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

Three Cheers For the Healthiest Berry Desserts

Independence Day may be over, but the summer berry season is just hitting its stride. If your kitchen is bursting with all kinds of juicy gems, here’s a collection of red and blue berry desserts fit for any summer celebration. Raspberries Super-high in fiber (one cup provides more than 30 percent of the daily recommendedRead more

Comments (341)

  1. Howdy, this is actually a great write-up. You get my vote for In Season: Okra | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog and also I am going to bookmark this website right now.

  2. beast123 says:

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a risky decision great post! .

  3. A very exciting read, I may possibly not agree totally, however you do make some extremely legitimate points.

  4. chromowanie says:

    srebrzenie techniczne, z po?yskiem oraz pasywacja;

  5. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later in life. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend! j8tp20r

  6. Carson Nori says:

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  7. This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.

  8. I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

  9. Can some moderators please tell me if it would be ok to link to this post from my website ? I would like to do that but would rather have author’s agreement for that. Thank you

  10. Abbie Kufel says:

    Very useful blogpost here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. I will certainly be back.

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>