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Are Okra Leaves Edible? How Do You Cook Them?

Dale Asked

Are okra leaves edible? How do you cook them?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Dale: Okra (Abelmoschus aesulentus) is a nice addition to the vegetable garden. Of course it produces edible pods, which would be the main reason for growing, it but it is also serves as an ornamental with hibiscus-like yellow blossoms. Okra is often thought of as a southern vegetable. It is grown all over the world but is thought to originate in Africa. In our part of the world, the fruit is harvested and commonly used in gumbos or served as a side dish sautéed or fried. To answer your question, yes, the foliage of the okra is edible. The leaves are velvety to the touch so the texture will depend on the way it is prepared. It is usually steamed or stir-fried, but it can also be eaten raw in a mixed green salad.

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