Jane Tunks called okra, “sublime slime,” but it doesn’t have to be. If you think you don’t like it, try roasting it whole. It’s divine, but without the slime!

Start with the smallest, freshest okra you can find. Leave the pods whole and cook them quickly. They will be creamy inside, not slimy, with seeds that pop when you bite into them. 

½ pound (about 38 to 40 pods) small, young okra pods, 2-to 3-inches long or less
2 tablespoons light olive oil or bacon fat
Coarse salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 500º F.

Rinse okra and blot dry on paper toweling. Trim ends of caps but try not to puncture the pod capsule. Place oil or melted fat in a bowl; add okra and toss to coat. Lay pods on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place pan on center rack in preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and brown, turning once or twice. (Use convection mode if your oven has it; watch the timing because it may brown more quickly.) Grind black pepper over okra, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve hot or at room temperature as a side dish, an appetizer, or a snack.
Recipe from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance

Makes 4 servings .
Per serving—Net Carbs: 2.g; Protein: 2g; Fiber:1.3g; Fat: 7.7g;* Calories: 91
Total weight: 4 ounces or 115 grams
Weight per serving: 1 ounce or 29 grams
Preparation time: 8 minutes active; 18 to 20 minutes total

*1 teaspoon or more of the oil or fat included in the count will be left over.

Frozen okra can be used for soups and stews, but for this recipe, only fresh will do. Choose small okra and store it in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. Okra may be easier to find in an Asian specialty market, but when it is in season (June, July, and August), many supermarkets and farmers’ markets will have it.

Use non-reactive pans, like ceramic or stainless steel, to prevent okra from discoloring. It won’t change the taste or make it hazardous; it is just unattractive.

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Judy Barnes Baker
9 years ago

Anonymous: I know it is easy to grow, at least if you live in a place with hot summers. My mother always grew it in Arkansas.

I like the idea of putting vegetables in with the other plants. Most of them are very beautiful–okra flowers look like hibiscus.

9 years ago

This sounds scrumptious, and I believe okra is easy to grow. Next summer I'm going to try planting certain veggies among my landscape beds.