Okra is a vegetable that’s full of nutrition and healthy to eat. Most people will cook them in a stir-fry, fry them, or made them into side dishes. With this vegetable, you can end up with leftovers after harvesting them or cooking them. If that’s the case, would freezing okra be an option for storage?
Can you freeze okra? Yes, you can freeze okra. It can be frozen, either fried or raw. For fresh okra, it will need to be blanched first before it can be stored in the freezer. This will ensure the texture, taste, and nutrition of the vegetable don’t change. Properly stored, okra can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Does Okra Freeze Well?
Okra freeze very well, but it has to be blanched first. Otherwise, it will not last very long in the freezer.
Also, keep them stored in a freezer-safe bag or container for optimal quality. If properly stored, the frozen okra will taste like the day you harvest them.
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How To Freeze Okra
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Like many vegetables, okra will need to be prepped first before it can be frozen. The process involves blanching, which will help okra retain its texture and flavor when it’s frozen.
Below are the steps to freezing okra:
Step 1: Wash and Sort
After harvesting or buying okra, give them a good wash. Throw away any okra that shows signs of spoilage, or is damaged. You can use the freshest okra for freezing.
If you’ve bought them from the store and are unsure if pesticides and other chemicals were used, soak them in white vinegar for a few minutes. This will kill any bacteria and remove the pesticides from the vegetable. Be sure to do this before washing it.
Step 2: Cut Them Up
Okra can be frozen as a whole or in small pieces. It’s easier to cut them into pieces to save yourself time when you’re ready to cook them.
You can cut or slice them into your preferred size.
Step 3: Prepare for Blanching
This step is important before the okra can be frozen. Blanching is necessary to retain the texture and flavor of the okra.
To blanch the okra, you’ll need a large pot to boil the water and also another pot with ice water to cool it afterward.
Step 4: Boil Okra
Heat the water until it begins to boil. Then put all the okra into the boiling water for about 4-5 minutes.
Step 5: Plunge Into Ice Water
After about 5 minutes, remove the okra from the boiling water by dumping the water away or use a strainer ladle. Immediately put the okra into the ice water. This will help stop the cooking process. If you don’t do this step, the okra will become overcooked.
Let the okra sit in the ice water for about 10 minutes to cool down.
Step 6: Drain
Once it’s cooled down, drain the okra from the water. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow them to dry. To help speed up the process, you can use paper towels and gently press on the vegetable to remove any excess moisture.
Step 7: Flash Freezing
On a tray, lay a sheet of baking or parchment paper. Then spread the okra onto the tray. Keep them spaced out so that they don’t touch each other.
Once all the okra is on the tray, place them into the freezer. Let it sit for about 2-3 hours to freeze.
Step 8: Transfer To Freezer Bag
Once it’s completely frozen, remove the okra from the freezer. Immediately transfer the okra to a freezer bag.
After the okra is in the bag, press on it to remove any excess air and seal it tight.
Step 9: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write the content and date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place it into the freezer for storage.
How Long Can You Freeze Okra?
Okra can be frozen for up to 1 year if it has been blanched. Okra that is not blanched will last for only 2-3 months. After that time, the vegetable will start to deteriorate in quality.
However, the okra will still be safe to eat, but you may not enjoy the taste of it very much.
To ensure okra taste at its best quality, always try to blanch them first before freezing and use them within a year.
Related Article: How Long Does Okra Last?
How Do You Defrost Okra?
When it comes to frozen okra, defrosting isn’t needed. All you need to do is remove the vegetable from the freezer and cook it right from frozen.
However, if you’re not planning to use them right away, you can defrost okra in the fridge. Remove the amount you need from the freezer, place them into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Can You Refreeze Okra?
It’s not recommended to refreezing okra. Most vegetables tend to deteriorate in quality if it’s frozen more than once. After it’s thawed for the second time, you will notice the okra is soggy and lose most of its flavor.
However, you can get away with refreezing okra only if it has not thawed yet. This means, you’ve removed them from the freezer and had a change of plan, you can refreeze them. The vegetable should not be out of the freezer for any longer than 10 minutes. Refreezing okra will not have any changes in the texture of flavor.
Other Questions about Okra
Can you freeze fried okra?
Yes, fried okra can be frozen. After it’s fried, let it cool down to room temperature before freezing them. With paper towels, gently press on the okra to remove excess oil from it. Then place them into the freezer bag. Gently press on the bag to remove any excess air and seal it tightly. Then place them into the freezer for storage.