it’s required for normal brain and nerve function.
- Okra also contains a variety of antioxidants which have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants may lower your risk of cancer.
1/2 cup okra, raw
Calories: 16.5 | Protein: 0.97 g | Fat: 0.09 g | Carbohydrate: 3.7 g | Fiber: 1.6 g | Calcium: 41 mg | Magnesium: 28.5 mg | Potassium: 149.5 mg | Folate: 30 µg | Vitamin A: 358 IU | Vitamin C: 11.5 mg
1/2 cup okra, boiled
Calories: 17.6| Protein: 1.5 g | Fat: 0.16 g | Carbohydrate: 3.6 g | Fiber: 2.0 g | Calcium: 61.6 mg | Magnesium: 28.8 mg | Potassium: 108 mg | Folate: 36.8 µg | Vitamin A: 226 IU | Vitamin C: 13 mg