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Crispy Oven-Roasted Okra

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Whenever I've seen okra,  it's usually being coated in batter and fried. Delicious I'm sure, but not ideal if you're like myself and don't generally indulge in fried food. I do, however, love roasted okra with a little bit of homemade garlic mayo. I find that roasting okra on high heat is the best way to cancel out the 'slime' factor. Before I get to the recipe I just wanted to share a couple of the health benefits of okra. One thing I found helpful in my journey to eating a died focused on healthy nutrient dense food is knowing what nutrients/health benefits all these colourful foods have and what they are doing for my body. I found this deep appreciation for natural food after I started looking nutritional value. Food can really do amazing things.

I've always shied away from Okra because I didn't know what to do with it. It's not very common to come across in Winnipeg. When I was doing a Whole30 last fall, I made a point to try so many different vegetables and fruits that I'd never had before because I didn't want to feel limited. I looked at it as a opportunity to reach outside my comfort zone and to really start cooking with new ingredients so I could inspire others to do the same.

One thing that surprised me when I first bought okra was that it was slimy inside. What makes okra slimy? Well, The slimy stuff in Okra is actually the same stuff that is inside an aloe vera plant. It is called Mucilage. Mucilage is made of sugar residues called expolysacharrides, and proteins called glycoproteins. That's cool, but It makes me wonder.. does that mean rubbing Okra on my body will soothe my sunburn?

Here are some of the great benefits of Okra

  1. Okra is rich in both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre promotes healthy cholesterol levels while insoluble fibre aids in healthy digestion.
  2. Okra is a great source of minerals. It contains Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Manganese. 
  3. Okra is a rich in Vitamin C which supports a strong immune function. 
  4. Okra contains antioxidants, including Vitamin A. These help with vision and keep your skin looking bright and fresh. 
  5. Okra is high in Folic Acid and Vitamin B6 which are great for metabolism and physical development.

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Crispy Oven-Roasted Okra

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. okra, halved lengthwise 
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ tsp black pepper 
For the 'Garlic-Mayo Dip' combine:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Placed okra in a large bowl. Drizzle with avocado oil and toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle in the spices, salt and pepper. Mix together, making sure everything is coated evenly. 
  5. Arrange cut side down on the baking sheet. Make sure they are not over-lapping. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are browned and crisp. 
  7. Serve with garlic mayo. 

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