Freeze it, dry it, can it and more 6 Ways to Preserve Your Extra Okra

Fresh homegrown okra

Anyone Have Some Extra Okra?

If you do a late planting of okra, sometimes it can really pile up towards the end of the season. And if you keep your eyes open at the farmers market, sometimes you can find great deals on the final few harvests.

But one can only eat so much okra, as good as it is. I found a nice guide from the Washington State University Extension that spells out some creative ways to put up your okra surplus. We all know about freezing it, but there are some other great options you can consider as well.

Read more: Fresh Homegrown Okra – Star of the Summer Garden

Multiple Ways of Freezing Okra

So the standard way that I always freeze okra is to simply rinse it off, blanch it for a few minutes, let it cool and seal it up. This is a pretty common thing at our house, because we only grow a few plants and we end up with lots of odds & ends but few big harvests.

The folks over at Washington State suggest another method you can use. If you’re planning to fry the okra when you thaw it out, you can slice it up after it cools and bread it before you put it in the freezer. That way when you take it out of the freezer, it’s ready to go in the fryer.

Read more: 5 More Dehydrator Recipes for Gardeners

Many Methods for Preserving Okra

There are several other methods included in the document below. There are instructions for dehydrating your okra (you should still blanch it).

And there are three different methods given for canning okra. There’s a basic recipe for canning in water, and another set of instructions for making okra pickles. And there’s also a tempting recipe for canning okra in tomatoes with onions added for flavor. Looks like we might be enjoying some wintertime gumbo this year!

You can view or download the original PDF file here: Preserving Okra

Sam Coffman Top 25 Herbs Chart


Thanks to the Washington State University Extension, and Lizann Powers-Hammond from the Benton County office for sharing the helpful guide.

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Michael Ford


Contributor

Michael has been the resident editor at The [Grow] Network since January 2015. Michael grew up in St. Louis, where he became a lover of nature - hiking and fishing his way through the Ozark hills in Missouri. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, and he currently lives in Austin. Michael has background experience in small-scale farming, commercial growing, vegetable gardening, landscaping, marketing, and software development. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild in 2013.


5 Comments
  • Sandy

    Have always loved the flavor of okra and not minded the goopiness a bit. It gives us a lot of silica, a mineral that is of great value in keeping our bodies strong and healthy. One of the goals I have for my Zone 3 Northwoods organic garden is to figure out how to grow a bumper crop of okra despite the short season and cooler climate. I have gotten plants to grow, and even to fruit, but not in profusion. I can almost see them shiver through our mostly 70 to 75F summers. Can anyone out there suggest some strategies for upping the yield on my crop? And when I GET there, does anyone have suggestions on what the best way would be to preserve it with a dehydrator?

  • Tammy Baker

    Dehydrated okra is really good. Take raw okra and slice it into 1/4″ thick slices. Set temperature at 160 degrees and dehydrate until crisp. Use as croutons or just snack on them. Everyone ask what spice you put on them and the answer is none.

  • Sandy

    thanks, Tammy. I’m going to try this whether I grow it or not! As I said, I alsway liked okra, but when I tried this dish in an Indian food restaurant, I became severely hooked (The word in Hindi for okra is bhindi): http://indianfood.about.com/od/vegetarianrecipes/r/bhindisubji.htm

  • David Newberry

    I have a freezer full of okra. I fry my okra fresh from the garden 1. Cut into 1/4 to 3/8 slices. 2 coat with buttermilk. 3. Use a breader box (like you would use on fish) to coat with a combination of 1 part white cornmeal to 2 parts yellow corn meal mix garlic salt,season salt, black pepper in the breading to taste. 4. Deep fry in canola till golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb grease when you take it off. 5. Let cool then place in food saver bags and freeze lasts over 2 years although mine seldom makes it that long before being eaten. 6. Thaw on the counter till it starts to break up, then place in a skillet and heat. I have also used cookie sheets in the oven.

  • Anna

    You can also ferment your okras in brine to preserve them

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