I’ll be honest with you, I had no idea what to do with fresh okra when I first got a bag of them. I knew they were related to eggplant and squash, so I googled “How to Cook Fresh Okra” and found this great article from The Kitchn. Turns out, you can freeze fresh okra! Who would have thought? If you have some extra fresh okra that you don’t know what to do with, or if you’re like me and just love okra and want to stock up for the winter, read on for instructions on how to freeze fresh okra.
Yes, you can freeze fresh okra. The impact on taste and texture will depend on how you freeze it. If you blanch it first (boil for a minute then quickly cool in ice water), the okra will retain more of its crunchy texture. If you freeze it without blanching, the okra will become softer. It will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Fresh Okra?
Can you freeze fresh okra? The answer is yes, you can freeze fresh okra; however, freezing fresh okra does have an impact on the taste and texture of the final product. Freezing fresh okra also has a limited shelf life.
When it comes to taste, freezing fresh okra does not affect the flavor as much as boiling does. However, it will still have a slightly different flavor than when it is eaten fresh. In terms of texture, freezing fresh Okra does make it a bit tougher than when it is eaten fresh. How long the frozen product will last depends on how well it was frozen in the first place. Generally speaking, if frozen properly, fresh okra will last for about six months.
How To Freeze Fresh Okra?
1. Rinse the okra in cold water and pat dry.
2. Cut off the stem and slice the pod into 1” pieces.
3. Spread out the sliced okra on a baking sheet in one layer and freeze for 2 hours or until solid.
4. Transfer frozen okra into a heavy-duty plastic bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Precautions to Take When Freezing Fresh Okra
When freezing fresh okra, there are a few key steps to take in order to ensure that your okra freezes properly and retains its flavor and texture. Here is a list of the prepping steps you’ll need to take:
1. Remove the stems from the okra pods.
2. Blanch the pods in boiling water for 2 minutes.
3. Drain the pods and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate.
4. Freeze the pods for 2 hours before transferring them to an airtight container or freezer bag.
How To Thaw Frozen Fresh Okra
To thaw frozen fresh okra, follow these steps:
1. Remove the okra from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
2. Rinse the okra under cool running water.
3. Cut off the ends of the okra pods and discard them.
4. Slice the okra into pieces, if desired, or leave whole.
5. Cook the okra according to your recipe or preferred cooking method.
How Long Does Fresh Okra Last (Stays Fresh) Outside at Room Temperature?
Okra will typically stay fresh for about two to three days outside of the fridge. However, it’s important to note that the okra will start to rot and get slimy as it begins to spoil, so you’ll want to keep an eye on it and discard any vegetables that look or smell off.
It’s also a good idea to store okra in a paper bag rather than in a plastic bag, as this will help hasten the vegetable’s ripening process. And finally, don’t wash the okra before storing it—this will help it last longer.
How Long Does Fresh Okra Last (Stays Fresh) in the Fridge?
The maximum time that fresh okra can last in the fridge is about 7 days. However, it’s best to use it within 3-5 days for the best taste and texture.
Fresh okra should be stored in a plastic bag or container in the fridge. It’s important to make sure that the okra is dry before storing it, because if it’s wet, it will rot quickly.
How To Use Up Extra/Leftover Fresh Okra?
There are many ways to use up extra or leftover fresh okra. Here are a few ideas:
-Add sliced okra to your favorite vegetable soup or stew.
-Sauté okra in olive oil with onions and garlic for a quick and healthy side dish.
-Add diced okra to black bean burgers, chili, or burritos.
-Mix cooked okra with eggs, bread crumbs, and spices to make fritters or Okra Omelette.
-Freeze cooked or raw okra in sealed baggies or containers for later use.