Okra is one of the best summer vegetables for us to eat.


Studies show it helps lower serum cholesterol and also helps intestines by helping keep them healthy with insoluble and soluble fibers.


The insoluble fibers are good for the intestinal track, and soluble fibers are good to help prevent heart disease. Okra contains lots of good vitamins and minerals.


This vegetable loves the warmer climates and grows fairly fast in our garden. It should be harvested about five days after it blooms or when it reaches about 4 inches in length and while it is still nice and tender.


Did you know that the okra seeds were used for coffee grounds during the Civil War? It has also been used to make rope.


For me, I love cooking new recipes with okra. Last year I made up a recipe for fried stuffed okra, and it was very tasty indeed.


This year I developed a new recipe to try on my Fourth of July episode of ASTV’S “Cooking with Madjon.”


I stuffed it with pepperjack cheese and fresh pineapple, then wrapped the okra with bacon, sauced it with a sherry dressing and baked it for about 25 minutes. It was very tasty, as well.


Most people don’t like the sliminess of okra; however, if you make these two recipes you will find that the sliminess disappears and is replaced with a taste that is very pleasing to your palate.


You can use okra as a natural thickener, which is why it’s so good in a gumbo. It pairs well with corn, onions and tomatoes; nothing better than pairing these foods together.


You can even pickle it, but please add some red peppers and garlic to your brine when pickling this wonderful green and full-of-flavor Southern vegetable.


I do hope you give these recipes a try, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at madjon51@aol.com.


I would love to have you share some of your recipes.


Watch me at aikenstandard.tv or on ASTV Channel 95 through Atlantic Broadband or visit my cooking blog at www.cookingwithmadjon.blogspot.com.


RECIPES:


Indian Okra

3 T. Butter


1 Onion, chopped


1 pound fresh Okra, sliced


1/2 teas. ground Cumin


1/2 teas. ground Ginger


1/2 teas. ground Coriander


1/4 teas. Black Pepper


1/2 teas. Cayenne Pepper


1 Fresh Pimento Pepper, chopped


Salt to taste


Bacon Bits (Optional)


Melt butter in a pan and add chopped onions and pimento, cook till clear.  Add okra, spices and cook till nice and browned.  Top with bacon bits if you wish.


Stuffed Fried Italian Cheese Okra

1 dozen okra, cleaned, slit okra and seeds removed


Salt and Pepper Okra to taste


Filling


Three Italian Blend Cheese’s 1 Cup


1 tsp. Onion Powder


1 tsp. Garlic Powder


1 tsp. Dried Italian Seasonings


Mix all ingredients and fill your Okra pods.


Breading


1 Cup Corn Meal


1/2 Cup Flour


Salt and Pepper to taste


1 tsp Onion Powder


1 tsp. Garlic Powder


1 Egg, Beaten


Mix all ingredients and heat about 1” of oil in a pan and roll the filled okra in the egg and then roll it in the dry mix.  Place into the oil and cook to a golden brown on both sides.  Remember to turn your pods and don’t fry it on to high a heat.