Abelmoschus esculentus

Okra is a native African vegetable that has been cultivated at least since the 12th century in Egypt and Arabia. It is a tall, sturdy, heat-loving plant in the hibiscus family, with its characteristic flowers. The entire plant, flowers, pods, seeds and leaves are edible, though the pod is the part most eaten.

I realize that I am not in the majority, but Okra is one of my favorite vegetables. It's also one of my favorite garden plants. They are so tall and sturdy and their flowers are gorgeous, though I tend to see them from underneath because they are so tall and I am so short. They also start producing in as little as 2 warm months and keep producing right up to the frost, each plant giving me 3-5 pods a week all summer long. If I miss a few days of harvest and the pods have gotten tough, they can be saved and dried for crafts. And, unlike some plants I could name that get all moldy and sad in the humidity of my Midwestern swampland, okra thrives on it. I understand that okra is perennial where the frost doesn't kill it, imagine getting all those pods all year long! Okra is a truly generous plant.

I love pan fried okra as a side, and in gumbo, of course, but those recipes take a lot more time than just slicing okra and stewing it in a tomato base with whatever other veggies I have on hand and serving it over rice- this is how my dad always made it when I was a kid and it's comfort food. The holy trinity of celery, bell peppers and onions is good, but I also add eggplant pretty often too, as it ripens around the same time in the garden. Sometimes I add oxtail or some other random chunks of beef if I have it, something that'll stew a long time. There's no reason I couldn't add shrimp or scallops, except that I can't really get those fresh locally so I don't bother with them.

Drying and seasoning small okra pods makes a satisfying crunchy snack.

Okra pickles are also tasty.

People make various use of the dried seeds, to make a protein-rich flour, and to make a coffee substitute- I have not tried either of these. I will plant much more okra next year and experiment.

Okra is unparalleled for both "invisibility" spells and hex breaking and you can internalize this by eating it or through spellwork. The symbolism of the "slimy" mucilaginous juice makes it good for sliding through unnoticed and slipping out of sticky situations. I can use an okra pod in a container spell with a sympathetic link to myself (or whoever) for this purpose, or create a slimy rinse using okra pods, broken up and steeped in hot water until it cools enough to pour over my body.

In addition to the "slimy" quality, okra's juice is also sticky so it can be used in that way too. Share a dish of stewed okra with a loved one to help the relationship stick or eat it while you're pregnant so the pregnancy sticks (to prevent miscarriage. Okra is also rich in folate, so eat it while you're trying to get pregnant too).

Okra is generally notorious for breaking up magic spells sent your way and dried pods hung around the house will help protect you from any spells (including good ones, so keep this in mind) and they look cool.

I also consider okra to be a symbol of generosity and abundance and use it for spells to draw abundance. The seeds can be carried in a pouch to prevent anything from getting in the way of money coming your way- like when you go to ask for a loan, or when you're selling something.

Okra is rich in plant protein and dietary fiber, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, thiamine, folate, calcium, magnesium, manganese and vitamins A, C, K, and B6

Element(s): Water Air
Planet(s): Mercury Mars
Zodiac Sign: - -
Season: Summer
Sabbat: -

Gender: Masculine

uncrossing, purifying, blessing, cleansing, abundance, generosity, invisibility

Recipes that contain Okra

Notes from the Test Kitchen

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