Okra, zucchini, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, spring peas, broccoli, lettuce, cherries, pineapples, apricots.
What is okra?
Okra is a member of the cotton (Mallow) family. It is now commonly grown in many areas of the southern United States where it can mature during a hot growing season. It grows especially well in North Carolina. Okra grows as an elongated, fuzzy, and ribbed pod that is approximately 2-7 inches in length.
It is used as an ingredient in many recipes and is especially popular with cooks who add it to soups, stews, and gumbos. This is because okra produces a sticky juice that works as a natural thickening agent. Okra can also be boiled, steamed, baked, grilled, microwaved, and used in stir-fries. It has a flavor similar to an eggplant and is quick to cook; typically, it takes approximately 3-5 minutes to cook okra.
It is a highly nutritious, edible plant. One serving of okra, which is approximately 10 pods or 106 grams, contains 30 calories and provides a good source of the vitamins C and A. It is also high in folate.
Okra was initially introduced into the United States in its southern region, okra is cooking staple among the Cajun and Creole peoples. Local dishes that use okra include gumbo, pickled okra, and smothered okra to name a few.