Do you know the best way to store avocados? Follow this guide for some useful tips and tricks on how to keep your avocados fresher for longer.
Domestic avocado consumption has risen sharply over the last decade, ballooning from one million pounds in 2010 to three million pounds in 2021. This sharp rise is partially caused by a growing understanding of this problematic superfood’s health benefits.
Many households can’t get enough of avocados these days. They are ingrained in the American diet. However, while avocados are a healthy choice for your body, they may not be the most sustainable.
Much of America’s avocado produce is imported from Mexico, involving long hours of transportation associated with hefty carbon dioxide emissions from refrigeration and fuel. They also require considerable irrigation. Producing a single avocado requires up to 60 gallons of water.
The water used during irrigation can also contain pollutants from poor filtration systems. So, you can’t give up avocados, it’s important to look for a USDA organic seal and buy ones grown as close to you as possible.
What to Consider When Storing Avocados
When storing avocados, some easy practices can reduce waste and keep them in good condition. Here are the most important considerations for avocado storage:
- Counter vs. fridge: Uncut avocados have a shelf life of three to four days. In the refrigerator, they should last between seven to ten days.
- Bad avocados: How do you know when an avocado has gone bad? You can usually tell by pressing the skin gently with your finger — if it leaves a dent or feels mushy, your avocado may have already gone bad. Old avocados can also have brown or black spots on their fleshy interior.
- Ripeness: Ripe avocados have dark green to black skin and should feel very slightly soft. An unripe avocado will be lighter and brighter green. Leave your avocados on the counter to ripen them more quickly.
Depending on the avocado’s condition, there are plenty of storage options. Below, we’ll look at the best way to store avocados.
The Best Way to Store Avocados
No matter what condition your avocados are in, there are plenty of ways to make them last longer and reduce food waste. Here are some options, depending on the state of the fruit.
- Ripe avocados: Keep them fresh by placing them in the refrigerator for two to three days.
- Unripe avocados: Leave them out on the counter. As they ripen, the skin should turn darker.
- Cut ripe avocados: Cut off any oxygen supply to your avocados to stop them from spoiling. Squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh, or rub them lightly in olive oil. The acid in the lemon juice inactivates polyphenol oxidase, which helps to prevent browning. You can then wrap the avocado tightly in a plastic wrap alternative or beeswax wrap and place it in the fridge, where it should last up to three days.
- Cut unripe avocados: Again, add some lemon or lime juice to the exposed flesh and place the two halves back together as well as you can. Wrap them tightly before placing them in the fridge. When ripe, it should feel softer than before.
- For best results, leave the skin and the pit when storing cut avocado
- Scrape away any brown pulp when you are ready to eat it
- Hard avocado can be left to ripen on the counter
- Refrigeration keeps avocados fresher for longer
- Use beeswax wraps or plastic wrap alternatives to reduce plastic waste
Sometimes you may find yourself with overripe avocados, but don’t worry! There are plenty of great ways to use overripe avocados.
How to Freeze Avocados
If you want to use avocados later, you can always freeze them. However, freezing avocados potentially changes their color, texture and flavor. Thawed avocados can be mushier and have a grey-brown color. If you don’t mind these superficial differences, here are some tips for freezing avocados:
- Mist-cut avocado flesh with lime or lemon juice to prevent browning
- Wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap alternative or beeswax wrap to prevent oxidation
- For mashed avocado, add lemon or lime juice and transfer to an airtight container before placing in the freezer
- Either thaw frozen avocado overnight or set it out at room temperature for a few hours
Freezing avocados can help save leftovers and reduce waste. Food waste produces a significant volume of methane and contributes to global warming.
Reducing the food you waste allows you to live more sustainably and get more value for your money — because you’ll be eating more of the food you buy.
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