The first time I tried okra I was a senior in high school and it was spring break. My family had never gone for spring break trips but my best friend’s family took me with them. At the time, I didn’t realize what a blessing that was. Now, I realize it was so incredibly wonderful of them and I’m so grateful for all they did for me. Not only was it my first time trying okra but it was my first time to Alabama, first time in the Mammoth Caves in Tennessee, and my last spring break as a high school student. The next time I had okra it would be many years later and I didn’t like it as much so I didn’t try it again. For some reason when I decided to grow a garden of my own I decided to grow okra. Let’s call it seed impulse. Anyways, this is my second year growing it and here’s a guide on how we’re canning okra.
HUGE DISCLAIMER HERE- PLEASE READ.
This recipe is not FDA/USDA safe. I’m not even sure who controls the guidelines for canning anymore. That alone should tell you that I don’t always follow the rules. To be quite honest, I don’t like to follow what the government tells me most of the time so why in the world would this be any different? I found a similar recipe a long time ago and it worked so well that I just wanted to keep using it. There aren’t many versions of canning okra around and this one was much easier than the ones that I had found. All of this to say, utilize this recipe at your own risk. I take zero responsibility for anything that may or may not happen to you because of this processing method.
If you like this method, you should for sure check out some rebel canning groups on facebook too.
The main thing that we do with okra is put it on pizza. It sounds kind of weird but we pair it with my pineapple zucchini and pickled banana peppers and it’s so delicious! I’m always on a hunt to squeeze in more veggies wherever I can so this was something I created to make pizza a tiny itty bitty bit healthier. When we put it on pizza we want it to be chunked up pretty small. I suppose larger chunks would be okay but it’s way better when you get a little of everything in a bite.
If you are going to fry the okra you are going to want to cut it a little bit larger. We have done this with our smaller chunks and it’s still delicious! However, it’s a little bit harder on the person who is cooking them because they cook in about 30 seconds. That makes them really easy to overcook and hard on your chef. Try cutting them lengthwise into chunks if you are looking to fry them. They will can just the same no matter which way you choose.
4 quarts of water
4 quarts of okra, cut
½ cup vinegar
4 Tbsp salt
- Place all ingredients into a pot on the stove.
- Bring to boil and then remove from heat. (Our goal here is not to cook the okra. It will cook within the jar so if you overcook it here it may be a little mushy.)
- Heat lids and jars per canning instructions.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the okra from the pan and put into the clean jars.
- Fill the remainder of the jar with leftover liquid from the pot.
- Put on the lids and rings.
- Flip over the jars and allow them to sit in the same spot for 48 hours.
If you are going to fry it do not rinse it! Drain it in a strainer and then throw it into your batter.
In Summary: Canning Okra
If you are an experienced canner you can see immediately why this recipe is a “no-no.” However, I’ve also seen people say that the only reason we water bath pickles is for peace of mind. There really is no purpose and the vinegar that is inside them makes them shelf stable. I tend to believe the same thing with this recipe. I’m very safe when I use my canned products though. I’m very careful to make sure there is no odd smell, there is nothing growing in the jar, and the lid is still sealed when I pull it out of the cupboard. I highly recommend that you do the same even if you only follow the guidelines.
Hopefully this canned okra finds its way to your pizza soon! What is your perfect pizza? I’m a sucker for a big slice of plain cheese but I also really love some hawaiian! Yes, pineapple belongs on pizza!