Though I have lived in quite a few different states, I will always be a North Carolina
girl. Consequently, okra holds a special place in my heart. I do not know what I
would do without okra. I am picky when it comes to the texture and taste of most
vegetables so it is very lucky that I am so obsessed with at least one green gem of
a veggie. In addition to being a nutrient powerhouse, okra also has a fascinating
Okra has been cultivated for a very long time. The first recorded cultivation dates
back to the ancient Egyptians! The Egyptians loved okra and many today site okra
as the source of Cleopatra’s beauty (makes sense to me!). According to history, Yang
Guifei, one of the “Four Beauties of Ancient China” was also beautiful as a result of
her consumption of okra. Today Kami, Japan, is the world’s largest producer of okra
and is a place famous for its very healthy looking population regardless of age. Not
surprisingly, they credit their good health and looks to okra. Okra’s cultivation spread
to the rest of the world during the slave trade. Also interesting, during World War II
coffee was in shortage so okra seeds where used instead of coffee beans. This usage
propelled okra into stardom and its popularity became known as “okra fever.”
What interesting facts! I learned recently that fellow Rolling Staircase blogger,
Cynthia, is not a fan of okra. In fact, many people have an issue with the slimy-ness of
okra. For some reason this does not bother me one bit. Besides, usually when I eat
okra it is fried…and frying makes just about anything taste good! However, frying is
not too healthful, and yes, other cooking methods do leave okra a bit slimy. Recently
I found a new way to okra that does seem to help. I did not know this before, but
apparently many people BAKE their okra. Reaalllyyy?! I decided this sounded
interesting and gave it a try. I loved it!! It was so simple and now I bake okra at least
once a week! Here is my recipe for baked okra. I hope you give it a try!!
Baked Seasoned Okra
1 bag frozen cut okra (or fresh)
Cooking spray (optional)
Seasoning of choice (salt, chili powder, crushed red pepper for example)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
3. Spread okra evenly over cookie sheet in a single layer.
4. Spray with cooking spray if you so desire.
5. Sprinkle desired amount of seasoning over the okra.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and flip okra to other side (I usually just stir the okra
around with a spatula).
8. Sprinkle a bit more seasoning over the okra.
9. Bake for another 15 minutes and then allow okra to cool before taste testing.
10. Adjust seasoning as you see fit and ENJOY!
SO GOOD! Feel free to bake a bit longer if you want. It actually gets almost crispy if
you leave it in the oven for long enough (without burning it, hah!)