My Okra Coffee Experiment

Roasted Okra seeds

I did some reading on Okra, Ladies’ fingers, and I found out that in times past the seeds of the Okra have been used as a substitute for coffee. I made mention of it in my article on Okra.While I made my Senegalese Okra soup, I saved some seeds of Okra and decided to roast them.

The white Okra seeds turned dark brown upon roasting in a dry hot skillet. The aroma it gave off was lovely and I looked forward to brewing it. I allowed the roasted seeds to rest for a few hours. Upon my return to it, I could see that its oil had started coming out.


Crushed Roasted Okra seeds


Research works say that the seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids – linoleic (an omega-6 fatty acid) and Oleic acids (omega-9 fatty acid) as well as palmitic and stearic acids. The oil has been compared to cottonseed oil and can be a good substitute. Some researchers have talked about it being useful as biodiesel fuel. The oil yield is quite high (business opportunity for somebody).

Oleic acids are found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and in chicken and turkey fat. Oleic acid has been associated with reducing bad cholesterol in the body and its ability to increase good cholesterol is still being debated. Linoleic acids on the other hand are found in soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, chicken fat, egg yolk, peanut oil, palm oil and olive oil to mention a few sources where you can get appreciable about of it. it’s being used industrially in beauty products. It is an essential fatty acid that must be consumed for proper health.

Brewed Roasted Okra seeds with the Oil glistering on the surface

On a side note, cockroaches release linoleic acid when they die and this prevents other cockroaches from that area. Talk about warning signals to fellow cockroaches.

Back to the ‘coffee’.  I crushed the roasted seeds and brewed it to have coffee. It tasted okay and it smelled wonderful. I found out that the pods were usually dried before the seeds, now very dark in color, are roasted. A rich coffee color powder is achieved that way. My own version is like the green tea version in comparison to how black tea is produced.

Brewed Okra Coffee
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  1. Hmmmm. How does it taste? Can I have some? By the way, didn’t know that cockroaches release linoleic acid when they die and this prevents other cockroaches from that area. Good experiment.

  2. Okra coffee.- well done. It will take a re-orientation for me to move okra from the soup compartment in my brain to beverage! When can we taste it☺

    • Thank you Ma. Sometimes we need to take that kind of leap for the sake of our health. I want to make a fresh batch next week and possibly do some analysis so that we know what exactly is in it before we drink. I will keep you informed

  3. Thanks for sharing! So, I tried it and it had a nice aroma. The taste was bland though, but honey did the trick as you’d expect. I intend to try it again as sweet iced coffee. I’ll let you know!


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