In the Kitchen: Recipes and More, Superfoods, Uncategorized

Okra’s Secret + 3 Recipes + Summer Giveaway!

(Giveaway at end of this post)

Summertime and the eating is good! While I don’t personally have a garden anymore, I do benefit from friends’ gardens and the farmers market. One of my favorite summertime vegetables is okra. What is more Southern than fried okra? And what tastes better too? In my journey to healthier eating I’ve discovered three ways that my family and I like okra prepared.

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Interestingly I’ve found that okra is mainly a Southern vegetable although its origin comes from North Africa and other tropical and subtropical climates. It is believed that the French introduced okra to Louisiana in the late 1700’s (which is why they are famous for their gumbo).

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One of the most important health benefits of okra is its high content of Folic acid.  Just a half cup of cooked okra will give you approximately 103 mcg of folic acid! Okra contains healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like B1 and B2. It also contains a high amount of vitamin C and vitamin K. Okra’s fiber content is superior as it helps to regulate digestion and help maintain blood sugar levels.The list just goes on and on. The slime in okra is the secret stuff that makes up most of the nutrients, feeds good bacteria in the intestines and supposedly is great for adding shine and bounce to hair!

It is interesting to look okra up on the internet for a comprehensive list of its positive aspects!

mMy favorite way of cooking okra is to grill it. My sister shared this method with me a few years ago and it remains my top way to cook it. Simply wash the okra and marinate it in olive oil, herbs and spices. Then place the whole pods on the grill on low heat and grill them, turning them as they brown, for about 15-20 minutes. The browner they become the better in my opinion. Once cooked return the pods to the marinade and cover. The okra continues to steam in the olive oil and spices making it tender and delicious.
I found the next method of cooking okra when my children were young. And it is also very easy. Wash whole okra pods, cutting off the tops and slicing them down the middle so you now have two long pods. Heat a skillet to melt a few tablespoons of butter. When nice and hot and the butter has begun to slightly brown add the okra. Sauteeing sliced bell pepper strips with the okra takes it up a notch. I prefer it by itself though. Cover skillet and turn down heat to medium and let them brown. Once tender and brown season with cilantro or your favorite herb, salt and pepper. This is a wonderful side dish and one of the better ways to prepare and keep the nutrients. Cooking okra slowly on low heat will bring out maximum mucilage.


The third way we love to prepare okra is to fry them in the oven. I’m sharing my version of the Trim Healthy Mama recipe. This is how we enjoy okra in the winter time. I buy frozen sliced okra and place it on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt , pepper, grated parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast, stir. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or more. The crispier and browner it becomes the more it tastes like fried okra. Again this is so good and easy. Everyone in the family enjoys this recipe.

There are many reasons to eat okra, it is healthy for you and easy to prepare. But the main reason is that it tastes good, like a little bit of summertime on your plate.

<3 Nancy

Grilled Whole Okra Pods

  • Difficulty: easy
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What you need:

  1. Whole okra pods
  2. Olive oil
  3. Herbs and spices of choice. (black pepper, paprika, mineral salt, garlic powder and parmesan cheese are all great choices).

Directions:

  • Wash the okra and place in bowl or bag to marinate in olive oil, herbs and spices about 5-10 min. 
  • Place the whole pods on the grill on low heat and grill them, turning them as they brown, for about 15-20 minutes. (The browner they become the better).

  • Once cooked return the pods to the marinade and cover the bowl with lid or plate or reseal in bag. (The okra continues to steam in the olive oil and spices making it tender and delicious.)

  • Serve still warm.

Sautéed Okra Slices

  • Difficulty: easy
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What you need:

  1. Whole okra pods
  2. Butter (or refined coconut oil, ghee)
  3. (Optional) Sliced bell pepper of choice
  4. Cilantro + favorite herbs
  5. Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Heat a skillet to melt a few tablespoons of butter.
  • Wash whole okra pods, cutting off the tops and slicing them down the middle so you now have two long pods.
  • When nice and hot and the butter has begun to slightly brown add the okra and if using, add sliced bell pepper strips.

  • Cover skillet and turn down heat to medium and let them brown.
  • Once tender and brown season with cilantro or your favorite herb, salt and pepper.
  • Turn heat to low and take off stove when ready to serve.

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Roasted Okra

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

What you need:

  1. Bag of sliced frozen okra
  2. Olive oil
  3. Garlic powder
  4. Onion powder
  5. Grated parmesan cheese
  6. Nutritional yeast
  7. Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Spread frozen sliced okra on a greased baking sheet.

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  • Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, grated parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast, stir.

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  • Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or more. The crispier and browner it becomes the more it tastes like fried okra.
  • Serve hot out of the oven.

Now for a summer giveaway!!

We are excited about this new creation in our homemade shop!

If you like the sea or summertime, (and who doesn’t?) this giveaway is for you!

This is a wonderful find for summertime decor, boys nursery or anyone who just loves the sea! This sign spells Salt Water on a beautifully “beach weathered” 12×16″ gray wooden sign. A handmade braided rope is attached for easy hanging.

Just join our circle to enter to win! Joining our circle doesn’t mean we’ll be sending you daily emails (we don’t want to overwhelm you!) but it does mean you will be sent exclusive discount codes and exciting new product sneak peaks from time to time.

Be sure to join our circle so you can have a chance to enter to win this wonderful addition to your summer decor!

We’ll announce our winner on our next blog post a week from today!

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