Home Health & Fitness Why We Love Okra And How To Prepare It

Why We Love Okra And How To Prepare It

by Sandra Dindi
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The slimy nature of cooked Okra can be a turnoff for some people-especially if you associate it with other nasty slimy matter. But once you get over it, you will enjoy the nutritional benefits of its fiber packed pod for your overall well-being.

What is Okra?

Popularly known as ‘lady fingers’ Okra, is a green flowering plant from the same family as hibiscus and cotton. While cotton and hibiscus are inedible, Okra seedpods make delicious vegetables for salads, soups and a variety of savory meals.

Health benefits of Okra

Apart from being a favorite for your palate, Okra has additional health benefits. Rich in vitamin B and C, folic acid and generous amounts of potassium, calcium and fiber, it’s a wonder Okra has not been classified as medicinal food.

Scientific evidence suggests that Okra has numerous health benefits including managing type 1 and type 2 ,as well as gestational diabetes-making it a must have  for expectant mothers.

Its rich fiber content not only keeps you fuller for longer but also improves digestion. This trait –insulin sensitivity- is what makes it best for treatment of diabetes.

Regular consumers of Okra also exhibit less stress levels. Its antioxidant properties have long been documented. Reduction of stress levels can greatly impact sugar levels in the blood stream, preventing sugar spike -which is great for diabetes management. Okra is also known to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream as well as have anti-fatigue properties.

4 delicious ways to prepare Okra!

Okra soup

Instead of your everyday meaty soups, go vegan for a change. Fry onions, tomatoes, garlic and fresh pounded ginger in a pot; add some fresh green okra to the mix with some water- season with salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve as vegetable with rice, ugali or chapatti. Also, you can serve with meat on the side or throw in a few pieces of cooked beef or fish while simmering. Stock fish in peppery Okra is a Nigerian favorite.

Fried okra

If soupy Okra is too slimy, try frying it. Dip fresh Okra pods into buttermilk, egg and pepper. Powder it with some cornmeal and then deep fry until all sides are brown. Such deliciousness!

Roasted okra

Roasting okra is another way of getting rid of the slime-if you are not a fun. Wash the okra and cut out the bottom and the top. Dry and then marinate with oil, salt and pepper for 30 minutes (can add other spice too).

Pre-heat oven to 415 –degrees and put in the okra on a try .Roast for about 40 minutes to brown on all sides.

Okra tacos

What delicious way to enjoy left-over okra veggies! Enjoy a nutritious midday take- away snack of okra wrapped in a taco. You can have chapatti and bread wrappings too. Masala stuffed okra is something to try too. It’s all about going on an okra adventure!

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