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For me, okra has always been somewhat of an enigma.

In the South we mostly have it fried.

If you try to boil it, it becomes very mucous-y and sticky.

What is this madness?!

When I think of okra, my mind flashes back to memories of going to my grandparent’s house for Sunday lunch.

My grandmother (who is a beautiful southern lady) standing at the stove with her apron on, pulling the last few pieces of fried okra out of the hot oil.

I loved eating that fried okra.

It was crispy and salty with a touch of sweetness.

It was the perfect accompaniment to any southern dinner - whether it was beans and cornbread or roast and potatoes.

Fried okra also reminds my of a favorite childhood book

“When I Was Young in the Mountains”

by Cynthia Rylant.

As I got older, I learned a delicious recipe with okra using Indian spices but I never truly appreciated the okra in its original form. Raw.It is a truly delightful vegetable.I always imagined that raw okra would be tough, hairy and slimy.Which is why I had never thought of trying it.My brother opened my eyes to the error of my ways one day when he handed me okra cut in two with some salt. I bit into it. It was crisp, fresh, mild, not slimy and absolutely delicious. My respect and love for this little vegetable increased exponentially.

I look forward every season to fresh okra. However, instead of thinking of whether I want it fried or covered in spices, I simply want it raw with a touch of salt.

Helpful Tips:

Okra is full of folic acid, vitamins C, B, A, fiber, and calcium.

The okra fiber helps to feed the probiotics in your gut.

Okra can also help normalize blood sugar and is low in calories.

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