Why Grow Okra?

The first time we tried okra was fried at a southern food restaurant. It was a big hit for us. So much so we started growing okra in our home garden the following season down south. It was amazing. It grew 7 feet tall and the okra pods grew to full size in as little as a day. The beautiful hibiscus style flower comes up and when the petals die a pod surfaces and starts to grow. You’d find a small pod in the morning and by evening it was huge! So, we started pulling them when they were smaller to prevent them from overgrowing and ended up with many more coming up.They usually say an overgrown okra is stringy and tough, but not ours. They were so tender regardless of size!

I learned how to make fried okra from a southern gentleman who spent his retirement years growing and giving away vegetables he grew in his 1/2 acre plot. He was amazing in his knowledge of gardening and how to cook everything he got out of his garden. He also grew a ton of zucchini and made them into pickles using the the same technique as cucumbers. He even made zucchini pie which was basically an apple pie recipe using zucchini!  Unbelievably the man of this house is a huge apple pie fan and agreed it was a pretty good substitute.

Most people who think of okra thing about the slime that is usually in the inside. We’ve found it’s only slimy if you are using frozen or store bought okra. The longer it sits the worse it gets. We try to use it right away after we pick it so we don’t have that problem with. Quickly frying it on high heat, sliced okra rolled in cornmeal, salt and pepper prevents it from even starting.

By the way, the slime is an important part of the vegetable because it’s used as a thickner for a number of dishes. I think everyone can agree that gumbo is very tasty. There is nothing better than fresh okra in a homemade gumbo.

Here is a good recipe: https://www.mysimplehealthylife.com/?p=193