Sapelo Island clams, fresh Atlantic shrimp and produce like okra and peaches on a menu that reads more Italian than Southern.The menus are full of Southern staples such as shrimp and grits and fried okra, plus brunch options and an extensive cocktail menu.Houédanou speaks at community meetings of her step-grandmother: Nafivovo, the warrior who fixed okra soup for hungry children.These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'okra.'. .

Okra: Nutrition, benefits, and recipe tips

Also, people can use many parts of the plant, including the fresh leaves, buds, flowers, pods, stems, and seeds.Gumbo is popular in the southern United States, parts of Africa and the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South America.Individual needs for nutrients vary according to age, sex, activity level, and caloric intake.To help a person find out how much of a nutrient they need, the USDA provide an interactive tool .According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one cup of raw okra, weighing 100 grams (g) contains :.A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s chances of developing a range of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.In a 2014 study, researchers used lectin from okra in a lab test to treat human breast cancer cells.Low folate levels can lead to pregnancy loss and problems for the child, including conditions such as spina bifida.After approximately 1 month, the rats that consumed the powder had lower blood sugar and fat levels than those that did not.According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating foods that are high in fiber can reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the blood.High fiber foods lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.People can incorporate fiber into their diet by choosing fibrous foods, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.Consuming foods that are good sources of vitamin K may help strengthen bones and prevent fractures.In Asian medicine, people add okra extract to foods to protect against irritation and inflammatory gastric diseases.In regions where food is scarce, the seeds can offer a source of high quality protein.In medicine, the viscous extract of okra could be useful as a tablet binder, a suspending agent, a serum albumin extender, a plasma replacement, or a blood volume expander.

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Okra

Okra or Okro ( , ), Abelmoschus esculentus, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies' fingers or ochro, is a flowering plant in the mallow family.However, proposed parents include Abelmoschus ficulneus, A. tuberculatus and a reported "diploid" form of okra.[citation needed] Truly wild (as opposed to naturalised) populations are not known with certainty, and the species may be a cultigen.The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb straight to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara, or from India.One of the earliest European accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216 and described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade[13] by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil.The species is a perennial, often cultivated as an annual in temperate climates, often growing to around 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall.Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds.It is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world and will tolerate soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture, but frost can damage the pods.It prefers a soil temperature of at least 20 °C (68 °F) for germination, which occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks.As a tropical plant, it also requires a lot of sunlight, and it should also be cultivated in soil that has a pH between 5.8 and 7, ideally on the acidic side.The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and, to be edible as a vegetable, must be harvested when immature, usually within a week after pollination.Other diseases include powdery mildew in dry tropical regions, leaf spots, yellow mosaic and root-knot nematodes.Resistance to yellow mosaic virus in A.

esculentus was transferred through a cross with Abelmoschus manihot and resulted in a new variety called Parbhani kranti.The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber.Young okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions, or in salads.[citation needed] Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee.[29] The mucilage produced by the okra plant can be used for the removal of turbidity from wastewater by virtue of its flocculant properties.[30][31] Having composition similar to a thick polysaccharide film, okra mucilage is under development as a biodegradable food packaging, as of 2018. .

Okra: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information

Antioxidants are natural compounds that help your body fight off molecules called free radicals that can damage cells.Polyphenols decrease your risk of heart problems and stroke by preventing blood clots and reducing free radical damage.An eight-week study conducted on mice showed lower blood cholesterol levels after they were fed a high-fat diet containing okra powder.More evidence is needed to confirm that okra helps control blood sugar levels in humans.Folate helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects, which can affect the brain and spine of developing fetuses. .

What Is Okra and How Is It Used?

It's filled with tiny white seeds and is sometimes called lady's fingers due to its long, slender, tubelike shape.Native to Ethiopia, okra was brought to North America by enslaved people and settlers when they arrived centuries ago.Leading growers include India, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Ghana, Egypt, Benin, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Cameroon—it's also grown in Florida and other southeastern states.Okra is essential in Southern, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines in gumbo and stews, and it's one of those foods that people either love or hate.Typically, those who dislike it blame the way okra becomes slimy and silky when it's cooked, but others enjoy it for this same reason.However, choosing the right cooking method, such as frying, grilling, sautéeing, and pan-roasting, can reduce or prevent it from becoming slimy.Grocery stores in the U.S. typically sell fresh okra by the pound during the summer months when it's in season.In some Caribbean regions, okra is breaded and deep-fried while in other cuisines it is pickled, which is one way to cut down on its slimy consistency.It will produce edible seed pods after a pretty white, yellow, pink, or red hibiscus-like flower emerges.Or follow the lead of Southern cooks, who fry or bake battered pods before freezing.There are many varieties of okra, with names like Clemson Spineless, Annie Oakley, Baby Bubba Hybrid, Cajun Delight, Louisiana Green Velvet, and more.The green okra is the most common form found in the U.S.

with pods that can look fuzzy or smooth, long or short, pointed or rounded, and depending on the variety, plants that grow three to eight feet tall. .

