Summer is in full swing, and fresh summer veggies are here! From juicy tomatoes to Texas blueberries, to crunchy cucumber, we are loving all that summer has to offer... especially okra!
Not familiar with okra? Though it may be most commonly seen as either pickled or fried, we're loving it baked! Baking the okra is a great way to enhance the texture or bring out a wonderful flavor that's lost when it's deep fried. Not only is the flavor better, but choosing to bake okra rather than fry it will eliminate unnecessary flour and likely unhealthy oils. Thus, baked okra is a much healthier option!
Okra only comes into season during the summer months and is regional to the south. The fact that it's only seen in the summer makes it that much more exciting to get our hands on it here in Texas! There's nothing quite like seasonal and local food for a health promoting, and flavorful meal.
WHY EAT SEASONALLY AND LOCALLY?
With the modern grocery store at the forefront of our diets, you may be wondering why you'd even need to bother to eat seasonally. We have virtually any fruit or vegetable at our disposal any day of the year, so why limit ourselves? We beg to differ.
At Stewarding Life Wellness, we practice a food is medicine functional approach and believe that choosing the right food has a powerful impact on our health. Eating seasonally and locally is one of the best choices you can make in the kitchen, and here are just a few reasons why...
1. Seasonal food is fresher, and more nutrient dense.
Ever grab a bunch of spinach at the grocery store only to bring it home and have it rot less than 48 hours later? We've been there! Food that you buy at the grocery store has often traveled hundreds of miles to get to you and may have been harvested weeks ago. The expiration date is quick, and the nutrient density is low.
Eating seasonally and locally ensures that the food is fresh which in turn means it's also more nutrient dense. All vegetables are not created equal, and it takes mindful selection to find the healthiest option.
2. Eating seasonally helps to avoid food sensitivities and leaky gut.
Though we're told that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", the human body wasn't designed to eat apples every day of the year. Rather, our ancestors ate what was seasonal, and it's the way our bodies are designed to enjoy food.
Eating the same foods every day of the year can make us far more likely to develop sensitivities to those foods and risk the development of leaky gut.
3. Eating with the seasons is what God intended for our health.
God intended us to eat seasonally, and we'll find that when we do so, we're healthier and happier for it!
HOW TO FIND LOCAL OPTIONS.
Doing a quick search for a local Farmers Market, CSA, or farm store is a great way to find local options near you. They're far more common than you think.
Eating local is so important to us that we partner with Farm to Fork Foods in Arlington, TX to have local food delivered right to our office in Keller, TX for your convenience! Check them out to sign up for your drop.
Find okra in the summer in Texas is a breeze, and we love snacking on it and pairing it with a nutrient dense meal!
OVEN ROASTED SUMMER OKRA RECIPE
- 1 lb fresh okra
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for strict autoimmune diet)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- After washing the okra, slice off the tops and the ends and cut the okra down the middle length-wise.
- Place the okra on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and top with oil and seasonings.
- Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes of until softened and lightly crispy.
We hope you enjoy this delicious summer okra!