Can You Eat Okra Raw?

When it comes to the food we eat, we want to know that what we are eating is safe. Although some foods can be eaten however desired, this is not the case for all.

In this article, we will be looking specifically at okra. Can you eat okra raw? And if so, are there any health benefits?

What Is Okra?

Can You Eat Okra Raw?

Okra is the seed pot of the Abelmoschus esculentus, most popular in Indian, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Okra can also be referred to as ladies’ fingers or gumbo and can sometimes be confused with other vegetables because of its standard appearance.

In fact, okra is actually a fruit but is eaten as a vegetable. To spot okra, look out for the small, curved shaped, green plant. You may also find okra red, but this color turns green once cooked.

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What Does Okra Taste Like?

When eating okra, you should expect a fresh, earthy taste, commonly compared to that of green beans. Its flavor is grassy yet it holds a taste that sets okra apart from any other vegetable.

Is It Safe To Eat Okra Raw?

Okra is a food that can be consumed in a number of fashions, yet it is still worth questioning whether it is safe to eat raw.

The answer to this question is plain and simple – yes, okra can indeed be eaten raw. In fact, the entire plant can be eaten completely fresh including the leaves as well as the pods.

Of course, this does not mean this is the only way to eat okra. Whilst it is possible, many people prefer to cook this fruit instead of eating it raw.

Some alternative ways of eating okra include:

  • Roasted
  • Boiled
  • Pickled
  • Dried
  • Fried
  • Sauteed

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Are There Any Health Benefits Of Okra?

Okra is a great plant that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, and although popular in areas such as India and Africa, okra has been seen more and more in Western countries too.

It is not only the taste that drives people to eat okra but the many health benefits which come with it.

Below, we will be listing some of the benefits of including okra in your diet.

Low In Calories

One of the big advantages of including okra in your diet is how it is low in calories. Because of this, it doesn’t matter how big or small your intake is. This is a great option for those trying to lose weight or find healthier alternatives.

Keeps You Full

To add to the previous point, okra also keeps you full. Because of okra’s dietary fiber, you will be staying full for longer so will not be tempted to snack on unhealthy options. Simply consume okra, whether that be raw or cooked, consume as much as you desire, and feel full and satisfied.

Boots Immune System

Another health benefit to eating okra is how it helps boost the immune system. Okra contains plenty of healthy fiber and this fiber, in turn, feeds the good bacteria in our body.

From this, our body is able to fight off any infections or viruses which could be bad for the immune system.

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Good For Pregnant Women

It is highly recommended for those who are pregnant to add okra to their diet as it allows these women to receive the folate they need.

Folate (vitamin B9) is a vital vitamin that is needed amongst pregnant women for it helps with the development of growing fetuses.

By consuming okra, they are receiving all the vitamins and nutrients they need (a single cup of okra contains 15% of the daily value of folate).

Can Prevent Diabetes

According to research, it has been found that okra reduces blood sugar levels. Because of this, the chance of developing diabetes automatically decreases and puts your body in a healthier and more stable position.

The Best Way To Prepare Raw Okra

The Best Way To Prepare Raw Okra

Okra can be consumed in a variety of ways, and because of this, it can be difficult to know the best ways of cooking the vegetable.

When it comes to eating raw okra, not too much has to be done and every method is unique to the individual. One way of eating okra is to slice it down the middle and season it with salt and pepper.

You may also choose to add a splash of lemon for extra flavoring. This is simple but works well to enhance the natural flavors of the vegetable.

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What Can You Serve With Raw Okra?

As okra is a vegetable similar to green beans or eggplant, it is safe to say that there are plenty of options when it comes to what you serve it with. However, we have still come up with some of the best options out there to give you some inspiration when it comes to cooking your own dishes.

Okra goes well with…

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Crab

Optional seasonings include…

  • Cayenne
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander seeds
  • Peanut oil

Final Thoughts

This article has explored all there is to know about okra, specifically answering the question of whether they can be eaten raw. The straightforward answer is yes, okra can be eaten raw and there are many ways this can be achieved.

Whether you choose to simply sprinkle your okra with salt and pepper, add lemon juice, or add some spice with a sprinkling of curry powder, there are a number of ways it can be eaten. 

As well as this, there is nothing you cannot pair with the vegetable. Choose to eat with a selection of meat or on its own – either way, is safe.

In this article, we have also delved into the health factors surrounding okra and the benefits it can do for your body. Because it is high in nutrients and holds plenty of vitamins, there are many positives it can do for an individual.

Overall, okra is a vegetable which everyone needs in their lives, not only for the health benefits but for its great fresh taste.

Brett White
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