How to Store Okra

Pictured are fresh okra, pickled okra, and frozen, packaged okra

Okra and Its Storage

Okra is a great veggie for Southern U.S. gardens — it takes the heat and continues to produce as long as the okra have not progressed to fully developed seed pods (tough and brown in appearance). But — how to preserve and store such a voracious producer? This year, we are growing three varieties; red velvet, green velvet, and Clemson spineless (from top to bottom in the picture). Okra are great when picked and eaten fresh, but when the volume of produce increases, we store them either as frozen and packaged in vacuum-sealed bags, or canned with a pickling recipe. To freeze, we blanch in hot water (about 30 seconds), place on cookie sheets in the freezer for about 2 hours, then add to bags and seal. Frozen okra store well for up to a year this way. The pickled okra can last longer, but seem to loose some flavor and become more acidic (vinegar) tasting over time. So, we usually try to use the pickled okra within a year to a year and a half. Watch for our pickling recipe to be posted soon.

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