Health Benefits of “Lady Fingers”, Okra

How to select good Okra?

Although topical use of okra does a lot of good, we just cannot ignore how beneficial its intake is. Most of us are left clueless when questioned about how to select good Okra. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the selection process better.

  1. Smaller pods – Always look for smaller pods because they are tender. They taste better than the larger ones which are tough and stringy too.
  2. Bright colour – Look out for bright green-coloured pods. You may also find varieties of burgundy or deep red. Those are also used for cooking purpose but green ones are widely used.
  3. Unblemished pods – While selecting okra, try and look for unblemished ones. These are fresh and are not rotten from inside.
  4. Firmness – Check for the firmness of okra. While the smaller pods are generally tender, they should not be very soft.

How to store Okra?

  1. Okra should be stored unwashed.
  2. You can store it in a paper bag or simply wrap it in a newspaper. If you don’t have a paper bag, you can also store it in a perforated plastic bag.
  3. Make sure you keep it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. This would help you store it for up to 3 days at least.
  4. Okra tends to decay faster when kept really cold. So make sure you store it in warmer temperature in your refrigerator.
  5. Simply blanch the whole okra and freeze it if you want to store it longer.

Tips for usage

  1. Before cooking, thoroughly wash and rinse whole okra well with water.
  2. After washing, pat it dry completely, using a dry towel.
  3. You can then store it in a zip-lock bag and leave it overnight in the fridge before using it next day. This will make it less slimy while cooking. This will make okra freeze solid.
  4. Add okra immediately to your dish after taking it out from the refrigerator. You can use it as whole or chopped.
  5. Always trim the ends before adding it to your dish.
  6. Don’t allow it to thaw to avoid it from sliming out.

Tips for cooking

  1. To avoid too much sliming, fry it in oil a little before adding all spices. This reduces the slime to a great extent. Remove okra from the pan and set aside and add it towards the end after you have prepared the rest of the dish.
  2. Soak it in vinegar or lemon water before using it. Another option is to add lemon or vinegar to the dish itself to cut down the slime.
  3. Blanch okra for 3-4 minutes to reduce the slime and add to the dish when it is almost cooked.

Okra recipes

We all have okra the normal way, i.e, in form of vegetable dish. Here is a recipe that is quick, tasty and different too.

Grilled okra

Ingredients: Okra, grapeseed oil or olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

Procedure: First prepare the charcoal grill on high heat flame. Trim the ends or the stems of the okra. Now toss it in oil thoroughly so as to cover it with oil. Place okra on charcoal grill and cover with a lid. Let it remain covered till you see grill marks on okra. It should look a little charred on the edges. Turn it thereafter and let it get grilled on the other side as well. Once done, remove it from the grill and sprinkle some salt and lemon juice and enjoy your grilled hot okra.

Source :

healthdigezt

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