Okra is a delicious treat in most of the Southern homes. So if you crave its taste during winter months, only freezing them will help you enjoy it whenever you want. But how to freeze Okra at home? Follow the guide below to know a proper technique for doing it before storing.
How to prepare and blanch Okra
Prepare fresh okra
To learn how to freeze okra at home, kickstart with the clean, fresh okra, but say no to those which are not ripe enough to pick. This is because you won’t feel satisfied with its texture and taste once you freeze it later. Get only the brightly-colored okra without having any spot and bruise.
If possible, choose fresh okra, which allows you to thaw it before it begins degrading and then ends up in the ideal-tasting okra.
Want to know the best part?
Seek only the young and tender okra pods that are no longer than 4 – 6 inches without having any dark streak. Avail a sharp knife to slice the pods off around half an inch under the cap of okra.
You can choose growing okra in the garden of your house, which also means that you must harvest it another day because it grows fast in the hot weather. Always put gloves on and wear long sleeves during the harvesting process. Doing this will guard yourself against the prickly hair of the okra.
If you can’t grow your okra or reach a farm, how about getting it from a farmer’s market or in a store which always restocks. Well, it’s not good to have the okra that has sit on your shelf for many days.
Blanch your okra
Let’s blach the okra by dipping it into a pot of boiling water. Besides, little okra should get blanched for at least 3 minutes while bigger okra pods only need 4 minutes.
Note that the entire blanching process will halt the enzyme process, the okra can keep the color, texture, and flavor. Now it’s time to know how to freeze okra at home!
How to freeze okra at home
Submerge okra in an icy water bowl
Learning how to freeze okra at home is easy: Switch your okra to an icy water bath to pause the cooking process. Leave them there to enable them to cook down for some minutes. Next, bring them over to a colander to drain it before
Flash-freezing the okra.
Remember that you’re recommended to chill this type of veggie for the similar duration that you blanched it.
If blanching those little pieces of this vegetables for three minutes, then let’s chill okra for three minutes as well. And if you blanch them for four minutes, do this step for four.
Chop and freeze your okra
Pick the okra and then chop them up into the average-sized pieces – it’s up to you to do this. In case you place them in one stew, you can chop them horizontally to make chunks. But while you want to serve it as a side dish, only do this step lengthwise to make strips.
Besides, remember this:
If you intend to create fried okra, it’s ideal for coating it with breadcrumbs before freezing it. Now it’s time to find out how to freeze okra in a flash:
Let’s spread the okra pods out on a cookie sheet and start flash-freezing them. Doing so will help ensure the okra freeze in each piece instead of the mass.
Put your okra in some freezer bags
Fill each of these freezer bags with some frozen pieces. Shut the bag top and note to leave sufficient space to put one straw into its headspace. Remove all the air from each bag, so it can close tightly, then you can get rid of the straw to seal.
Besides, you can do these things as below:
- Get rid of the air can keep them from degrading fast.
- If you’ve got the vacuum sealer, this machine can suck the air out for you.
- Label them with the exact date they got packed.
Afterward, switch it to the freezer, and you can use it for one year. To use them, what you simply do here is scooping out what you want, and then add it to the recipe.
As you see, fresh okra is always a summertime favorite of everyone. Only harvesting and using the proper technique to freeze it can help you enjoy it year-round in several recipes.
Do not hesitate to leave your comments below if you want to share another better recommendations for this freezing process.