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Learn to Love: Okra

I'm in a vegetable rut. I keep buying all the same veggies and there are only so many different ways you can eat a carrot, you know? If you're feeling the same way, it's time to expand your garden horizons and try some new things from the produce department. If you've never tried okra, maybe I can persuade you to pick some up.

To find out the nutritional info of raw okra and how to use this veggie then


Okra is typically used in Southern, Creole, and Cajun dishes. It's low in calories like most veggies, and it's also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. When buying okra look for pods that are green without any bruises. They should feel slightly tender but not soft and squishy. You should use it that day, or store it in a paper bag in your fridge for up to three days. Four-inch pods or smaller have the best flavor, and anything bigger will start to taste bitter.

If you've never used okra, let me just warn you that when you slice it, you'll notice that a weird slimy or sticky substance comes out. It's totally normally and actually makes this veggie perfect for thickening soups, casseroles, or sauces. You can also use it in stir-fries, BBQ it with other veggies in your grill basket, or you can eat it raw in your salad. It goes well with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and corn. Since this unique veggie has a mild flavor that's similar to eggplant, you can flavor it with just about anything. Try marinating it in salad dressing or lime juice and it's a great topping for hamburgers or veggie burgers. You can even pickle them like cucumbers. The possibilities are endless and okra just may become your new favorite thing.

Serving Size 8 raw pods (each 3 inches long)
Calories 29
Total Fat .1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 8mg
Carbs 6.7g
Fiber 3g
Sugar 1.1g
Protein 1.9g
Calcium 77mg
Potassium 287.8mg
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
I have okra about 2-3x/week for dinner with a side of plain brown rice. DELICIOUS. 1. Remove bag of frozen chopped okra from freezer; let thaw on a plate on the counter (don't open the bag; just put it on a plate to catch the condensation as it thaw. This should take about 20-30 mins., perfect timing to feed the cats, get your post-work shower done & then hop into comfy clothes for the evening. 2. A little Mazola corn oil heated in a large pan, maybe just a tablespoon or less. 3. Cut open the bag of now-thawed okra, and pour it carefully onto hot oil. Spread it all around evenly w/nice spatula. (My fave is OXO flexible one.) 4. Shake a bunch of plain chili powder (CHEAP from the Indian food store) all over. I like it REALLY hot (pretty much coated in red powder!), but others may not. So: adjust the amount of spice according to your preference. 5. Stir to distribute it evenly. 6. Lid on the pot. Med-low heat. 7. After about 3-5 mins., sprinkle some (or in my case, a lot) of salt to your preference. This will draw out a lot of the water, so you can now turn the heat up to medium w/less chance of burning everything. 8. Lid back on the pot, unless you like your okra a little drier, in which case just leave it uncovered. I've been enjoying mine a bit moister lately, so I've been covering it. Either way works, but do check - and stir - it about every 3 minutes. 9. When it's as moist or dry to your liking, turn off the heat and serve next to or right on top of a bed of plain brown rice (cooked, of course!). The rice - or anything starchy like bread or potatoes or chips - is going to come in handy to tamp down the spice if it's too hot for you. Mmmm.. I love rice. LOVE it! DELICIOUS!
ht1979 ht1979 9 years
I love cutting off just the top of the okra and sauteeing it (just a teeny bit of pam or olive oil) with cherry tomatoes cut in half. Throw in a bit of lemon pepper and you've got a quick and easy, super good for you veggie dish.
courtneyd courtneyd 9 years
Though I knew of the necessity of okra in gumbo to thicken it properly, I never liked it (it was slimy in gumbo and gross fried) until my husband introduced me to bhindi masala, and that is now one of my favorite dishes and I almost always make it if I'm making Indian food or when I'm at an Indian restaurant. The other day I even made an Indian-spiced fried chicken to go with and sort of blend my Southern roots with his Southern Indian roots :-) One of my Indian cookbooks has a recipe for stuffed okra which looks time-consuming, but yummy. I can't wait to give it a try.
chhavi chhavi 9 years
we call it 'bhindi' over her. :) mother cooks it in oil with spices. we have it with dahi (curd) and roti.
sweet-feet sweet-feet 9 years
i love okra. i ate a veggie dish over the weekend that had okra... YUMM-O! =)
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 9 years
I love okra :)
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 9 years
I could never learn to love okra. Its too gross. So slimy! yucky
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Ugh, I hate okra. It's slimy and I hate the way it tastes. The only way I can even stomach it is if it's deep-fried.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I LOVE okra! I can't wait to get it in my CSA again. I'll make this yummy recipe I made last summer, only this time I'll blog about it!
Ikandy Ikandy 9 years
i dont mind it...dont think i could cook it tho.
jojijoja jojijoja 9 years
OKRA IS GREAT. I'm lebanese and I grew up eating OKRA at least once a month. if you cook it well, it's not slimely nor hairy. I just googled for a recipe and found one on this blog. I think it's very similar to the one my mother makes but I'm sure it's not the best.
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
I like okra. My grandmother use to make it all time when I was a kid. I got some from the farmers market the other day. I sauteed it in a pan with w/ olive oil ,garlic, tomatoes, corn and yellow onion, and basil. It was great!
cmill38 cmill38 9 years
i live for picked okra and fried okra. too bad those are probably two of the most unhealthy ways which to prepare it.
AlkalineSteam AlkalineSteam 9 years
Love blanched okra! I just picked some up from the farmer's market yesterday. Is it weird that I think the slime is the best part?
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
Love okra. Good Eats on the Food Network has a show on Okra that's really helpful if you want to make something (it's on OnDemand right now if you have digital cable). But it's really gross raw, though...
amycullen2 amycullen2 9 years
It's so good in a bean casserole or Upma. Yummy!
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
yummy! Okra reminds me a lot of my childhood because it was a staple at my Nana's and her family in Louisiana and Texas. I have had it every kind of way but I love okra gumbo (perfect for veg's like me) and home-made pickled. So good. I may go to the store tonight and buy some fresh okra for dinner.
Taadie Taadie 9 years
i dont like the slimy texture it has. maybe i should try it fried.
neonbee neonbee 9 years
I never liked okra...
brookrene brookrene 9 years
lms lms 9 years
I actually like okra when it is cooked with curry.
deanna024 deanna024 9 years
My husband and I love okra. We usually get the frozen kind (pre-sliced in a bag) and toss is with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and then nuke it for a few minutes. Very tasty.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I just started using an Indian cookbook that uses okra for a lot of vegetarian recipes. Before I'd only seen it in gumbo.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
gross I have never heard of eating raw okra! I mean, at least parboil it! I only really like it fried, however :)
michlny michlny 9 years
In its salad bar, Whole Foods makes this Okra Masala -- it is PHENOMENAL!! I get so excited when I see that they have it!!
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