Dr Oz: Healthier Southern Food + Crispy Fried Okra Recipe


Dr Oz: Southern Food Made Healthier

Dr Oz knows that southern cooking is delicious, but doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being healthy. He said there’s a new way of cooking that isn’t all about butter and fried foods, and to help him reveal cooking secrets from the South, he welcomed Big Daddy, also known as Aaron McCargo Jr. Big Daddy said a lot of people are living in the past and haven’t yet realized that you can cook healthy while still enjoying your southern favorites.

They started by talking about black-eyed peas. Dr Oz shared that black-eyed peas actually contain 11 grams of fiber in just one cup! Because of their great nutritional value, it’s a good idea to add them to soups and salads for more flavor and added benefits. They’re also really affordable. He made a dish combining bell peppers, onion, black-eyed peas, and quinoa to show that eating healthy can still be delicious. Plus, a little fun fact is that black-eyed peas are actually beans, not peas!


Dr Oz: Cooking Southern Collard Greens

Dr Oz: Healthier Southern Food + Crispy Fried Okra Recipe

Southern cooking doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Big Daddy shared how you can enjoy his Fried Okra recipe without all the guilt. (nataliemaynor / flickr)

Next, Dr Oz and Big Daddy talked about greens. When it comes to cooking collard greens, Big Daddy really wants people to know to take the time to blanch the vegetables to keep the bright color. Boil the greens and then place them into ice cold water for 30 seconds. Then dry them really good to avoid adding water to your recipe. He then suggested sauteing the greens in olive oil, onions, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic. You can throw in whatever ingredients you want to add flavor, but because some ingredients add too much salt, Big Daddy liked the idea of adding some red wine vinegar to collard greens.

Dr Oz: Healthier Flavored Iced Tea

Dr Oz knows that a true southern staple is sweet tea. Iced tea can boost your metabolism and is full of antioxidants. One woman suggested adding sweetness to your tea with frozen berries as well as a slice of lemon to up the vitamin C and give it some great flavor. Dr Oz called it “un-sweet sweet tea.”


As a little bonus, Dr Oz had two of his friends from Atlanta share two more southern staples: fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits. Rather than frying the tomatoes, you can bake them in the oven for a healthier version!

Dr Oz: Enjoy Your Southern Greens

Big Daddy said that when it comes to okra and collard greens, his mother would cook them for too long. Big Daddy explained that cooking greens for too long can take away from the nutritional benefits. Okra and collard greens are great for helping to lower cholesterol and are also good sources of fiber and vitamin C. Okra is also an antidiabetic.

Big Daddy explained that he loves to convince people to like something that they don’t. He’ll take okra and fry it, but he’ll do so in a way that is a little bit healthier than deep frying. You can find his recipe for crispy fried okra below.

Dr Oz: Crispy Tempura Fried Okra Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh okra – split
  • 1/2 C cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 gallon canola oil
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 C cold seltzer water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp flour

Dr Oz: Crispy Tempura Fried Okra Recipe Directions

  1. Heat oil to approximately 375 degrees
  2. Combine 1 C flour and corn starch
  3. Slowly add in the cold seltzer water, whisking constantly until your batter is pancake-like
  4. Mix spices and the rest of the flour together and cover the split okra
  5. Add the spiced okra to the tempura batter and carefully place the okra into the hot oil
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes, and then place onto a paper towel to drain

Dr Oz: Right Vs Left

At the end of his show, Dr Oz shared that he has the smartest audience in all of TV. He then shared that scientists agree that about one in five people cannot tell their right from their left because it requires a complex process. Supposedly even the genus Sigmund Freud couldn’t tell his right from left!


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