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July 19, 2021
Okra is a staple in southern soul food. This flowering plant is related to the mallow family (cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus) and is widely enjoyed in cuisine across the globe. You might be surprised to find okra in your CSA basket from your local farm in Phoenix, Arizona though. That’s because okra is a drought-tolerant plant that loves the heat!
Okra is considered a superfood. It is a high-fiber food rich in vitamins and minerals. Dietitians consider it as a cholesterol-lowering food as well.
Okra contains a component called mucilage, which becomes a natural thickener when it’s heated. This slimy, thick goo is what makes okra perfect for gumbo recipes. Mucilage is the same chemical compound found in aloe vera which is commonly grown in Arizona and used to soothe sunburns!
If that slimy texture turns you off to trying okra, have no fear! When cooked properly, under high heat and low moisture, you can enjoy okra without the goo. Try this roasted okra with creole remoulade.