Many people love okra/okro due to this warm-season vegetable’s versatile usage and its nutrients. It is a must to know that you can and also eat these unripe plant pods.
So, how do you know if it what you have is bad okra? How can you tell if okra is bad? If you are looking for the answer, you may find it below.
How To Tell If Okra Is Bad?
Okra (or okro/ ochro) goes bad quickly; that’s why you must check for signs of spoilage before consuming the food. Here are some tips for detecting rotten okra:
How to tell if okra is ripe? You can find out the answer through its texture. The inside of okra will be slimy or wet when it is no longer safe to eat. You now know the answer to the question “why is my okra slimy when being cooked?” or “Is okra supposed to be slimy while in storage?”
Do not make mistakes between two things anymore! It is normal when you cook this vegetable, and it becomes slimy. But if storage makes your okra sticky, you had better throw it away.
Some okra black spots or okra brown patches that you have realized are spoilage signs. Moreover, any slight discoloration at okro’s tips indicates that you should remove it immediately.
Other Tips – In Storage Vs. Fresh
The signs of spoilage are different between fresh vegetables and those in storage.
Fresh okro consists of two types, those with and without being harvested yet. If the type that hasn’t been harvested becomes as hard as a rock, okro is finally bad. Besides, its exterior might turn brown, and the seeds inside turn black.
Once you leave your fresh food at room temperature for a few days, it will become slimy and soft – It would be best if you throw them away!
Of course, storing your food in the fridge can keep it in good condition longer – up to a week. This vegetable goes bad when there is moisture in your refrigerator. At room temperature, the okro will have a soft and slimy texture when bad. Plus, there will also be mold growing on them.
The ultimate storing method is by putting them in the freezer. However, it would still go bad if you store it too long.
How Long Does Okra Last?
The answer depends mostly on how you store it: room temperature, the fridge, or freezer.
At Room Temperature
As mentioned above, the food can go bad after a few days. That’s why you should only keep them at room temperature when you intend to cook them within a couple of hours or a little longer.
If you store it in the pantry, it will remain fresh for up to four days. However, its shelf life will be shorter by about two days in humid conditions or one day in case of sunlight exposure.
In The Fridge
Then how long will okra keep in the refrigerator? Well, it is ideal for keeping your okro edible for three to four weeks. Cool temperature contributes greatly to slowing down the ripening progress of your ochro.
Despite this fact, this place is not completely safe because the moisture coming in still makes vegetables spoiled.
Freezing is the last solution if you tend to consume out-of-season vegetables. Its life span might be longer than normal, prolonging nearly ten months to a year.
You had better divide your okro into the suitable amount for each meal and put them in a sealed bag. It will help to avoid moisture exposure because of opening one bag of okro over and over.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Okra?
Is it ok to eat okra with black spots? – We have to say that you might suffer from several problems when you eat spoiled okra with black spots.
The reason is that bacteria tend to form on the vegetable when it deteriorates. This possibly leads to food poisoning as a result.
How To Preserve Okra Properly?
In The Pantry
Your house pantry is undoubtedly one of the best places to store ochro for a few days. Of course, make sure that you consume these foods within two to three days after harvesting or purchasing.
Let’s rinse your vegetables with clean water, then dry them completely before putting them in a container.
The heat will make vegetables spoil quickly, and ochro is not an exception. That’s why you must avoid letting direct sunlight and other heat sources reach the food’s storage place. In addition, it is better to put it in some spots where sunlight is absent.
In The Refrigerator
The refrigerator is the best place to keep food fresh for a long time. We highly recommend putting it in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Furthermore, do not forget to keep it in the crisper drawer to block air from oxidizing the okro’s flesh.
There is no need to wash okro before storing it in the fridge, in case you cannot leave it dry completely. Instead, just rinse it later when you are ready to cook.
Extra Tips for Prolonging Okra
1. Pickled Okra
We can prolong this vegetable by making some delicious side dishes from it, and pickled ochro is our first choice. It brings you a crunchy texture with a vinegar taste that wins your heart at first bite. You can serve it with salad and some other vegetables.
2. Canning Okra
If you want to preserve the freshness of ochro to cook later, let’s go for the canning option. It is also helpful to prevent freezer burn when you freeze the ochro.
Note: You will need the help of a pressure-cooking canner to make canned okro.
3. What To Avoid While Selecting Okra
- Any pods size longer than 4-inch with okra brown seeds.
- Visible blemishes or black spots on okra surface.
- Shriveled, dry, dull-colored, or brown okra.
- Slimy and sticky okro.
It is crucial that you know how to tell if okra is bad based on its texture and appearance, as consuming spoiled food can get you food poisoning. Besides, note down all the above tips for prolonging and preserving it if you find them helpful!