Do you have a food dehydrator? If not, I recommend getting one. It’s an easy way to dry fruits and vegetables in your own home. In this post, we are going to show you how to dehydrate okra in a food dehydrator! We will also give tips on picking out the best model for your needs.
Let’s get started with this dehydrated okra recipe.
How to Dehydrate Okra in a Food Dehydrator: Tips and Benefits
Okra, also known as lady’s finger, is a vegetable that is quite easy to preserve. And the best way to do that is by dehydrating it. You can preserve okra by dehydrating it using a food dehydrator. Once dried, okra has a long shelf life and can be used in different dishes all year round.
How to Dehydrate Okra in a Food Dehydrator
- Select fresh, small okra pods that are less than 4 inches in length.
- Wash the okra with water, ensuring you remove all dirt.
- Cut off the stems and tips and slice the okra about ¼ inches round. Dehydrating shrinks the okra a lot so ensure you slice enough for your needs.
- Place the okra onto the dehydrator trays. Make sure they aren’t overlapping to ensure air circulation between the pieces.
- Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and close it. Dehydrating your okra will take four to eight hours, depending on how humid your environment is.
- Take the okra pieces out of the dehydrator once they are completely crisp.
- Let them cool before storing them in airtight containers.
Are There Other Options for Dehydrating Okra?
If you don’t own a food dehydrator machine, you can try other methods of drying okra. One option is to dry it in the oven.
Oven Dried Okra Method:
Drying okra using an oven instead of a dehydrator has similar benefits. It is quick and easy and does not require special equipment. Still, the most challenging part is preventing your oven from getting too hot and roasting the okra instead of drying it.
It’s essential to set the oven low enough that the okra dries out without cooking or roasting. A suitable temperature range is between 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, starting on the lower end is better and increasing the temperature if necessary.
To oven dry okra spread the sliced okra pods out on baking trays and bake until the okra is dry and crisp. Check on the vegetable periodically to ensure it is drying evenly by flipping the slices over and rotating the trays around a few times.
Oven drying times will vary depending on how thinly the okra is sliced and how hot your oven is.
Can You Dehydrate Okra With an Air Fryer
Yes, you can dehydrate okra in an air fryer! The process is quick and easy, and the dried okra is perfect for snacking or adding to soups and stews.
Allrecipes have a great air fryer okra recipe that only requires a few minutes of cook time.
Can You Dry Okra For Crafts?
Okra can be dried for crafts! For example, dried okra is often used in flower arrangements and wreath-making. In addition, you can make holiday ornaments out of dehydrated okra.
Benefits of Dehydrating Okra
Research and studies have shown that okra has many nutritional and health benefits. Using dehydrated okra in your cooking has several benefits too.
- It has a long shelf life and is easy to store.
- Dehydrating your okra is an excellent way to keep it crispy without adding calories.
- You can use it to make healthy okra snacks you can munch on while relaxing.
- Dehydrating okra is an inexpensive way to preserve okra.
- You can use it as a crispy vegetable in any dish.
Potential Risks of Dehydrated Okra Chips
Dehydrated okra chips may pose a potential risk to your health if they are not prepared or stored correctly. For example, if the okra is not completely dry when stored, it can become moldy and cause gastro problems. In addition, if the chips are not stored in an airtight container, they can soak moisture from the air and turn soft and mushy. If you have any concerns about the safety of dehydrated okra chips, please consult your physician.
Some store-purchased dehydrated okra chips have added preservatives that help extend their shelf life. However, these preservatives may also pose a potential health risk. In addition, some brands add unhealthy ingredients such as artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Make sure to check the label to make sure that you are getting a healthier product.
Eating a high quantity of okra chips can lead to health risks such as:
- Stomach discomfort
- Kidney stones
- Interactions with medicine such as blood thinners
While dehydrated okra chips are a healthy snack option, they should be eaten in moderation. As with any food, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and always speak to a doctor if you have any health issues about the safety of dehydrated okra chips.
Okra Snack Recipe
Here is a simple, quick recipe to make okra that will convince you that you are in the Caribbean.
- 2 pounds young okra
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons oil
- Wash the okra pods and spread them out to dry.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the tips and stems of the pods and vertically slice each pod in half.
- Put the sliced okra in a bowl and add the oil, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
- Stir until the vegetables are well covered in the seasoning mix.
- Move the okra onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer.
- Roast okra in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the okra to the other side halfway through the roasting time.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and decrease the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the oven is at that temperature, return the sheet and bake the okra chips for two to four hours until they are crisp.
- Remove the okra chips from the oven and allow them to cool for about ten minutes.
Okra contains nutrients like folate, which is important in pregnancy and breastfeeding women, and is rich in fiber and several vitamins. Using a food dehydrator to dehydrate your okra is quite easy and you can use the okra throughout the year.
How to Tell If Okra Has Dehydrated
Okra should preserve its natural green color when dry, be careful not to let it over-dry to make it brown.
Dehydrated Okra Calories
Dehydrated okra is a healthy snack. According to WebMD, a cup of dry okra contains only 31 calories, which means you can enjoy it guilt-free!
Nutrients like potassium and folate are found in this nutritious vegetable too. Potassium helps to regulate the nervous system and blood pressure, while folate provides energy and supports the production of red blood cells.
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Okra chips are also a good source of:
- Vitamin A
Where to Buy Dehydrated Okra
Dehydrated okra chips can be found at most grocery stores. Still, suppose you want a more comprehensive selection of dehydrated vegetables. In that case, it might be worth your while to order from an online vendor.
Brands such as Trader Joe’s, Harmony House offer a wide variety, including okra. Also, try Amazon.
What Can You Add to Okra Before Dehydrating
You can do a few things to add flavor to okra before dehydrating it. A couple of options include adding spices and salts for a healthy snack.
How to Use Dehydrated Okra
When you dehydrate okra, it becomes crunchy and dry. However, there are many benefits to using dehydrated okra in cooking:
- They don’t need oil for frying; they’re crispy without any added fat or calories! This makes them a excellent option if you’re watching your weight.
- They’re easy to store and can last for weeks without any loss in quality! Keep them as an inexpensive ingredient on your shelf or pantry.
- They make a great snack food, especially if you need some crunch while watching your favorite TV show! It’s also perfect after a long workout when you need a quick, healthy snack.
- You can enjoy them in any dish that needs some crunch from vegetables. They’re delicious when mixed with rice and other recipes!
- Dehydrated okra is an inexpensive and easy way to make it.
Best Dehydrator Features for Dehydrating Food
- Look for a dehydrator that has variable temperature and a fan. This will keep your food evenly dried.
- The best dehydrators for drying vegetables have a temperature range of 95 degrees F to 160 degrees F and features that allow you to control its humidity, such as an adjustable vent at the bottom.
- A good one also has a timer so you can set how many hours it will be on
- You can also find dehydrators that come with a fruit roll sheet and tray dividers. The best models give you the ability to adjust the height of your shelves if necessary, so you don’t have to fret about spilling onto other food items.
- When purchasing a dehydrator, you are looking for a model with enough power to meet your needs.
I hope you found this post helpful. Drop me a message if you have questions in the comments below!