Is the perfect time when the Albanian women start to prepare the winter zahires. This is the process of preparing and preserving traditional food for the cold months of winter.

In this time, some part of Albania, the women and grandmothers start preparing Pickled Vegetables, Trahana, Petka, they dry meat but also they dry fruits and vegetables. They dry fruits like figs, apples, grapes, apricots and plums, vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.

Recently, a new tradition has started to be used widely by Albanian women. Dried Okra. They are delicious and full of nutrition values. Drying Okra is a simple process, so long as you have a food dehydrator or an oven that registers 140°F. Wash, trim, and slice okra crosswise into 1/8- to ¼- inch disks.

No blanching is required, just place in a single layer on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets and dry for 8-10 hours in a dehydrator, up to twice as long in an oven. Drying time depends on air circulation — directing a fan towards a slightly opened oven speeds up drying time.

Dried okra offers many nutritional benefits, including serving up beneficial amounts of folic acid and vitamin B6.

Health Benefits of Dried Okra

Fiber

A half ounce of dried okra contains 3.3 grams dietary fiber. Adding dietary fiber to your diet can aid your digestive system, adding bulk to your stools and preventing constipation and diarrhea.

A diet rich in dietary fiber can lower your cholesterol levels and control your blood sugar levels. If you are looking to lose weight, snacking on dried okra can help by making you feel full, preventing you from overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods.

Vitamins

Dried okra is full of vitamins A and C. A half ounce of dried okra contains 97 percent of the reference daily intake of vitamin A recommended by the FDA. Vitamin A aids your body in growing skin and bone cells.

Vitamin A benefits your nighttime vision and your reproductive organs. A half ounce of dried okra offers 216 percent of the RDI for vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body build collagen, blood vessels and cartilage. A diet rich in vitamin C can help your body absorb iron.

Minerals

Eating a half ounce of dried okra adds 84 percent of your RDI of calcium to your diet. Your body needs calcium to promote healthy bones and ward off osteoporosis.

If you don’t consume dairy, dried okra makes a great daily snack to ensure you are getting ample calcium in your diet.

You’ll get 33 percent of your RDI of iron by eating a half ounce of dried okra. If you suffer from low iron levels, or if you don’t eat meat, snacking on dried okra can help get your body the iron it needs.

Other Nutrients

Dried okra is a hearty snack. Each 1 1/2 cups of dried okra contains 2.5 grams of protein. Protein is an essential part of your diet. Protein helps your body heal itself by repairing and building new cells.

Eating 1 1/2 cups of dried okra will add 10 grams of carbohydrates to your daily intake. Carbohydrates help your brain and nervous system function properly. Enzymes in your body turn carbohydrates into glucose, which your body uses for energy./AgroWeb.org