8 Okra Recipes you must try!As a child of southern raised parents Okra was a regular menu item in the summer. We had Okra either fried with cornmeal, stewed by itself or with tomatoes over rice and sometimes raw cut up over a salad. The seasoned crunchy fried okra was my favorite. As years have pass I’ve discovered that cooking okra has limitless possibilities like marinated, tempura , roasted,grilled and more.
- Very low in calories, provides just 30 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins; recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in Okra pods helps smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
- The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the green vegetable with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
- Fresh pods are good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. The pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C; provides about 36% of daily recommended levels. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protects body from harmful free radicals.
- These veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones. The pods are also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long. The best way to store Okra in the refrigerator is in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days, or it may be frozen for up to 12 months after blanching whole for 2 minutes.