This southern delicacy reaches its peak during the hot summer months of Houston. It can be sliced or chopped, stir fried with other veggies, such as zucchini, onions and red or green bell peppers. It is a staple in gumbo. And it can be frozen (whole and uncooked) for later preparation.

Okra is best harvested when the pods are just 3-4 inches long, otherwise the pods can become tough. The vegetable is an excellent source of fiber and also contains good amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium, plus Vitamins B, C, E and K. In fact, one cup of raw okra has just 33 calories, but it contains 44-percent of the body’s daily need for Vitamin K.

Okra will be available all summer long at the Westchase District Farmers Market. Not sure how to cook okra? Here are some fantastic recipes, courtesy of Southern Living magazine.