Malvaceae (Mallow family)
slices and served as a side dish, used in soups and stews, or cooked or fried with meat and other vegetables. The mucilaginous sap contains a soluble fiber used as a thickener in soups. Cooking or frying with vinegar or a sprinkle of lime reduces sliminess. Okra is an important ingredient in a traditional meat or seafood stew known as gumbo, a dish typical of the Gulf Coast of the United States. In India and Pakistan, okra slices are often fried with meat and spices or salted and pickled. Less often okra is eaten raw in salads. Unripe okra fruits can be dried for later use. The leaves and young shoots are edible and cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach or eaten raw in salads.
Comments. Okra is a vegetable low in calories but a good source of vitamin C, provitamin A, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The high content of mucilaginous sap makes the fruit ideal for people with stomach ailments. The seeds contain a greenish-yellow oil high in unsaturated fats. The high-quality oil, called ambretta, is used in the food and perfume industry and as a therapeutic oil. In times when coffee wasn’t readily available, the seeds were roasted, ground, and used as a coffee substitute.
Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa (A. Chev.) A. Chev.