Taken 10/31/2013 10:30 am - Iflizwerequeen Urban Garden One - Title: Even Bees Like Okra
Last night we had the second successful meeting of the Planning Committee for establishing a nonprofit corporation to support a Garland Community Garden. After the meeting, Anita Opel, one of the members of our committee, lingered and among other things we discussed the value of eating raw food.
While I am introducing more raw food into my diet, I have not gone as far as Anita and her husband, Robert, whose diet now is vegan and almost entirely raw food. However, last night I took a daring step and ate a whole raw oka pod from my Urban Garden One with Anita!
If there is an afterlife, my mother and both my grandmothers have fainted as all of them fried okra until it was burnt and/or boiled it until it was gray and indistinguishable slime floating in the gumbo--or worse, served as a side dish.
Raw Okra tastes great!
In fact I was so surprised and enthusiastic about the great taste of the okra that I ate another, just to make sure. Last night I ate two raw okra pods. Embolded by my own bravery, I also ate a raw Japanese eggplant and several green tomatoes from my garden. They all tasted wonderful.
I don't know that I'll ever convert to a 100% raw diet because I love spices in cooked foods, but I'll definitely explore the possibility of adding more raw foods to my diet--especially those that I've thought of as being in the "must be cooked" category.
Another benefit from our adventure in the garden last night
One of the classes we will likely bring to the educational offerings of our Garland Community Garden will be: Rethink Your Relationship to Food--Raw is Healthy. For this class we will let the participants pick a raw vegetable from the garden (one that is normally cooked such as okra, green beans, egg plant, etc.) and eat it raw. We will record the participant's reactions and keep a file of them on our website. Of course there will be more to the class than this, but this exercise will be the fun part.
A Closing Note on the Nutritional Value of Okra--Just in case someone is saying "ugh"
Daily Requirements from Okra, Serving size 255 grams: 71 calories (and no, this is not 255 grams of Okra deep-fried in lard)
Vitamin A = 17%
Vitamin C = 52%
Calcium = 24%
Iron = 9%
This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Niacin, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.