Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crispy Okra Chips

"When Life gives you lemons, 
make orange juice and leave Life wondering 
how you did it."  -Anonymous

About a month ago, I decided to sign up for my first CSA.  For those of you that are confused, CSA does NOT stand for "Customer Service Agent."  CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) is a food distribution model or program in which customers pay a farm in advance for a season's worth of produce acquired in weekly shares.  This fall, my weekly share typically consists of a "surprise" combination of radishes, cucumbers, turnips, sweet potatoes, greens such as arugula or mustard greens, basil, carrots, green black-eyed pea pods, banana peppers…and okra.

Before joining this CSA, I had briefly considered trying okra until I was warned of its inherent slimy quality resulting from a gooey substance called mucilage (yummmmm) contained inside the pods; which caused me to immediately dismiss the thought.  When I received my first week of CSA veggies, sure enough, I discovered a small bag of fresh okra in my loot, and began to contemplate (a bit hesitantly) how to cook it.  The first batch of okra I received, I breaded in coconut flour and roasted in the oven… Tasted good, still a little slimy.  The next batch I received, I decided to turn into okra chips, and they were so good that I will never make okra any other way!  So, I guess the takeaway message that I have for everyone is, "When life gives you okra, make crispy okra chips."

Oh and happy first birthday to my blog!

Crispy Okra Chips

• ½ - 1 pound fresh okra pods
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (melted)

1. Preheat oven to 500ºF.
2. Cut okra into quarters the long way (making four long strips per pod), and place in a large bowl
3. Cover the okra with water and soak for about 20 minutes.
4. Rinse and place the okra on a foil-lined baking sheet, and toss with coconut oil and salt.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, then lower the heat to 200ºF.  Continue baking for about an hour, checking and stirring occasionally, until the chips are crisp to your liking.
6. Cool and store in a bag or container in the pantry.