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Rosa from Evergreen, LA
Here are a few different options for preserving okra:
Canning: Use tender, young pods for canning. Remove and discard pods showing signs of disease or rust spots. You should plan on about 11 pounds of okra for every 7 quarts canned (7 pounds per 9 pints). Wash the pods and trim off the ends. You can either leave them whole or cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a large saucepan and cover them with hot water. Boil for 2 minutes before draining. Fill jars with hot okra and cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch of headspace. If desired, add salt to taste.
Freezing: The smooth type varieties freeze as well as, or better than, the ridged varieties because they do not split as easily. Wash. Remove the stems at the end of the seed cells, being careful not to expose the seed cell. Water blanch small pods 3 minutes and large pods 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Leave whole or slice crosswise. Package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.
To freeze for frying: Wash and remove stems. Blanch small pods 3 minutes and large pods 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Slice crosswise and dredge with meal or flour. Spread in a single layer on shallow trays. Place in freezer just long enough to freeze firm. Package quickly leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.
Drying-Dry in a dehydrator 4 to 6 hours or 6 to 10 hours in an oven on a low setting.
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I have so much okra. Do I freeze them so I can cook at a later date? Are there any other methods of preserving okra?
Yes, you can freeze okra. To freeze whole, just blanch briefly ( a minute will do) in boiling water and pack in freezer bags. You can also slice the okra after blanching and freeze it that way. You can also make pickled okra. Southern Living magazine has a great pickled okra recipe on their website.
You can freeze it. Anything you see frozen in the supermarket you can freeze at home.
I have frozen a lot of okra. When I used it at Christmas, guests thought it was fresh cut okra. To get the okra ready to freeze, do not cut the okra but leave it whole. Place it in boiling water for a minute, or until all turns a bright green. Don't leave it in the boiling water very long.