Those of you who did not grow up in the southern United States, Africa or India may have a problem with okra, a favorite summer GMO and gluten-free staple.

Most southerners, including me, traditionally embraced the slimy texture of this fruit (it has seeds so it’s technically a fruit even though we think of it as a vegetable) and used it as a thickening agent in gumbos, or sliced and coated it with enough cornmeal to disguise the slime and create a mouthwatering crisp crust when frying.

A healthier, slime-free, lower-calorie version and just as tasty as fried okra is roast okra. Roast okra pods caramelize in a hot oven; turn a golden brown, and become addictive to those of us who love the flavor. Roast okra is a healthy, nutrient-dense finger food, perfect for days-end summer cocktails with friends on the porch or in the garden.


  • Four cups fresh okra (never frozen).
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Other seasonings of your choice.


  • Preheat oven to 400 or 425 degrees.
  • Clip the ends and toss okra pods gently with oil, salt, pepper and other seasonings in big bowl or plastic Ziploc bag. We frequently add a little ground thyme or curry powder.
  • Place on a baking sheet with a lip and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the baking sheet often so it turns and does not stick. Remove from oven and transfer to a paper towel to dry for a few minutes before arranging in a serving dish. The okra should be crisp on the outside and soft, but not slimy, on the inside.

Nutritional Information per serving

  • 95 calories per one cup serving
  • Includes 8 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams protein, and 166 mcg of folate per serving.

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, and the Biosyntrx staff

Etnia 619 Mid Page