I keep getting really useful and intriguing tips from my friend in north Mississippi, the last of which was that regular okra, fresh or frozen, can be dehydrated after being sliced in the standard rounds...and makes a great, healthy snack...supposed to be delicious (even for those not usually inclined to like okra), and really nutritious!
Supposedly, yep...you just plop 'em on the dehydrator racks and get it going (okra "slime" and all) and a few hours later you take the finished product, store in airproof container, and eat it like you would chips or other snacks.
I consulted the Google oracle to see if many people out here already are doing that, but didn't find a whole lot of mention besides a lady who seasons hers first with Tony's seasoning (creole) before dehydrating. And guess who happens to have a random shaker of Tony's seasoning in the bursting spice shelf? Yay!
I have bags of frozen okra. The reason this one's worth a try for me is HUGELY because the nutrition is up there in exchange for really NO down sides...there's no flour or starches added, it's a green vegetable, and its mucilagenous (sp?) qualities mean good things for joint and bone health.
Second reason? It can grow here, and in SO many zones, like a weed (but not invasive). Two years ago we did an experiment and simply sowed the seeds directly into fresh stable cleanings right on top of the ground, and mid-season the bermuda was thick as thieves all around it but it vanquished even the knee-high bermuda grass...now THAT's a survival plant!
We need some okra love around here...we do like it in gumbo-ish stews and love love love it fried, but we don't NEED to be eating it fried very much, and since frugality and health have become prime factors in this household, soup is almost always on the menu as the main event or as a side. That said...there is only so much soup okra can go in...it has unique characteristics.
There are a lot of vegetarians and a lot of other cultures that already utilize okra really well, here's an example of some worth trying. It definitely is worth some further branching-out (ha no pun intended) with recipes and some ethnic favorites...I'll try to do that this summer. But for now...dehydrating sounds...easy! (especially since I have bags and bags of okra languishing in the freezer, feeling neglected).
SO....finding a way to make it into delicious "chips"....yes, yes, and YES!
Let's see if it delivers on my expectations, or if I can find ways to tweak it to be a go-to treat. If so...we can be assured of almost UNLIMITED nutritional snacking! WOO!
So....tonight I load up the cheapo, lawnmower-decibel-level dehydrator (our only one at present) and pretend it's "white noise" to fall asleep to...ha! and perhaps by the morning, I'll be taste-testing.
I'll report back, hopefully with pics...couldn't seem to find any "okra chip" pics on the Net, either.
Has anyone out here ever made it?? If so, I'd love to hear!
Any other unsuspecting dried veggies that function well as "chips" that you know of? I have yet to try kale "chips" but they too are on the Try Soon list :)