Okra tends to get a bad rap in the veggie world; mostly due to its infamous “slime”, which leaks out during the cooking process. In some recipes, this slime, which is actually the same substance inside aloe plant leaves, is used as a thickening agent (think gumbo or stew). However, in most other recipes, the slime is pretty unappetizing. If you boil your okra first, you’ll see the slime rise to the top of your pot. Scrape that off and continue on to your next step! To cut down on its slippery nature, cook the okra with acidic ingredients like tomatoes, vinegar, or lemon juice, and fry, grill, or sauté it whole, trimming off only the stems. If you are preparing a dish that has a lot of liquid in it, cook the okra separately first, dry thoroughly, and then slice and add to the finished dish. Give okra another chance this year, or try it out for the first time: you may be pleasantly surprised!