Fresh Okra During the Winter
Seasonal produce means more bang for buck! Okra, an Oklahoma favorite, is brimming at local farmers’ markets now. The smart shopper can buy in bulk, enjoying some of the okra now and freezing the rest to enjoy during the winter. Freezing okra, like many other produce, is easy. Just rinse, blanch, and freeze.
See these easy-to-follow steps:
- Fill a medium-sized pot with water (half-way full) and bring to boil on medium-high heat.
- While water is heating, rinse okra.
- Trim the stem from the rinsed okra (do not expose the seeds).
- Add trimmed okra to boiling water. Cook small pods (1 -2 inches long) for 3 minutes and cook larger pods (3-4 inches) for 4 minutes.
- Remove okra from boiling water quickly, place in strainer, and hold under cold water to cool.
- Pat dry with paper towel. Leave whole or slice, and then place in a zip-close freezer bag, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top of the bag.
- Seal the bag and freeze.
- Tip: These steps are often referred to as blanching, which is nothing more than boiling vegetables in water briefly and then cooling under running water. Blanching preserves the texture and color of the vegetable during freezing. Try it with many different vegetables.
To save time for those busy weeknights, batter your sliced okra before freezing. For a different flavor than cornmeal, try the batter in ONIE’s Baked Popcorn Okra. See ONIE’s other recipes suitable for fresh or frozen okra.
From the ONIE Project