Okra is grown in warmer climates and plucked when the pods are young, as these are more tender and will add flavor to dishes. The vegetable, which belongs to the same family as the hibiscus flower, is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium. It will absorb moisture and mold quickly if improperly stored. Drying okra is one effective way to preserve the vegetable to ensure it stays fresher, longer.
Rinse the okra with cool water and remove any stems with a sharp knife.
Cut the okra into approximately 1/4-inch pieces with a sharp knife.
Bring 2 to 5 quarts of water in a large pot over high heat to a hard boil. The amount of water required will depend upon the amount of okra being preserved.
Lower the okra into the boiling water and cover with a lid. Allow the okra to boil for no longer than three to four minutes.
Remove the okra from the water with a slotted spoon and place the pieces directly into an ice bath -- a bowl of ice water. This will quickly cool down the okra and prepare them for drying. Allow the okra to remain in the ice bath until completely cool.
Remove the okra with the slotted spoon and spread them into a single layer on a piece of paper towel.
Set a second piece of paper towel over the okra and gently apply pressure to remove any remaining moisture.
Preheat an oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the okra into a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Place the pan into the middle rack of the oven.
Bake the okra for two to three hours. Turn down the oven to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Allow the okra to remain in the oven for an additional six to seven hours, or until completely dry.
Store the dried okra in an airtight container.
Store the container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images