Little Annie Okra

Fiber Bonanza!

Okra hits the target every time when it comes to keeping us regular. Also known as “lady finger,”  okra’s nutritious green pod is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. This duo helps digest your dinner and moves food particles smoothly on their way through the gut.


Annie get your gumbo!

Annie Oakley, one of the first American women to become famous world wide, was a champion for women’s rights and a star performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Annie died in her early 60s in 1926 from pernicious anemia caused by inability to absorb vitamin  B-12. Annie’s premature death goes to show that vitamins are indeed important.

Okra is one of the few green veggies that offer protein, as well as lots of antioxidants, with all the benefits they bring for our eyes, skin, heart and lungs. Other vitamins in this little parcel are B (including B-12), A, K, and folate.  B vitamins promote healthy cells. K is an aid in memory, prevents blood clotting, and promotes healthy bone and prostate. And folate is kind to babies. The pods also deliver minerals. What a nutritional powerhouse!

Growing Okra

Okra thrives in hot weather.

If you have a hot sunny spot and you want to grow Okra, you’ll be rewarded by glorious hibiscus flowers, which turn into the pods we eat. Okra is a cousin of the mallows, from where we originally got marshmallows! But that’s a sticky story for another day.

Speaking of sticky, some people dislike Okra because when it’s boiled, it gets slippery or gummy. But the Plum Palate recently posted a recipe calling for roasted Okra that resolves this problem.

Okra roasted in a little oil doesn’t get gummy.


This recipe also calls for corn on the cob, which is at its peak this time of year. Scrape the kernels off the cob with a paring knife, whether the corn has already been cooked or is still raw. Good both ways.

Like Okra, corn comes with a lot of fiber. On the bad side, it also come with lots of sugar. Corn is the primary source of fructose, an inexpensive but unhealthy form of sugar used extensively in processed foods. But if you are like me and only eat corn in the fall when it’s fresh from the farm, go ahead and enjoy it.

Finally, you can use up any pumpkin seeds left over from previous recipes that Vinny has recommended, and in the process give yourself another big dose of antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds are crunchier roasted, so take a minute or 10 and heat them up in the frying pan until they start popping and you smell their lovely aroma.

Roasted okra, with sweet corn and pumpkin seeds
Serves four as a side dish

  • 1/4 pound  (or more) fresh okra, stems and tips trimmed
  • 4 ears of cooked (or raw) sweet corn, with kernels sliced from the cob
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425C
  2. Toast pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until seeds start to pop, about 8 minutes. Add paprika and stir for a minute or so until well combined and fragrant. Remove from heat and add sea salt, to taste. Transfer to the bowl of a mortar and pestle and grind the seeds.
  3. Combine Okra in a bowl with 1 teaspoon oil and a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  4. In another bowl, do the same with the corn.
  5. Put Okra in a single layer on a flat cookie sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper and roast for 12-15 minutes. Shake pan every 5 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, add cooked corn kernels to the pan. If the kernels are raw, add them at the 5 minute mark.
  7. Once veggies are browned, put them into a serving bowl and top with crushed pumpkin seeds.
  8. Finish with a generous dash of paprika.

Annie, get your gumbo!

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vandana
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 23:52:32

    This is a pretty terrific post. I cannot believe I’ve never thought of corn and okra.


  2. petit4chocolatier
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 10:13:27

    This looks delicious!


  3. heatherdownsouth
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 23:31:58

    I’m sorry you can’t grow okra up there, where I’m from lots of people grow it. We’ve grown it in our back yard before and it’s truly great fresh. We tend to default to having fried okra, so I’m excited about trying this recipe and roasting it.


  4. theplumpalate
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 00:22:00

    Honored that you tried my little combination here. Thank you! Funny, I just had roasted okra again this morning for breakfast. At the market they said it’s the last of the season – a tiny dagger in my heart. The harvest goes by so quickly.


  5. Karen
    Sep 18, 2012 @ 22:10:14

    looks delicious! This is one I will definitely have to try!


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