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. .
Okra: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Okra Plants
This plant not only grows edible vegetables and beautiful flowers but also it is rich in vitamin A and low in calories, which makes it a great addition to your diet. .
What Is Okra and How Do You Use It? Everything You Need to
The exact origin of this green, somewhat slimy vegetable is unknown for certain but has been traced back to West Africa, Ethiopia, and even South Asia.It's an essential ingredient in many types of cuisine still today, including in the U.S. as mentioned, plus parts of Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, India, and South America.Regardless of how you enjoy it, there's no denying okra is a versatile vegetable that's surprisingly high in nutritional value.These fuzzy green veggies are actually the immature seed pods of the Abelmoschus esculentus, or okra plant.It contains mucilage, which is a naturally occurring substance that acts as a thickener for stews or gumbos, of course.Vegetables often lack significant amounts of protein, making okra unique in this aspect.No matter which way you choose to prepare it, okra will need to be rinsed and patted dry before cutting or slicing.If you're looking for melt-in-your-mouth okra that doubles as a thickening agent, try cooking it low and slow in a stew.To freeze okra start by blanching the pods in boiling water and then shocking them in an ice bath.About an inch of water per week is ideal for okra plants, and even more may be needed if you live in an arid climate.After your first harvest, remove the leaves on the lower part of the plant to speed up production.
Growing Okra Plants
Growing okra requires warm weather, but by using seedlings, you can shave 3 weeks or more from its usual long season.As long as okra seedlings are handled gently, as if they were breakable eggs, they can be slipped into the garden – or into large containers – just as the hot season begins.For the best results, begin with vigorous okra starter plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been helping home gardeners succeed for over a century.Space okra plants 10 inches apart in a very sunny area that has fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.0.Okra loves the heat and can withstand a dry spell, but do your best to give plants 1 inch of water every week.Choose your sunniest spot for growing okra, and wait until the weather is warm to set out your plants.Water the little plants if rain is not expected, but wait a few days before mulching to give the soil a chance to absorb the sun's warmth.In addition to gaining height, okra's leaves get bigger as the plants grow and begin producing yellow blossoms followed by tender pods.Warm weather helps pods grow quickly, so check plants every day once they start producing.This raised bed with dwarf okra provides good drainage, improved soil, and easy access.By the end of the season, full-sized okra plants will tower overhead as these do at the edge of a tree and shrub border. .
The 13 Best Okra Varieties for Your Vegetable Patch
Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, is a flowering annual that bears edible pods and grows in all USDA Hardiness Zones.In this article, we offer thirteen delicious and attractive types of okra from which to choose, to introduce this plant to your outdoor landscape.For those in the North, like me, choose those with the shortest dates to maturity, and start seeds indoors to maximize growing time before temps turn chilly.Unless you want to feature the pods on plants grown as ornamental specimens without picking them, length need not be a factor in product selection.Descriptions of the tallest plants are sometimes non-specific with reference to mature diameters (i.e. the full habit), so a good rule of thumb is to allow for a width as wide as the maximum height.As you shop, you’ll find dwarf varieties that grow to three or four feet tall with three-inch pods, and tree-sized plants with fruits up to 14 inches long.I like plants that are both decorative and functional, and from a floral design perspective, nothing is as exciting as a crop of dry pods to spray gold and feature in a holiday arrangement.
How to cook okra that tastes great and isn't slimy
In the garden and the field, it puts on a stunning display, producing striking flowers that give way to pert emerald-green (or wine-colored) pods, with cross-sections that resemble eyelets.Choose your plan ArrowRight Okra has a sweet, grassy flavor that takes on more depth with longer cooking and a texture that can be crisp and juicy or dense and creamy.Okra mucilage has its admirers: In West Africa and the Southern United States, it’s valued as a culinary tool, used to thicken gumbos and lend body to other soups and stews.In Greece, whole pods are bathed with vinegar and sometimes salt before being rinsed, dried, pan-seared, then combined with tomatoes (more acid) to bake or stew.In the U.S. South, cooks often batter and fry it, braise it with tomatoes and onions, or boil it, to serve dressed in vinaigrette or to dip in butter or hollandaise.Thinking about how many more fans okra could win without its texture getting in the way, I wanted to look more closely at which measures were most effective at toning down its viscosity and which would best translate to a variety of preparations.Viscosity peaks at neutral to alkaline pH, Preston said, which is why exposing okra to acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or tomatoes, tones it down.Some African cooks, she said, go in the other direction, adding baking soda (which raises pH to a more alkaline level) to okra soup to augment its thickening effect.Buying smaller pods was useless, which makes botanical sense: The gel “buffers the plant against water loss during the day,” Preston said.For the dishes here, I’m highlighting methods that nearly eliminated okra’s slippery quality or cut it back substantially while enhancing its taste or texture.For a spiced pilaf that marries Indian seasoning with Southern method, I marinated the okra in citrus and salt, then cooked it along with the rice so its buttery flavor could permeate every grain. .
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.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.Okra, Swiss chard, arugula, and spinach are all excellent sources of vitamin K and calcium.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. .
CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — The Okra Santas are out
The late, crafty Betty Guillory must have painted hundreds of these slender, textured guys and she gifted several to me.From Cauldron Cakes to Bubble and Squeak, these recipes are fun and tempting and will surely get children into the kitchen to keep learning.Baker/writer Alana Al-Hatlani stresses the book is not associated with or authorized or approved by J.K. Rowling, her publishers or Warner Bros.America’s Test Kitchen books thoroughly explain how you create photo-worthy meals and include “Why This Recipe Works” that tell us why we’re about to be rewarded for our efforts.Words like “crunchewy,” nostalgic and hearty and offerings such as cheeseburger mac and green gumbo make up worlds of flavor in “One-Hour Comfort: Quick, Cozy, Modern Dishes for All Your Cravings.”.We are alike the world over – judging from the chapter called Carbs – and comfort is a global crave.I didn’t note pumpkin in this book but sweet potato stew with peanuts makes me feel orange and warm all over.Les Chocolateries Askanya is Haiti’s first and only premier bean-to-bar chocolate company created after meeting with more tan 500 farmers.Corinne Joachim Sanon Symietz grew up in Port-au-Prince and studied in New Orleans, then Ann-Arbor before conquering other locales and missions.Darragh Castillo is a Port Arthur area foodie hoping everyone’s holidays are full of comfort and joy.