Okra or “Ladyfinger” is a well-loved vegetable, enjoyed with brine solution or fried and used as a topping for various dishes. People grow and harvest abundant okra during summers. However, okra’s abundant supply and daily harvest exceed its usage, and storage problems occur. This is where one might wonder, can you dehydrate okra?
We have put together a thorough guide that will clear all your questions regarding the dehydrating okra. Let’s dive in!
Yes, you can easily dehydrate okra using a dehydrator, an oven, or the sun. Dehydrating okra is a great way to store the abundant harvest in the long term without spoilage.
Moreover, dehydration of okra results in crunchy hollow pods, which makes a delicious snack either with or without dip. Lastly, dehydrated okra can be used as a topping for various dishes.
There are several methods that you can employ to dehydrate okra at home. Each procedure differs in the equipment used for dehydration. All the methods are detailed below step-by-step for your ease!
Dehydrating okra in a dehydrator okra is the simplest method. Moreover, the results are amazing.
1. Thoroughly clean the okra
- Pluck only recently grown tender pieces of okra.
- Thoroughly rinse them in clean running water to get rid of any dirt or debris.
2. Trim it
- Once you have washed the okra, chop off the top cap and the bottom black part.
- Then, cut the okra into ½ to ¼ inches thick pieces.
- The okra might seem a little slimy, so do not confuse this slime with dirt. You do not need to rinse it off.
3. Arrange and load the okra slices into the dehydrator
- Lay all the pieces of okra on the dehydrator racks. Leave some gaps among them.
- Now, place the rack in the dehydrator, set the temperature to 125-130 degrees F, and let your okra dry for around 4-6 hours until they turn crunchy.
- If they don’t dry in the specified period, keep them in the dehydrator for longer and examine them every hour until they reach the desired dryness level.
Tip: If you are using a round dehydrator, make sure to replace the lower trays with the upper trays in between the dehydration process. This will ensure uniform dehydration of both trays.
Dehydrating okra pods as a whole will take a longer time than just dehydrating the pieces; however, if you want to enjoy okra pods as a yummy snack, this is the right way to go!
1. Thoroughly clean the okra pods
- Choose tender newly grown okra.
- Wash okra under running water to get rid of any dirt stuck to the okra pods.
2. Arrange okra pods on a dehydrator tray
- Now arrange all the cleaned okra pods on the dehydrator’s tray. Make sure to leave enough gaps among them to ensure air circulation.
- Set the dehydrator’s temperature to 130 degrees F, and let your okra pods dehydrate for 14-24 hours.
- The time for dehydration might vary according to the humidity level and thickness of your okra. Just make sure to check the dehydrating okra from time to time to avoid burning.
In case you do not own a dehydrator, you can use an oven to dehydrate okra. The oven will adequately dry out okra in no time. However, you need to be extra vigilant about temperatures with an oven because even a little higher temperature will burn the okra.
1. Thoroughly clean the okra
- Pick out freshly grown, tender okra.
- Next, wash the okra carefully under running water to make sure the stuck dirt and debris are removed completely.
2. Slice the okra
- Chop off the top cap and bottom black spot of okra and then discard it.
- Now, cut the okra into slices of ¼ inches thick maximum.
3. Arrange the okra on the cookie sheet
- Spread out your sliced okra pieces evenly on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Set your oven temperature to as low as possible, about 130 degrees F, and place the baking tray inside the oven.
- Let your okra dry for 12 hours or until you observe that they’re crispy.
Tip: Rotate the tray between the dehydration process to ensure complete and even drying of all the pieces.
Surprisingly, if you want to use a natural process for dehydration, you can go for sun-drying okra. Drying the okra under the sun might take a little longer compared to using electric equipment; however, it yields perfectly dried okra.
1. Pick and wash the okra
- Choose tender, freshly grown okra.
- Wash them thoroughly under running water and get rid of dirt stuck on them.
2. Slice the okra
- Generally, you slice the okra into ¼ thick rounds, but for sun-drying, you are recommended to cut okra slices of ⅛ inches thick each slice. This will ensure a speedy drying process.
3. Place sliced okra under the screen
- Find an ideal spot for sun-drying okra. Any place that receives maximum sunlight and heat will be ideal for placing your okra.
- Now spread out the sliced okra (with the cut part facing up) on a tray, and cover it with a screen to protect it from bugs.
- Let your okra dry for 3-7 days, and make sure to inspect them every day.
Important dehydrated okra tips
How to store dehydrated okra?
Once you have adequately dried your okra, place it in a sterilized glass jar with a ring and lid. This will ensure that your jar is vacuum-sealed. You can even add an oxygen absorber to the jar too.
To rehydrate dried okra, you need to add 3 cups of boiling water in 1 cup of dried okra. Then, let it sit for around half an hour. After 30 minutes have passed, drain the water, and your dried okra will be rehydrated.
If stored properly in ideal conditions, dehydrated okra can last up to 6-8 months without going bad.
Blanching okra before dehydration isn’t necessary; however, you are recommended to do so. This is because blanching okra will kill all microorganisms and bacteria.
Yes, you can fry dehydrated okra. Add a little bit of oil to the pan and toss dried okra in it. Then sprinkle some seasoning according to your taste.
Related FAQs to dehydrated okra
Yes, dehydrated okra is a great snack to munch on. In fact, dried okra is much healthier than other snacks we tend to eat.
Dried okra is rich in soluble fibers. It also helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, counters inflammation and helps lower blood sugar.
Yes, dehydrated okra can be added to a keto diet. This is because it is low in carbs and rich in fiber. Moreover, dried okra is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals.
Dehydrated okra can be consumed either fried, baked, or steamed.
No amount of words is enough to stress the importance of the hidden health benefits that come with dried okra. Moreover, dehydrating okra will enable you to store your abundant harvest in the long term by maximizing its shelf life. So, what are you waiting for?
Dehydrate your harvested okra with any of the aforementioned methods and get ready too much on seasoned crunchy okra chips with insane benefits!
Dried dates also have many benefits. Check this article to learn more!