This week I have been determined to not rest on my laurels, meaning, not depending on my favourite recipes so much. I realise I’m eating pretty much the same few meals each week. Don’t get me wrong, I do vary them with different sides but still my repertoire has become quite limited. I have, as you know, bought the ‘5 ingredient recipe’ book and will continue to work through that. I also get recipes that pop up on my Facebook feed and with the intention of finding a “new favourite” recipe, will share with you later on in this blog what I found. But first, continuing to work through the alphabet, delving deep into the nutritional and health benefits of a particular fruit or veg – I have reached O and will focus on Okra.
Okra is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It’s rich in magnesium, folate, fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C, K1 and A. Okra may benefit pregnant women, heart health and blood sugar control. It may even have anti cancer properties.
What is Okra
Okra is also known as ‘ladies fingers,’ and is a green flowering plant. It belongs to the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton. The term ‘okra’ most commonly refers to the edible seed pods of the plant. It is low in calories and has a high dietary fibre content
Nutritional value of okra per 100 grams:
- Calories – 33
- Total Fat – 0.2 g – 0% Daily Value (DV)
- Cholesterol – 0 mg – 0% DV
- Sodium – 7 mg – 0% DV
- Potassium – 299 mg – 8% DV
- Carbohydrate – 7 g – 2% DV of which fibre is 3.2 g
- Protein – 1.9 g – 3% DV
- Vitamin A 14%
- Vitamin C 38%
- Calcium 8%
- Iron 3%
- Vitamin B-6 10%
- Magnesium 14%
Taken from http://www.healthline.com
- It has been suggested that okra can help manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. However if you are already on a treatment plan for your diabetes, you should let your doctor know if you’re looking into holistic treatments like okra. If you are taking metformin currently, okra is not something you should be experimenting with.
- Okra is high in fibre. 8 medium-sized pods are estimated to contain 3 grams of fibre. This bulk fibre quality has several benefits. It helps digestion, cuts hunger cravings and keeps those who eat it fuller for longer.
- There is evidence that the seed extracts of okra have an antioxidant, anti-stress effect.
- Okra may help lower cholesterol.
- Anti-fatigue benefit. One study notices that recovery times and “fatigue levels” can be improved by the use of the okra plant. Potentially, by including okra in your diet, you may be able to work out for longer and recover more quickly from your exercise. Cardiovascular activity is an essential part of preventing and treating diabetes. This means that the okra plant may contribute to a more active lifestyle.
As usual, I reproduce the above information as a guide only, and the benefits of fruit and vegetables detailed is reliant on eating an overall healthy diet. Of course I would recommend eating a whole-food, plant-based diet because of the results I’ve seen in myself. Always seek the advice of a doctor if you are making significant changes to your diet.
Recently, my sister who is experiencing some health concerns had a chat with her doctor who suggested she follow a plant-based diet – YES! Good to know there are doctors who recognise the validity of adopting this life style. Her advice was to eat a wide variety of colourful fruit and vegetables.
Expanding my horizons – the search for new recipes:
In my Facebook news feed this popped up – the amazingly tasty Vegan Goulash – taken from zardyplants.com. Normally I would click and save to my plant-based folder and then forget about it. But, I was determined to try something new.
Absolutely delicious and if you cook without oil as I do, this recipe is completely plant based. I added 4 sun dried tomatoes and used whole wheat pasta. Please give it a go as it is so tasty and I highly recommend it!
It’s not a 5 ingredient recipe like the Moroccan Chickpea Soup I showcased last week – but still very easy and quick to make. See the recipe below:
Vegan Goulash Recipe:
- 1 pound pasta of choice (use gluten-free if needed)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (use half if not using TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
- 2 cups TVP (I didn’t use this)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 – 14.5 oz can (or 1.5 cups) diced tomatoes
- 1 – 14.5 oz can tomato puree
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
Vegan Goulash instructions:
- Saute: add onions to a preheated large pot over medium high heat. Sauté for 3 minutes, adding water a tbsp at a time, only when needed (when it starts to stick to the plan).
- Add the garlic after the onion becomes translucent and sauté another minute.
- Add the diced red bell pepper and sauté for one more minute.
- Boil: Add the tomatoes, purée, paste, spices and broth and stir. Bring it to a boil (you may cover with a lid to speed up the process).
- Cook the pasta: Add the pasta in and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for 5 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick.
- Add the TVP if using: Stir right into the mixture, no need to rehydrate it first. Add in the tamari/soy sauce now too. Stir constantly for a minute or two to make sure everything is well mixed.
- Serve: with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and a little fresh or dried parsley – Enjoy!
Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you find it’s content useful. Please like, comment and share wide and far. Your support is much appreciated.