Can you blanch okra in the oven?

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)October 17, 2013

I am harvesting lots of okra these days. More than we can eat. We like it oven roasted best of all, and boiled not at all. I have thrown out two batches of okra after boiling water blanching because they got so slimy. I just wonder if I could blanch them in the oven. I was thinking 425 degrees for five minutes and then put them into bags and freeze.(Boiling water blanching calls for five minutes, which would be at 212 degrees.) I would normally roast them at that temperature for fifteen minutes to serve immediately. Do you think this would work? I found one website that said you could do it this way with breading for frying later....
I figure that SOMEONE here will know.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

My experience with okra is limited (have had it but not often enough to count) but I do know of people who have done something similar to what you describe with zucchini flats which are breaded and lightly pre-cooked and then frozen. I don't see any reason why okra wouldn't work equally well.

Carol

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:35PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Well, I tried it with one batch. I am going to test it at monthly intervals just to see so that I am ready next year! Thank you, Carol, for the encouragement.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:07PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Did you blanch them whole or diced? Obviously if you cut them and then blanch , they will get slimy. Sure thing.

The blanching time should be short then you have to cool them in ice water, then rinse, then freeze.

The key is NOT to slice, if you don't like that slimy feel. Only cut the part of the stem that is sticking out too much. Any fresh cut will leach out the jelly.

This post was edited by seysonn on Fri, Oct 25, 13 at 0:40

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:31PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I blanched them both ways: whole and sliced. I followed the instructions in the Ball Canning Book. Both methods were incredibly slimy. And, yes. I was very careful to not remove too much stem.

My MIL always put her okra in a very hot cast iron skillet and sauteed it before adding it to her gumbo. Never slimy.

That is why I was thinking that I could maybe blanch them in a hot oven. (425)

I will try to remember to post here the results of my experiment.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:07PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I would think that it can be done in the oven too, as long as they are spread on a sheet.

But with blanching in boiling water, you cool them in ice water and then you can wash off/ rinse to get slight stickyness off. I have done myself only couple of times.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:40PM
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nancedar(z7NC)

Take that okra and pickle it! I sell hundreds of jars of it and my whole family devours it - who like it better than dill pickles even! Recipe is easy, jars keep for 2 years in pantry but refrigerated once opened. Never ever slimy.
Nancy

Here is a link that might be useful: Pickled Okra

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:02PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Well, it's year two of the great frozen okra experiment. I am happy to report that oven blanching worked! Our favorite way to eat okra is oven roasted. I simply slice the okra into rounds, spray it with olive oil and put seasoning on it. Then I bake it in the oven at 450 for about 15 minutes. It is delicious. It is healthy. It is quick and easy. There is no slime whatsoever.

So, last year, I cut the okra into rounds and baked it at 450 for about 5 minutes. Then I took it out of the oven, let it cool just a bit and slid the tray into the freezer for an hour or so. Then just slid the rounds into freezer bags. I baked them all winter in exactly the same manner as described above.

We didn't have enough okra to go all winter long last year (I wasted too much trying to blanche in water. Ick.)
however, it was in the freezer about 3 months before we ate the last of it.

I am happy. Hope this helps someone else. It sure is a busy time of year!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:37PM
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jcpyburn(z7b/8 West Texas)

I am so glad this post popped back up for me to see it! We have fried okra until we are tired of it and I needed something to do with my okra. We tried this and we all LOVED it!!

Thanks so much for posting this, I will be making a lot of this I know!! We have suddenly gone from too much okra to not enough!!

We tried salt and pepper and garlic salt and both were good. I would love to know some other seasoning combinations that you have tried and liked. I am going to also try cajun seasoning for sure and maybe some kind of parmesan garlic or something like that.

Thanks again!

Carly

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:58PM
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