Harvesting and Freezing Okra
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Okra is one of the easiest vegetables to freeze. It's so simple that I have been putting up okra every few days as I harvest it in small batches. You can freeze it without blanching it, or simply dry-blanch it in the oven for even longer storage.
If you have never seen an okra plant, this is what it looks like. This was our first year to grow okra and I think it is a garden crop we will continue. I followed the directions on the seed packets which included soaking the seeds first and planted them. I actually forgot about them and soaked them an extra day or so, and some didn't come up but we still got a nice little crop of okra. The plants seemed to grow pretty quickly and we have had a continuous harvest for weeks.
We grew green and red okra which makes a pretty harvest basket. (Basket pictured has green beans and okra.). We cut the okra from the stem with scissors or pruning shears. The stems are really thick and they rip apart if you don't use scissors. The boys love harvesting okra. It's the first thing they want to do when they are in the garden. You want to harvest every couple days because the okra grows really fast and if the pods get too big they become too hard to consume. I like to pick okra around 3-5 inches long for optimal tenderness. Larger pods go in the compost. In the video below, I cut a large okra pod to show how it is too hard and fibrous for consumption. It is so hard, you can hear me cutting into it.
Watch my quick youtube video to see how easy it is to freeze okra.
What you need:
Sided baking sheet or jelly roll pan
Parchment paper (affiliate link)
Freezer zipper bags (affiliate link) or storage containers
Simply wash and dry the okra. Slice into rounds. Place on parchment lined sided baking sheet. Freeze for about 4 hours. Place okra in zipper seal bags or storage containers, label, and return to the freezer. This method will keep okra fresh in your freezer for up to 4 months, maybe even longer. For longer storage, (up to 12 months) simply place pan of okra in a 350 degree F. preheated oven for 7-8 minutes then cool pan a few minutes before freezing. This is called dry-blanching and will preserve the texture, flavor and color longer.
Here is our favorite shrimp and sausage gumbo recipe which uses okra.
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Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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