When life gives you avocados, here’s how to keep them green

Avocado, mashed and seasoned with lemon juice, holds well in the freezer in a plastic bag. (Photo by Laura Groch)

It may not be the prettiest thing, but avocado, mashed and seasoned with lemon juice, holds well in the freezer in a plastic bag. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Avocados are a wonderful treat, full of so-called “good fats” and other nutrients, and delicious in all kinds of dishes. But once they’re cut — or mashed — it can be hard to keep them green. They oxidize, like cut apples. And it’s hard to just plain keep them, once they’ve decided to ripen. They can go bad pretty fast.

With avocado crops booming — and with Cinco de Mayo on the horizon — I’ve got a couple of ways to let you stock up on avocados when the prices are good, and to keep your stash green.

I don’t take any credit for this first one — yes, I saw it online — but I did test it for myself and can report that it works just fine.

I often use just half an avocado, and need to keep the other half (with the pit still in it) green. One way to keep avocados from browning once they’re cut is to swab some lemon juice or vinegar on the cut surface, which is what I normally do. This will hold them for a day or so, but not much longer.

Submerging the cut surface of an avocado in water will also keep it from browning. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Submerging the cut surface of an avocado in water will also keep it from browning. (Photo by Laura Groch)

An Internet genius (there are so many!) came up with the idea of submerging the cut avocado in water. I tried it and this works even better than my lemon juice. After the third day in water, the avocado started to get a little bit mushy on the surface, but the rest of it was as firm and green as before. I recommend this method if you need storage for just a few days. (I kept my avocado pit-side up, but if you put it into the container pit-side down, you can use even less water.)

For longer storage, I like to mash and freeze the avocados. This is pretty simple, too — just treat the avos as if you were making guacamole. Peel, mash and add an appropriate amount of lemon or lime juice, about a teaspoon per avo — then stop there. The flavors of onion and garlic, if added at this stage, might grow a bit too strong during freezing. So leave them out for now.

Instead, grab a clean zip-lock plastic bag and spoon your almost-guac into it. Pat the bag to flatten it a bit and get most of the air out, seal — and freeze. Flattening the bag makes it stackable in the freezer. And it will last a good long time. (Double-bag if you like, for extra protection.)

When you’re ready for some guacamole, gently defrost the bag — I transfer mine to the fridge the night before, rather than using the microwave to defrost it. Once it’s defrosted, give it a stir and then add your chopped onion, garlic, tomato and/or whatever else you like. I hope you’ll be pleased with the results!

 

(c) copyright 2018 Laura Groch

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2 thoughts on “When life gives you avocados, here’s how to keep them green

  1. (To the tune of The Hallelujah Chorus) “Aaaaa vocado! Aaaaa vocado! Avocado! Avocado! Avoooocadooo!”
    One of the best foods ever. Thanks for this tip. I’ve found if you suck all the air out of the ziploc and immediately seal it, it’ll go maybe a day or so without browning, but I’ll try the water technique. The alternative, of course? Eat the whole avocado at once. 🙂

    Like

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