September 22, 2011

Best Way to Cook Okra: Okra Apple Spice Muffins

I was overtaken by okra this summer. I grew it for the first time this year, and I have to admit that I didn’t have much experience with this veggie beforehand. It turned out to be such a hardy, productive crop that I was soon on a quest to find the best way to cook okra.

Fresh Okra in orange bowl on countertop

I tried traditional fried okra: slices dredged in egg wash, coated with cornmeal, salt and pepper, and then fried. I thought it was OK—pretty ho-hum. Okra is unique in its gummy, mucilaginous texture and, like fresh okra (pictured above), the fried version still tasted pretty slimy (which some people really like … but for me, it was a turnoff).

After that, I invented a few okra dishes that I would probably rate a seven—one was a potato okra soup and the other was a chunky okra, tomato and corn sauce over cornbread. But finally, thanks to the inspiration I found in a recipe for Okra Cupcakes with Fennel Frosting on the Cupcake Project website, I created my perfect 10 of okra recipes: Okra Apple Spice Muffins.  

Okra Muffins, Baking With Okra, Best Way to Cook Okra


1½ cups organic white flour
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup organic butter (plus a bit more for greasing muffin pan)
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs from pastured hens
1/4 cup local honey
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup organic milk
1/2 cup apple or pear juice
About 1 cup organic okra, processed
1 whole organic apple, cored and processed


Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in one bowl, stir well and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the eggs, then mix in the honey, syrup, milk and juice. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Next, pulverize the okra and apple in a food processor for about 15 seconds, then fold into batter.

Grease a muffin pan with butter and add batter to cups so that the batter is about level with the top of the pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Even if you don’t like okra, try this recipe. Instead of adding slime, the okra just makes these delicious muffins moist and fluffy. You can also try some variations of this recipe; for instance, I baked something similar using okra and grated zucchini instead of apple. If you try these muffins or a variation of them, I’d love to hear how you liked them. Or, if you have any okra recipes to share, I’d like to hear about those, too!

Photos by Doug Snodgrass


  1. The first round of these muffins was delicious, so glad I have the recipe now! This goes down in my recipe files next to chocolate beet cake :).

  2. I still need to try this chocolate beet cake you speak of. It sounds amazing.