Okra has always garnered a bad rep for its slimey mouthfeel though it contains a chockful of vitamins and minerals. Do you know that such “slimey-ness” actually has a huge role to play in aiding healthy digestion? Or that there are certain ways to lessen the gooey feel and make eating okra more enjoyable?
Okra pods, also known as ladies’ fingers, hold quite a reputation when it comes to health benefits. A common favorite among weightwatchers and health-conscious individuals, many people avoid it due to its slimey mouthfeel. If you are keen on havin it in your diet, cooking frozen okra without the slime is actually possible.
To thaw the frozen okra , put it in a microwave and stir periodically. It can be also be thawed by placing them in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir periodically until warmed. Do not defrost frozen okra.
Cooking okra without the slime can be hit or miss for the first time. Nutritionists and avid weightwatchers, however, offered various tips and tricks on how to make it less slimey as possible.
Pick fresh and choose small ones.
Baby okras, for instance, have low mucilage than mature ones. Make sure to avoid okras with blemishes or may have already looked shriveled.
Preparation is key in controlling okra slime.
For one, don’t wash them until cooking time. Cut in big chunks rather than thin. Water can amplify sliminess and mucilage becomes thicker when sliced thinly. Try poking holes in the top of the pod to let mucilage out. You may even want to cook them whole particularly when using baby okras.
Always pat-dry okra after washing.
Even when soaked in vinegar and rinsed thereafter with water, always remember to pat them dry.
Pre-cook okra on high heat before adding to a recipe.
Saute, roast, blanch, grill or roast. Do it beforehand and your recipe will definitely enjoy less, if not zero, slime. Chill-blanching okra like the above is a great way to limit the slime.
When cooking, always choose high heat– and in small batches.
This will help prevent overcrowding leading to heat reduction that stimulates mucilage.
Acid ingredients can help cut down slimey mouthfeel.
Add vinegar or wine, chopped tomato or perhaps lemon juice when cooking. Okra is also known to be best with cayenne pepper, chile or cumin.
Most, if not all, plants produce mucilage or a “thick, gluey” substance that plays a hugerole in storing water and food, and seed germination. Okra pods are known to be mucilaginous giving them that icky slimey mouthfeel. This slime, however, contains astounding soluble fiber known to aid best in good digestion and a slew of various benefits.
The slimey mouthfeel or “mucilage” substance, though considered icky by others, actually aid “smooth peristalsis” of food being digested via the gut which then, prevents constipation and other gut issues. In fact, some people in dire need of digestion assistance tend to slow-cook okra to max out mucilage. In some cases, it may even be boiled then, used for the hair to add more bounce and shine. Also amid its super-low calorie content, okra is actually rich in soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals.
It is highly recommended by medical professionals and nutrition experts to aid in cholesterol management and weight loss. The pods including its mucilage are known to possess potent amount of vitamin A, flavonoid antioxidants, folates, Vitamin C, B-comple group of vitamins, and minerals.
Believe it or not, the entire okra is edible. Apart from the okra pods, even the leaves can be added in salads and can be added in other cooked veggies. Okra pods also can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sauteed, etc. It’s a versatile vegetable and one that’s loaded with nutrition.
These makes excellent for starters:
Sauted Okra With Onions
Sauteing is a popular way of cooking okra with less slime and this recipe calls for the added savory goodness of onions. With just 5 minutes of prep time, this easy dish can also last for up to 3 days in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer. Great for low-carb weightwatchers.
Creole Okra Recipe
Great news to vegans, this easy side dish is deliciously divine. Makes use of frozen okra, it can be done anytime of the year. Check out recipe here. Bon gou!
There’s nothing simpler that roasting baby okras. Apart from losing slime, it also delivers that sultry-sweet flavor that’s crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. See cooking preparations here.
Crispy Indian Okra
Want crunchy okra to tease your taste buds? This dish can be made more delicious with ghee or with chicken schmaltz. Cooked crispy just you like it! Here’s the recipe.
Southern Style Fried Okra
This poppin’ okra recipe burst all-natural flavor in the mouth without the slime. Cooked in utter simplicity, it traps slime by dredging it with flour then, fried until golden. See recipe here.
Give these healthy ladies’ fingers a try. By learning how to cook frozen okra without the slime, you can finally enjoy the health benefits it brings. Bon appetit!