How to Freeze Okra



Overwhelmed with Okra?

If you planted more than one okra plant, right about now you are up to your arm pits in okra! Feeling a little overwhelmed? LOL I have three okra plants and am harvesting about two dozen every other day. If you have never grown okra before, let me tell you it grows FAST!! You have to be diligent with your harvesting, because okra gets out of control in size literally over night! Bigger is NOT better when it comes to okra. Okra is at its best when the pod is 2" to 4" long. When it gets longer than that it is tough and fibrous.


How to Freeze Okra

The quickest and easiest way to safely save okra or most any vegetable is by freezing it. However, there is a process to save it safely and insure the best product for use at a later date. The process is called "Blanching".


What Is Blanching?

Blanching is a processing technique to prepare vegetables for freezing. Growing up I learned to blanch foods in boiling water. However, steam can be used as well. Blanching can also be used to remove skin from some fruits like tomatoes, peaches and plums before canning, freezing and cooking.

Why Blanching Is Important?

Blanching is a critical step in food safety. It is done to inactivate enzymes that cause loss of flavor, color and texture in your produce. It also reduces the number of microorganisms (aka...kills bacteria, you know...the stuff that can make you sick.) Blanching also helps slow the loss of vitamin content of your okra or vegetables. It is not a complicated process, it is quick and easy to do!




How To Blanch Okra and Vegetables


Our short video will walk you through the water blanching process. You don't need fancy equipment. It can be done with what you have. (If you want to do the steam blanching, you will need a steamer basket and a pot with a lid.) Boiling water is the key here, you can use a lid on your pan. If you use a lid, you will probably not need to flip or turn your okra in the middle of the process. Ice water bath stops the blanching process. You don't want to over blanch.




Blanching Time Table

If you need times for additional fruits or vegetables not listed

contact your county extension office.

(This table will not view in full mode on mobile. We apologize for the inconvenience.)

Vegetable

Amount

Minutes to Blanch in Boiling Water

Minutes to Blanching with Steam

Artichoke

Globe

7

10.5

Asparagus

Sm | Med | Lg

2 | 3 | 4

3 | 5 | 6

Beans - Snap, Green or Wax

3

5

Beans - Lima, Butter, or Pinto

Sm | Med | Lg

2 | 3 | 4

3 | 4.5 | 6

Broccoli

Flowerets 1 1/2" across

3

5

Brussels Sprouts

Sm | Med | Lg

3 | 4 | 5

4.5 | 6 | 7.5

Cabbage

Shredded

1.5

2.25

Carrots

Small Whole

5

7.5

Carrots

Diced, Sliced, Lengthwise Strips

2

3

Cauliflower

1" Flowerets

3

4.5

Celery

3

4.5

Corn - Whole Kernel or Cream Style (Blanch before cutting corn from cob)

4

6

Corn - Whole Ears

Sm | Med | Lg

7 | 9 | 11

10.5 | 13.5 | 16.5

Eggplant

4

6

Greens

Collards | Others

3 | 2

4.5 | 3

Kholrabi

Whole | Cubes

3 | 1

4.5 | 1.5

Okra

Sm | Lg

3 | 4

4.5 | 6

Peas - Edible Pod

2 -3

4 - 5

Peas - Green

1 1/2 - 2 1/2

3 - 5

Peppers

Strips | Rings

2

3

Peppers

Strips or Rings

2

3

Potatoes - Irish - New

3 - 5

4.5 | 7.5

Squash - Summer

3

4.5

Turnips or Parsnips

Cubed

2

3


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