How To Store Okra In The Long Term
Okra is not only delicious but also a good source of nutrition. Thus, it often contributes to many dishes in the kitchen. However, if it is left for too long, it will be no longer nutritional. On the other hand, if we do not store it in the correct way, the okra will be easily rotten, and can even become poisonous and harm human health.
Normally, a gardener harvest about 300 – 400 pods per day. With such a large number, it is important to have a safe solution to store them. Otherwise, they will be rotten with a sticky texture. If so, then you are landing in the right place. This article will show you how to store okra in good condition.
Nutritional Value of Okra
It is extremely high-fiber food. Just half a bowl of cooked okra provides 2g of fiber, while raw okra provides about 3.2g of fiber. Therefore, okra will help regulate your blood sugar levels as well as helpịng the digestive system function more smoothly and absorb nutrients better.
In addition, the sticky texture of okra also crept into joints, limiting the aging process of bones, helping the body to work easily, and reducing the possibility of arthritis.
The content of minerals, vitamins such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C,… in okra is quite high. This is also a source of energy for the human body to improve health and prevent some dangerous diseases.
At the same time, okra also contains folic acid which is used to prevent neural tube defects and birth defects in the fetus, so it is very good for pregnant women.
Furthermore, okra is a low-calorie food, making it an indispensable dish on the menu of those who are in need of weight loss. You should eat okra regularly if you want to own a slim body, beautiful skin, and flawless hair.
How to Store Okra after Harvesting
Before going to any detailed instructions on how to store okra, users should determine when you will eat okra, which decides the ways of storage, either short-term or long-term storage. Also, when purchasing okra, the stage of choosing okra should be paid much attention to for longer storage. And the most important thing is to wash your hands before handling fresh produce.
With this preservation of storing in the refrigerator, okra will always be stored fresh for 4 to 5 days.
First of all, loosely wrap a layer of perforated plastic bags on the outside.
Then, put the okra in the crisper drawer.
Please remember that you do not need to do any washing or cutting. According to Michigan State University, dried okra reduces the chances of molding growth. Also, if the ridges and tips appear to get dark, you should consume them immediately before it rots.
When it comes to the long term, there are 3 main ways to store okra, which are freezing, canning, and pickling.
For better freezing okra, it is highly recommended that you choose the okra with young and smooth pods with a length of no more than 2.5 inches to reduce the risks of splitting.
- Step 1: Wash your okra to remove dirt and bugs. Remember to use cold or room temperature water in order not to cook it.
- Step 2: Use a kitchen knife to cut the stems from the pods quickly. Why quickly? Because if the processing times are more than half an hour, they will discolor.
- Step 3: Branch the okra pods in the ready boiling water in 3 minutes. This is to eliminate bacteria and unfavorable enzymes.
- Step 4: Put them in ice water in 5 minutes to stop the boiling process.
- Step 5: Place the okra in vacuum-sealed bags.
Frozen okra can last for up to 9 months, which is completely suitable for those who want to try fresh okra in winter months.
In fact, you can freeze your okra without blanching. However, you should be aware that the taste, texture, and color of the okra will be lost without blanching.
Once you have anticipated that, then what you need to do is to place them in the freezer on a parchment-lined tray for a few hours. Then, take it out, put them in the freezer bags, and store.
Read more: How To Store Potatoes
Some people are worried about the freezer burns, so canning okra is a good choice to enhance your cooking skills.
- Step 1: Wash the pods carefully to totally remove dirt and bugs.
- Step 2: Cut okra’s ends with a kitchen knife. Then, you can slice them into pieces or leave them whole.
- Step 3: Boil the water with a small amount of salt.
- Step 4: Boil okra in 2 minutes.
- Step 5: Put the cooked ọkra in the jars.
- Step 6: Pour the boiling liquid into the jars.
- Step 7: Set the adequate pressure for your canner.
- Step 8: Place all of the jars in the pressure canner for 25 – 40 minutes, depending on the type of jars you are using.
- Step 9: Take the okra jars out and store them in a proper environment.
Pickling okra is absolutely fabulous. You can get both vinegar taste and yummy crunch without having to use cucumbers.
- Step 1: Remove the okra stems.
- Step 2: Wash them in the salt water carefully and then drain it.
- Step 3: Make the brine. Mix vinegar, sugar, and water and boil the mixture for 8 – 9 minutes.
- Step 4: Wait until the brine is cooled.
- Step 5: Place all prepared okra in the jars and pour the brine into the jars.
- Step 6: Screw on the lid and refrigerate the okra in 48 hours before using it. Please remember to wait until all the air bubbles have gone before putting them in the fridge.
Next post: How To Grow Brussel Sprouts In Pots
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tell if Okra is Bad?
When perfectly ripen, the okra pods are firm with bright green color. Thus, if they have soft, mushy, or tender pods are you should discard it as those are the signs of spoilage.
How Long does Okra Last after being Picked?
If the okra jars are sealed properly, it can be stored in the cool closet for up to a year. Meanwhile, with an opened jar, the shelf life can be within 1 or 2 months.
Okra is a nutritious plant and it is easy to store, as well. And even if you have a hefty harvest, you are no need to get worried about how to store okra safely as there are 4 ways of storage that enable okra to last up to a year.
Hopefully, with our advice, you can accomplish it! Good luck!