One of my favorite things to grow in the garden is okra. I love it fried, pickled, and cooked up in jambalaya or gumbo. It’s such an easy vegetable to grow and preserve. Here are some of my favorite ways to preserve okra for all-year enjoyment.
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It’s Okra Season
The thing about growing okra is that we don’t get a whole bunch at one time. There is usually a batch of okra to pick every other day or so during this time of the growing season. That means I have to find a way to preserve it quickly with as little work as possible.
Okra can get pretty tall so make sure you plant it toward the back of your garden so you don’t shade out your other vegetables. It will typically grow more okra pods along the stalk as it continues to get taller.
Every other day or so, I take a small hand basket, and my garden snips and go out to pick okra. The okra leaves are kind of prickly so be aware that some people find that they are itching a bit after picking.
How to Freeze Okra
One of our favorite ways to preserve okra is to freeze it for fried okra and soups later this winter. All you do is rinse the okra, slice it and freeze for future meals. Sometimes I will go ahead and add corn meal and flour so it will be easy to fry and other bags I just freeze for gumbo and jambalaya.
Tip: You can buy this handy baggie holder that makes the process so much easier!
When we fry okra, I simply use a mixture of half corn meal and half self-rising flour. Dip the cut okra in egg and then coat with your flour mixture. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot!
Another way we love to preserve okra is to pickle it. The best-pickled okra pods are small and tender so you can fit a whole bunch in each jar.
How to make the brine:
- Mix 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups water, 2 tsp dill and 1/3 cup canning salt
- Bring to a boil
- Add 1 clove of garlic to each jar
- Pack as many small okra pods in each jar as you can
- Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes
- Enjoy all winter long
- *** Add 1 cayenne pepper to each jar (optional)
Tip: I make up the full recipe of brine and then refrigerate the extra so it is an easy process to can 2 jars at a time.
Do you enjoy growing and preserving okra? Got any favorite recipes you and your family love? I’d love to hear!