Okras are tasty, versatile and healthy. There are so many ways to eat them, and we will give you a few more reasons to do that.
There are so many recipes you should try. Okras make a nice addition to almost every savory meal, and you can even eat them as side dish. Do your own research, and try some new recipes. Combine okras with other healthy ingredients and use herbs and healthy spices. You can use them in your favorite stir-fry, stews, soups and salads.
Okras belong to the mallow family and has great yellow flowers. The pods measure 4-10 inches. Okras grow in warm areas in South America, the Middle East, and in the southern United States. They are fruits, but we eat them as veggies.
This fruit is abundant in minerals, vitamins and fiber. A cup of okras will give you 40% of the recommended intake of vitamin C. It is also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and folate.
Health benefits of okras:
- Prevent blood sugar spikes after meals and lower blood sugar levels
- Prevent liver damage and disease
- Improve energy and treat fatigue
- Reduce stress, boost mood, treat anxiety and depression
- Provide anticancer effect and shrink (skin, breast) tumors
- Reduce the absorption of glucose, lower blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes
- Lower bad cholesterol
- Promote weight loss
- Treat gastritis, peptic ulcers and stomach ache
- Improve cognitive abilities and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases
- Relieve the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory issues
Caution: Okras may interact with diabetes medications. Avoid them if you deal with gastrointestinal problems, kidney stones, vein thrombosis and blood clots.
Wash and split the okras in half. Soak them in water overnight. Drink the liquid in the morning.
How to eat okras?
Cut the okras before adding them to your food to prevent the formation of slime
Soak the pods in vinegar and lemon juice for 30 minutes before cooking them
Add okras to thicken your gumbo and stews. Blanch the pods, and add them 10 minutes before the end of the cooking.
Okras work well when prepared as fritters.
Here’s another recipe you should try:
Pan-fried okra with cornmeal
• 2 pounds fresh okra, stems trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 6 tbsp canola oil, divided
• 2/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
• 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Cook the okras over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until they become bright green. Season with salt and black pepper, and add cayenne pepper and cornmeal. Add oil and cook the okras uncovered for 60 minutes.
Creole shrimp and okra
• 2 cups fresh okra, trimmed and halved lengthwise
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup stone-ground polenta or grits
• 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
• 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
• 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup vertically sliced onion
• 3/4 cup diagonally sliced celery
• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced
• 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 3 cups fresh marinara sauce
• 1/2 cup water
Cook the garlic, milk, stock and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, and add in your polenta and some salt. Turn the heat on low and cook for 10 minutes.
Cook your oil, onions, okra and celery to a large skillet over high heat for 2-4 minutes.
Add in your shrimp, red pepper, black pepper and salt. cook for 2 minutes, and add in your sauce and ½ cup water. Simmer for 2 minutes and add in your vinegar.
Serve your polenta and shrimp with some green onions.