Thursday, July 29, 2010

Freezing Okra

It’s no secret that I love okra. I miss being able to cook with okra during the winter months. I don’t necessarily need okra for every week of the winter, but once or twice a month is nice!


The easiest way for me to store okra is to freeze it. I tried canning okra last year and it was a disaster! Freezing is a little messy, but a lot less frustrating!


First things first. Wash that okra!


You want to cut the stem end off. Don’t cut too far into the pod. You don’t want to see the seeds. That keeps the water out of the pod during boiling and cooling.


You also want to cut the very tip of the blossom end off, too. Not much, just the very tip!


This is what you don’t want to see – the inside of the pod. I wouldn’t throw this out or anything. I still processed it. It may have held a little more water than the others, but not noticeable. 


While your cutting, you want to split the okra into two piles, under 4” long and over 4” long. They have different boil times.


Put a pot of water on and bring it to a full rolling boil. Dump some okra in and start the timer. For pods that are over 4”, boil for 5 minutes; for pods that are under 4”, boil for 3 minutes.


After boiling, submerge the okra immediately into an ice bath to stop the boiling.


Drain the okra from the ice bath and then lay out on a towel. Repeat until all of the okra is boiled. I like to take another towel and dry the okra a little better before I start the next step.


I like to have my okra already sliced when I pack it in bags to put in the freezer. The processing book I use says to cut into 1” pieces, but I just slice the okra to the size I like to use…just no larger than 1”.

After all of the okra is sliced, pack into quart freezer bags, remove all of the air, gently “squish” the bags flat for easier storage and stick in the freezer!

I forgot to get a picture of the finished, packed okra, but I ended up putting up eight quarts of okra. Not too shabby!

If you have okra in your garden and find yourself wishing you had some in the winter, I encourage you to at least try freezing it. I don’t believe that you’ll be disappointed!

No comments: