Avocados are a powerful, healthy food that anyone can benefit from including in their diet. Studies have shown avocados to support cardiovascular health, contribute to healthy weight loss and weight management, aid in eye health, and improve overall diet quality. In addition, avocados contain nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, contributing to many of the fruit’s miraculous health benefits.
Aside from their nutritional benefits, avocados are an extremely versatile fruit. They can be eaten on their own, added to smoothies, made into dips, and used in a variety of different style dishes. However, this well-liked food has one major drawback: avocados are notorious for going bad too quickly before you can use them. Is it possible to keep avocados fresh for a longer period? How can we prevent avocados from spoiling too quickly?
We thought it best to talk with some expert chefs about foolproof tips for buying and preserving this deliciously beneficial fruit to get more ideas on how to best stop avocados from going bad prematurely. Fortunately, their advice for slowing the ripening process of avocados is simple, so anyone from seasoned chefs to kitchen novices can follow it. Continue reading to find out how to keep avocados from going bad.
Choosing the right avocado in the store
Before storing avocados for your next meal, let’s ensure we get the right ones at the store.
When looking for a ripe avocado, gently squeeze it with your palm rather than your fingertips. The avocado will be firm but give slightly when ripe and ready to eat.
Checking under the stem—the little brown bulb at the top—is another trick you’ve probably heard before. The avocado is ready to eat if it is a bright green color. However, if a brown color appears, the avocado may be overripe.”
When trying to select an avocado in a store, you should also consider when you intend to use it. For example, if you need your avocado on the same day that you’re shopping, you’ll want to use the tricks above to find one that is ripe and ready to go. But what about those shopping trips made a few days before you’re planning to use the avocado? In this case, you’ll want to buy one that isn’t quite ripe yet—which is when knowing.
How to stop avocados from going bad too quickly
If you need to extend their shelf life, wrap each avocado individually in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator; ideally, do this before the avocado is ripe, but it will slow the ripening process in either case.
People frequently bring their new avocados home and place them in a fruit bowl with other products; however, you should keep your avocados isolated and separate from other ethylene-producing produce, in particular.
Avocados, apples, and bananas emit ethylene gas as they ripen, and being enclosed or close to one another speeds up the ripening process.
You can also freeze your avocados, which is especially useful if you plan to use them in smoothies or dips because freezing your avocados gives them a uniquely creamy texture when blended.
If you can’t use the avocados right away, peel, mash, or puree them and add one teaspoon of lemon or lime juice per avocado. Store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the avocado mixture.
After that, you can put it in the freezer and save it for later.
Another vexing experience that all avocado lovers can relate to is when you cut open a fresh avocado but don’t intend to eat the entire thing in one sitting: the unused half can sometimes turn brown almost immediately.
When cut avocados are exposed to air, they react with the oxygen and begin oxidizing, turning a light brown color. To prevent this, squeeze lemon or lime juice on the exposed surface, as citric acid acts as a preservative. Another simple tip is to wrap the cut avocado in plastic wrap or place it flat down in a container.
You can determine whether an avocado is ripe or needs more time by examining its texture and stem at the grocery store or at home. When you bring your avocados home if you don’t plan to eat them right away, be mindful of where you store them. Do what you can to keep it away from apples, bananas, and other ethylene-producing produce to slow down the ripening process.
If your avocado is already cut open and you want to save the rest, squirt a little lemon or lime juice on top, individually wrap it in saran wrap, and place it in the fridge; you can also cut it up and freeze it for later use in thick and creamy smoothies or dips.
These chef-recommended tips should help you feel more confident about your avocado storage, reducing food waste and saving you money in the long run.
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