Okra is a finger-shaped, dark green vegetable seed pod with a pointed end. It grows on bushes about 2 to 3 feet high. Okra is high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, calcium, and potassium. There are both green and purple varieties.
When cut open, okra releases a sticky substance with thickening properties, often used in soups and stews. Okra’s origin is disputed but thought to have come from Africa. It is cultivated in tropical and warm temperate regions around the world and is considered a Southern staple in gumbo and stews. Even the leaves of this versatile vegetable are edible.
When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long.
Okra may be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days.