Cajun Oven-Roasted Okra Fries with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

Growing up in Texas, homegrown okra and tomatoes were always a staple in the summertime and something that my family ate copious amounts of.These Cajun Oven-Roasted Okra Fries with Lemon-Garlic Aioli are absolutely delicious and dipped in the cool, lemon-garlic aioli… they are the perfect summer party appetizer or side dish! .

The Real Story of Gumbo, Okra, and Filé

In the case of gumbo, though, we really need to phrase it as the intersection of African, Native American, and European cultures, for that ordering more accurately captures the sequence in which the dish unfolded.It's a prime example of how West African foodways took root in the Southern colonies and, over time, gave birth to some of the region's most iconic dishes.At its most basic, what we call gumbo today is a savory stew made with a variety of meats or shellfish combined with an array of vegetables and herbs.The stew might be thickened with okra, with filé (powdered sassafras leaves), with a dark roux (a blend of oil and flour cooked slowly until well browned), or any combination of the three.Despite all this diversity, gumbo's development follows a logical progression, provided you can cut through a lot of bad assumptions and outright nonsense to get to it.Let's start with the biggest red herring of all, the oft-repeated idea that gumbo is a variation of bouillabaisse, the classic fish stew from Provence.Even back in the 19th century, almost every commentary on bouillabaisse notes that the key to the dish is the variety of fin-fish used to make it, and that simmering that fish is vital to add complexity to the broth.19th century recipes make clear that okra and tomatoes were the original base ingredients, and the first protein that consistently found its way into the pot was chicken.A New Orleans native, Elie was a columnist for the Times-Picayune for 14 years, then became a script editor for the acclaimed HBO series Treme and now for AMC's Hell on Wheels.In a 2010 article for Oxford American, he methodically blasted food writers' long-standing habit of ignoring the contributions of black cooks to Louisiana's cuisine.Instead, he argued, those writers twist and bend to invent tenuous connections to every European food culture from Spain to New England—including crediting French elites with the first gumbo.Far from being a food tradition unique to Louisiana, gumbo is instead an important part of the larger fabric of African-based foodways in the South as a whole.The first known reference to gumbo as a dish was uncovered by historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, who found a handwritten transcription of the interrogation of a 50-year-old slave named Comba in New Orleans in 1764.A more detailed description was published two decades later in a French journal called Observations sur La Physique, which included an article on the American plant sassafras.Some commentators have argued for filé and claim the word "gumbo" actually comes from kombo, the Choctaw term for powdered sassafras.By the time Peyroux was writing his treatise on sassafras, Africans had been present in Louisiana for some 60 years, plenty long enough for their traditional okra-based stews to have entered the larger culinary culture of the colony.Cooks found they could achieve a similar thickness using the filé powder made by the local Choctaw, and they started substituting that when okra wasn't available.In 1817, the American Star of Petersburg, Virginia, ran an article describing okra, which it noted "is common in the West Indies.".Mary Randolph included a similar recipe for "Gumbo—A West India Dish" in The Virginia House-Wife (1824): okra stewed in water and served with melted butter.An 1831 article on okra in the New England Farmer noted the plant's "known reputation in the West Indies" and that, "a very celebrated dish, called Gombo, is prepared in those countries where okra is grown, by mixing with the green pods, ripe tomatoes, and onions; all chopped fine, to which are added pepper and salt, and the whole stewed.".The 1841 edition of Webster's Dictionary defined gumbo as "A dish of food made of young capsules of ocra, with salt and pepper, stewed and served with melted butter.".In the mid 19th century, gumbo shifted from being a dish associated with the West Indies to one associated with New Orleans, perhaps thanks to the extent to which cooks and diners of all races had embraced it in Louisiana.First, fry a cut-up chicken "to a nice brown color," presumably in a cast iron skillet over the coals of a fire, then add a large plateful of okra."The gumbo thus made will be very thick," Mrs. Wright notes, and as in most recipes of the period, she specifies that it be served with "rice boiled tender, but be careful that the grains are separate.".Abby Fisher dictated her book to a committee of nine residents of San Francisco (her "lady friends and patrons") just a few years after she arrived on the West Coast.There's "Ochra Gumbo" with cut okra stewed in beef broth seasoned with just salt and pepper and served with "dry boiled rice.".I expected that Abby Fisher, whose cooking by all reasonable explanations would have drawn primarily upon her experience in Alabama and possibly South Carolina, wouldn't be one to use filé.It took several days before the realization hit me, and it's an explanation that's easy to miss in this era of frozen foods and vegetables grown in California and Peru and shipped thousands of miles in refrigerated containers.So here we are, with a West African dish having taken firm root in the American South, most deeply in Louisiana but with a significant footprint in other coastal areas, too.BJ Dennis is a personal chef and caterer in Charleston, South Carolina, and he specializes in Gullah Geechee cuisine.Dennis makes sautéed shrimp and okra in a cast iron skillet, adding onion and garlic along with a little chile and ginger and finishing it with diced tomato and herbs like parsley and thyme.Pleasant, Charlotte Jenkins serves her mother's recipe for "okra gumbo", which includes shrimp, chicken, and pork sausage.It has taken culinary historians and food writers far too long to recognize the central role that African American cooks played in creating what we know today as Southern cuisine. .

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