1 Portfolio point = 3 cups of cooked okra

What is okra?

Okra is a vegetable high in viscous fibre, which is shown to lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). It has a unique gooey texture and tastes similar to eggplant. It can be used to thicken stews and soups. Okra may also be called “Ladies Finger”, bhindi, or gumbo.

Buying and Storing Okra

  • Fresh okra may only be available at Asian grocery stores.
    • Look for green pods that are firm, free of blemishes, and 2-3 inches long.
    • Store unwashed okra in a plastic bag or paper towel in the refrigerator.
    • It can be kept for up to 3 days.
  • Frozen okra is just as nutritious as fresh okra and may be easier to find in the grocery store.
    • Find it in the freezer aisle with other frozen vegetables.
  • 1/2 cup frozen okra = 1/3 cup cooked okra

Preparing and Cooking Okra

  • For fresh okra, wash and gently scrub its surface to remove fuzz.
  • Frozen okra does not require preparation, but can be cooked the same way.
  • Preparing and cooking:
    • Slice tips and stems off
    • Cook okra pods whole or in acid (e.g. citrus, tomato, vinegar) to prevent a gummy texture
    • Or try soaking okra in ½ cup white vinegar (per 500 g fresh okra) for half an hour and rinse before cooking to reduce gumminess
    • Cook the okra quickly on high heat to keep its crunch or cook slowly on low heat for tender okra

Okra Recipe Ideas

  • Add it to your stew or curry
  • Try making gumbo
  • Try making okra salsa
  • Sauté with garlic, onions, or tomatoes for an excellent side dish
  • Roast in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a healthy snack

To view Portfolio recipes with okra, click here.

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