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Interesting and Healthy Facts About Okra; Plus, 9 Delicious Recipes for You to Try

Interesting and Healthy Facts About Okra; Plus, 9 Delicious Recipes for You to Try

Because of its inherent slimy texture, okra doesn’t appear at the top of most people’s “favorite veggies” list. However, okra is a wonderful and nutritious food, and when prepared well can come out completely non-slimy. Read on for some interesting facts about okra and then check out some delicious recipes that will convert even the most ardent okra haters into okra lovers.

1. Okra is actually a fruit. A fruit is defined as anything that contains seeds. Okra has seeds and is therefore a fruit, but because it lacks the sweetness of a pineapple or an apple, it is regarded as a vegetable.

2. Okra is also called ladies’ fingers. Perhaps if the vegetable went by it’s alternate name, it would have more fans.

3. When storing okra for later use, never wash it as the moisture will cause it to become slimy. Instead, put in a paper bag and refrigerate.

4. When okra is cooked it can turn into a slimy, gooey unappetizing mess. This can be remedied by either roasting it or preparing it with vinegar or lemon juice beforehand.

5. Okra doesn’t have to be cooked to be eaten. It tastes great raw in salads.

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6. Step aside, kale! Okra is a superfood. It is low in calories, but high in calcium, protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and magnesium. It also contains a good dose of vitamins C, K, and A, and can enhance the immune system.

7. Okra has many health benefits. It has been found to reduce asthma symptoms, prevent diabetes, relieve constipation, and help those suffering from exhaustion and depression.

8. Okra can keep skin smooth and help prevent pimples. It also can rejuvenate hair. Just slice okra horizontally, boil until it becomes very slimy, cool the brew, mix with a few drops of lemon, and then rinse your hair out with it.

9. Really mature (old) okra is used to make rope and paper, so avoid those when shopping for okra to eat.

Now, on to the good stuff. Who knew there were so many tasty ways to cook okra?

Delicious Okra Recipes

1. Bacon Wrapped Okra Poppers

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bacon-wrapped-okra-poppers

    Everything tastes better with bacon…including okra!

    2. Crock-Pot Sausage Gumbo

    crock-pot-sausage-gumbo

      A flavorful and delicious recipe that is super easy to make and a crowd pleaser.

      3. Okra Pilaf

      okra-pilaf

        A South Carolina okra pilaf with okra, rice, bacon and green bell pepper. This tasty dish also goes by the name of Limpin’ Susan.

        4. Creole Chicken Okra

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        creole-chicken-okra

          Hearty, healthy and filling, this recipe uses tons of vegetables and spice, but comes together quickly to make a great weeknight meal.

          5. Okra Parmigiana

          okra-parmigiana

            A delicious southern take on Eggplant Parmigiana using okra instead of eggplant. Okra never tasted so good.

            6. Okra and Corn Maque Choux

            okra-and-corn-maque-choux

              A classic Cajun dish of sautéd fresh vegetables. FYI, Maque Choux is pronounced “mock shoe.”

              7. Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, and Okra Gumbo

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              shrimp-andouille-and-okra-gumbo

                This authentic shrimp, andouille, and okra gumbo recipe is simmered for hours and is like a true taste of New Orleans in your kitchen.

                8. “Gumbo-laya” Stew

                gumbo-laya-stew

                  Full of zesty flavors, this “Gumbo-laya” Stew is the best of gumbo and jambalaya in one with spicy sausage, chicken, shrimp and okra over fragrant garlic rice.

                  9. Baked Popcorn Okra

                  baked-popcorn-okra

                    Okra tossed in chickpea flour batter, coated in spiced breadcrumbs and baked until crunchy crisp.

                    Do you have an appetite for okra after reading this article? Which recipe are you most excited to try?

                    Featured photo credit: ***Karen/Flickr via flickr.com

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                    Be Mine: 12 Sweet and Healthy Valentine’s Desserts Well Said: 17 Quotes to Keep You Inspired In 2017 Interesting and Healthy Facts About Okra; Plus, 9 Delicious Recipes for You to Try 10 Super Easy and Quick Meals to Make Using Rotisserie Chicken 9 Easy and Quick Ways to Top Avocado Toast

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                    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                    1. Breathe

                    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                    2. Loosen up

                    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                    3. Chew slowly

                    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                    4. Let go

                    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                    It’s not. Promise.

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                    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                    5. Enjoy the journey

                    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                    6. Look at the big picture

                    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                    Will this matter to me…

                    • Next week?
                    • Next month?
                    • Next year?
                    • In 10 years?

                    Hint: No, it won’t.

                    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                    8. Practice patience every day

                    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                    Final thoughts

                    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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