In Season: Okra

by in In Season, June 9, 2009

Stewed Okra
Though a southern favorite, okra used to be a bit foreign to me (a northerner!). After a few sightings at the farmers’ market last year, I brought some home to see what I could do with it. Now I can’t wait to get my hand’s on this year’s crop.

When, Where & What
Okra is, believe it or not, a member of the Hibiscus family. Originally from Northern Africa and as far west as India, the veggie made its way to the the Caribbean and North America during the American slave trade.

These days, Okra comes from all over the U.S. (and many personal gardens). Its prime season begins in June and July. Slender and green, okra pods grow to about 3 to 4 inches when mature. Some varieties can grow up to 9 inches, but okra tastes better when it’s smaller. These pods have a soft skin and round white seeds inside — you can eat both the skin and seeds. To me, okra tastes like … well, okra. It’s less sweet than cooked zucchini and has some green bean similarities, too.

Nutrition Facts
One cup of cooked okra has about 40 calories and 4 grams of fiber (about 20% of the daily recommendation). Okra also contains vitamin C, calcium and vitamin B6, which plays a role in protein metabolism and the nervous system.

What To Do with Okra
I like my okra raw, sautéed or fried until crispy. But before you go crazy with the fryer, consider baking it to cut the fat but keep the crunch. Okra with tomatoes is a classic combo — I like to sauté chopped okra with olive oil, onion, tomatoes, fresh sweet corn and lots of fresh fresh basil. It also works well in soups and stews like Creole gumbo. Emeril Lagasse has a fabulous recipe for seafood gumbo (it’s low-fat, too).

Okra’s outer skin has a velvety, slightly sticky texture that can get slimy when overcooked. To avoid this, wash pods carefully and soak for 30 minutes in water with a splash of lemon juice (or add some lemon juice during cooking).

Shopping Tip: Choose pods that are slightly firm and bright green, but be careful — they bruise easily. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Okra will show up in your supermarket very soon, but frozen, chopped okra is readily available year-round.

More posts from .
Tags: ,

Similar Posts

More Reasons to Love Cranberries

These red gems are in season for only a short while. Enjoy them while you can!

Comments (341)

  1. Min Reibsome says:

    Hi there, this weekend is good in favor of me, for the reason that this time i am reading this great informative post here at my home.

  2. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on web?

  3. Thanks for your post on the traveling industry. I might also like contribute that if your senior considering traveling, it’s absolutely crucial to buy traveling insurance for older persons. When traveling, retirees are at biggest risk of getting a professional medical emergency. Having the right insurance cover package for your age group can look after your health and provide peace of mind.

  4. The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my option to learn, but I really thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you would fix if you happen to werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

  5. After looking at a number of the blog articles on your web page, I truly like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site as well and tell me how you feel.

  6. I take pleasure in, lead to I found precisely what I was aquiring a appearance for. You’ve ended my 4 day prolonged hunt! God Bless you man. Have a very nice day. Bye

  7. Spiritfoods says:

    I love okra, especially in stir fries.

  8. Season Lesco says:

    I have been reading out many of your stories and it’s clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

  9. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about In Season: Okra | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  10. Baju Bayi says:

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about In Season: Okra | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>