Okra is also referred to as gumbo or lady’s finger. It is an extremely nourishing green pod vegetable. This flowering plant comes from the mallow family and its scientific name is Abelmoschus esculentus.
Okra is grown throughout the warm as well as tropical temperate regions all around the world for its fibrous pods. It is best cultivated in properly drained and well manured soil. Each plant bears many dark green pods which are about five to fifteen cm long. It takes about two months for the okra plant to bear fruits that are ready to harvest.
The health benefits of okra:
Preparation tips for okra:
1. This is true for most vegetables and fruits. The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables are reduced the more they are cooked. This simply means that the less you cook it the more nutritional value it holds for you. 2. Do not dice or slice the lady’s finger before you cook it. This way less juice will be release as the inner capsules are untouched. 3. Some people really cannot stand the sliminess of lady’s finger. There are some ways to reduce this attribute of okra. If okra is cooked for long it becomes soft and more slimy and gelatinous. To reduce the slimy nature of okra simply steam it blanch it till tender instead of boiling it. 4. If you cook okra with an acidic vegetable like tomatoes, it helps in reducing the sliminess of okra. 5. In Caribbean islands lady finger is cooked up and eaten as soup, often with fish. 6. The leaves of the okra are eaten raw in salads.