Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh!!! It's OKRA.

Was anyone wondering what the green "somethings" in their basket were today?  
The answer is OKRA!

If you're curious, here is some information about Okra.  (I bolded the info. that I think is the most USEFUL. Everything else is interesting though!)

Information from About.com:Southern Food

Okra comes from a large vegetable plant thought to be of African origin, and it was brought to the United States three centuries ago by African slaves. The word, derived from the West African nkruma, was in use by the late 1700s. Grown in tropical and warm temperate climates, it is in the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton.
 
Okra is usually available fresh year-round in the South, and from May to October in many other areas. You can also find okra frozen, pickled, and canned, and in some regions you might find frozen breaded okra for deep frying. When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long. Okra may be stored in the refrigerator 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. Cooked okra can be stored (tightly covered) in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

When cut, okra releases a sticky substance with thickening properties, often used in soups and stews. Gumbos, Brunswick stew, and pilaus are some well-known dishes which frequently use okra. Okra can be served raw, marinated in salads or cooked on its own, and goes well with tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, and eggplant. Whole, fresh okra pods also make excellent pickles. Its mild flavor can be compared to eggplant, though the texture is somewhat unusual.

Nutritional Info: from elook.org

100 grams= about 3.5 oz.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: (100 grams)

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 31

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 0g 0%
   Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carboydrates 7g 2%
   Dietary Fiber 3g ~
   Sugars 1g ~
Protein 2g 4%

Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 35%
Iron 4% Calcium 8%

It catches my eye that Okra is high in fiber and low in calories.

SO....let's figure something out to do with it! If you have ever had Okra before or try a recipe with it this week, please e-mail us at basket411@gmail.org and share your ideas! We'll be sure to do the same and we'll have a recipe for your Okra ASAP!
P.S. While doing my "research," I discovered that Okra is frequently called "Lady Fingers." That fun name just might be enough to get my kids to eat it! Plus, it's almost October and we are always looking for fun Halloween foods to try. Lady Fingers sounds Halloween-y to me! 

4 comments:

Kimberly said...

I come from Oklahoma where everyone deep fries Okra :)

This week I roasted mine and it was delicious!! The bigger ones I cut in half (NOT lengthwise) and the smaller ones I left whole. Cut both ends off of all of them. Then I shook them in a bit of Canola Oil, doused them with Salt and Pepper and roasted them in the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes on 400 degrees on a baking sheet. They were great and my kids loved them!

Simple and delicious.

M Thrasher said...

I made Gumbo last night with mine. Found this recipe. OMG, it is the best gumbo I have ever had.
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/big-charlies-gumbo/Detail.aspx

Jan. said...

I made some great gumbo. I also have it growing in my garden, so I had a good amount to work with. The recipe is posted on my blog: http://azediblegarden.com/?p=893

J Family said...

I sliced mine and put in the freezer. I bagged it out in about 1 + cup portions and plan on adding to vegetable beef soup this winter. Since I was the only one that knew what it was lot of peple pawned theirs off on me. :)