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Photo of whole, fresh okra
Photo of cut, raw okra
Photo of an okra plant
Photo credits (left to right): Photo credits (top to bottom): Wikimedia Commons; Wikimedia Commons; Flickr: faul

Foods Included



Okra is a green edible seed pod that has a fuzzy texture on its skin. It is traditionally used in Gumbo to help thicken the soup.

Buy It

  • Choose bright green okra that is firm.
  • Avoid okra that is moldy, limp, or dried out.

Store It

  • Keep okra in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • Before cooking okra, wash with cold water.

Cook It

  • Stovetop: Rinse okra and drain well. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the okra and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain okra  and season with salt and pepper.
  • Microwave: Put rinsed okra in a microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 4-6 minutes or until tender. Drain well and season with salt and pepper.
  • To prevent okra from becoming slimy, you can add vinegar or other acidic ingredients (like tomatoes) while cooking.
  • Okra can be used as a substitute for zucchini in dishes.
  • Okra tastes great in curries, sautés, and soups.

Why It's Great

  • Vitamin A keeps our eyes working, our immune system strong, and our cells growing.
  • B Vitamins helps our cells grow and stay healthy.
  • Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Vitamin K helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Fiber helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full.  Eating enough fiber has been shown to keep our hearts healthy too.
  • Folate, or folic acid, helps our tissues grow and our cells work.  Especially important for pregnant women.

Try It

Black-Eyed Peas and Okra
50 mins
Photo of black eyed peas and okra in a white dish
Somali Okra and Vegetable Soup
50 mins
Photo of prepared Somali Okra and Vegetable Soup
Sautéed Okra with Onions and Tomatoes
20 mins
Spicy Okra
16 mins
Photo of okra on a plate
Iraqi Tomato Soup with Okra
50 mins
Photo of prepared Iraqi Tomato Soup with Okra
Beef and Okra Stew
1 hr
Photo of prepared Beef and Okra Stew

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