Okra is known to be “the lady’s finger” or “bamia” as one of the most nutritious vegetables cooked. Okra is related to the hibiscus, mallow and cotton plants. It grows best in a well-drained environment. Its pods are usually gathered while they are green, delicate and at an immature stage.Okra is known to be “superfood” for people with or at risk of diabetes.
Choose:well-colored okra that are tender but firm, without spots or bruises, up to 10 cm in length.
In the fridge: 2-3 days, in a paper bag, or in paper towel, then inside a loosely closed plastic bag.
In the freezer: whole, blanch for 2 min. before.
The olive is one the most ancient cultivated fruits. The olive tree is known for its exceptional longevity. Green olives are picked when they have reached their normal size, just before they change color. Black olives are picked when ripe. Olives are sold loose, in jars or in cans.
At room temperature: 1 year, in a sealed container.
In the fridge: opened containers, place olives bough loose in a closed container. Green olives and black salt-dried olives do not keep as long.
Properties: Laxative, aperitive, and cholagogic.
Onions are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Onions have different shapes and sizes but the most common types are red, yellow and white. Flavors may change depending on the environment for which they grow and the season the season they are mostly cultivated in. They promote benefits for health and skin.
Choose: firm onion, with no sign of sprouting or mold, a good dry, smooth and crackly outer skin, and a neck that is as small as possible.
Buy: Onion is available in dry form, as flakes or powder, sold as is or seasoned.
Storing: the “stronger” the onion is and the less water it contains, the better it will keep.
At room temperature: keep onions in a cool, dry place, away from potatoes. Avoid keeping cut onions as they lose their vitamins and can spoil.
In the fridge: green onions, 1 week
In the freezer: peeled and chopped.
Properties: diuretic, antibiotic, antiscorbutic, stimulant, and expectorant. It is used to treat flu, diarrhea and rheumatism.
Orange trees are the most cultivated fruit trees in the world. Oranges are classified into: bitter oranges and sweet oranges. They are not only used as ingredients in salads and meal recipes, or to be eaten individually, but are used as part of the skin and facial cleansing remedies.
Choose: a firm orange that is heavy for its size, with smooth skin.
Avoid: an orange with soft parts, black spots and mold.
At room temperature: about 1 week.
In the fridge: extended storage.
In the freezer: the juice and the zest. The skin of the orange must be rinsed if the zest will be used.
Excellent source: vitamin C.
Good source: potassium.