How To Freeze Okra: When you go to the farmers’ market, you may end up with too many okra pods. Don’t throw them off, though! We’ve added an easy step-by-step guide to help you pickle your okra so you can use it in your favourite hot dishes, too. If you want to pickle it yourself, you can do so by picking your pods.
What is Okra?
In the summer, okra is a tasty summer crop that Southerners love. You can buy this tasty vegetable in bulk and freeze it so you can continue to eat it all year. You can find fresh okra from May through September.
It has a slender, green form containing a dense seed. This is a vegetable whose texture can be decidedly unique, but its delicious flavour is well worth the effort.
The soluble fibre and vitamins found in okra make it dense and healthy. Okra contains a mucilaginous substance that turns it gooey the longer it cooks, but cooking the pods briefly allows the slimy substance to develop less rapidly.
How to Freeze Okra Step-by-Step Guide
Here are five easy steps you can follow to store fresh okra so it stays at peak freshness all year. You can also can okra. Follow these steps to store okra for year-round enjoyment.
1. Wash and Stem Okra
To remove pesticide residue and fertilizer residue from okra, soak the pods in an equal mixture of water and vinegar.
Rinse the okra clean with water after soaking it for a few minutes in the solution. Cut off the stems.
2. Blanch and Shock Okra
Okra will maintain its fresh flavour and colour even when frozen if it is blanched in boiling water for a few minutes to stop the enzyme process. Okra’s colour and flavour are preserved by the okra freezing process because it stops oxidation and stops okra from turning brown.
You should submerge okra in an ice bath immediately after it has been cooked. Let the ice bath cool the okra for a few minutes and then rinse in a colander.
3. Chop Okra (or don’t)
If you plan to fry the okra, you can toss the okra in the cornmeal mixture before freezing and chop the okra once you freeze it. If you do not plan to fry the okra, adjust your cooking time to your personal preference.
4. Freeze Okra on Baking Sheet
Okras should first undergo a “flash freeze” to prevent them from clumping together. Lay the okra slices on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and freeze for 4 to 8 hours, or overnight, until solid. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the okra slices on top. Do not overlap the okra slices.
5. Transfer Okra to Freezer Bag
Okra can be stored in the freezer for up to a year after it is frozen on a baking sheet. Transfer the frozen okra to a freezer-safe bag and squeeze out as many air bubbles as possible before sealing. The okra doesn’t need to be thawed before use; you can cook it straight from the bag when ready.
Why Do You Have to Blanch Okra Before Freezing?
Blanching is necessary for freezing okra. In order to prevent okra from decaying, it must be blanched in order to stop enzyme activity inside the plant. However, the enzymes are capable of surviving even in freezing temperatures, which is why they can continue decaying. Because of this, you must place the frozen okra into boiling water to kill the enzymes. Otherwise, you will get mushy, discoloured, and tasteless okra after you thaw them.
How To Cook Using Frozen Okra
You can prepare this tasty okra as a side dish or as an appetizer simply by removing it from the bag, thawing it, and then cooking it. You can even fry this okra to make it crispy.
How To Thaw Frozen Okra
You can thaw okra easily by placing it in a bowl and filling it with warm water. Repeat this several times until the pods are thawed. If you are planning to fry the okra, then remove the appropriate amount from the freezer.
The process of Freezing Fresh Okra will allow you to use it all year round. Plus, you will be able to use only the amount needed for the recipe since it is frozen in individual pieces. You will save on waste and the process makes thawing the okra easy.
Tips and Tricks
Remember to check if the okra is fresh or not. If you bend the tip of the okra gently, it should break off easily, indicating that it’s fresh. Okra that is stale or under-ripe will tear and bend, indicating it’s stale.
If you have to buy okra from your local vegetable store, you are most likely to find fresh okra from May to September. Avoid selecting okra with spots, pits, bruises, or other signs of decay.
Frozen okra must be used within a year of freezing to maintain its taste and quality. Do not use a wet batter to coat frozen okra.
Last Few Words
Our favourite vegetable, okra, is only available for a few weeks each year, and we have to wait before we can eat everything. Freezing okra is a great way to ensure that this delicious vegetable is always available well past the summer months. Try freezing some now, so that you can enjoy it when the season starts.