Cornmeal Crusted Okra Bites
Okra comes to the table full of nutrition and deep African roots. Early African American ancestors brought okra seeds straight from West Africa. The Nigerian word for okra is “gumbo,” which ultimately named the beloved southern stew.
This recipe is a healthy spin on the breaded and fried okra popular in the Deep South.
If okra’s gooey consistency has turned you off in the past, then this recipe is for you. Okra’s characteristic “goo” helps bind the cornmeal for a light and crispy coat. A touch of sweet smoked paprika gives each bite a summery, smoky flavor that kids and adults will love.
½ lb of okra, fresh or frozen and chopped bit sized
1 cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder or garlic granules
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Thaw the okra if using frozen. This recipe calls for half of a 16 oz bag of frozen okra; pour half of the okra into a sealable plastic bag and thaw in warm water (so you won’t thaw the whole bag).
While the okra thaws, mix the cornmeal, paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt in a bowl. Stir well, to evenly spread the ingredients.
Rub a light coat of olive oil on a baking sheet.
Once the okra is thawed, take each pod and roll it through the cornmeal and spices, covering all sides. Place all covered pods on baking sheet.
Bake the okra at 400°F for 25 minutes or until the bites are golden brown.
Serve as a snack or the perfect side to a plate of other veggies, potatoes, or black-eyed peas.