How To Store

How To Store Avocados Long Term

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Avocados are pear-shaped fruits with a single large seed that grow on tropical evergreen trees. The popularity of this fruit has increased significantly due to its multiple health benefits. Also known as butter fruit and alligator pear, avocado is a powerhouse superfood.

They are delicious and versatile fruits, but they can be tricky to store. To preserve their freshness and enhance their life span, it is crucial to store them correctly. Their ripening process is swift and can go from firm to mushy in a matter of days. But worry not, avocado admirers. There are a few simple tricks you can use to keep your avocados fresh for longer.

1. Store Avocados Based on Their Ripeness

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Knowing that unripe, ripe, and overripe avocados need different temperatures helps store them easily. Avocados that are hard to touch need to ripen. It is best to store them at room temperature on the counter. They will ripen in a few days to a week. They can be wrapped in a plastic wrap or bag to retain the ethylene gas, which helps speed the ripening process. Once they have ripened, consider storing them in the refrigerator for up to 3–5 days.

In the case of overripe avocados, try to use them in recipes like guacamole or smoothies. You can also freeze them for later use. They are a healthy and tasty way to start the day.

2. Away From the Heat and Sunlight

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Avocados are vulnerable to heat and light, making them ripen and spoil faster. Choose dark, cool places like a pantry or a drawer for storage. Avocados are also sensitive to ethylene gas, which is a natural ripening agent. When the fruit is exposed to heat or sunlight, it releases a high amount of ethylene gas, which naturally speeds up the ripening process.

By storing them in a cool, dry place with good ventilation, the production of ethylene gas is slowed down. Besides avocados, many other fruits and vegetables need good ventilation when stored in a dark place. For instance, the storage method of tomatoes is similar to that of avocados.

3. Cover Them in Plastic Wrap

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Being a climatic fruit, avocados release ethylene gas, one of the main factors in their quick ripening. These delicate fruits, when exposed to air, tend to oxidize and turn brown quickly. When they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, there is minimal chance of air passing in, causing the oxidation process to slow down. In this way, the avocado stays green and fresh for a long time.

Additionally, by wrapping avocados in plastic wrap, the gas moisture is locked. Just like avocado, banana is a delicate fruit that could benefit from plastic wrap. It is a fast-growing fruit that, when covered in plastic wrap, increases its shelf life.

4. Keep Avocados with Onions or Apples

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Placing avocados, onions, and apples together assists in slowing the ripening process of avocados. The storage method of onions is similar to that of avocados. The rate at which apples release ethylene gas is much faster than that of avocados. So, when they are stored together, the gas is released, and the avocado is tricked into thinking that it has already reached the gas-releasing stage, which slows down its production.

This process is similar to humans adapting to any new environment. For example, when we climb high mountains, our bodies release massive quantities of red blood cells. Once the body gets used to the temperature, production comes back to its normal state.

5. Lemon Juice to Prevent Browning

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The acid in the lemon or lime juice is effective in preventing the browning and spoilage of avocados. The juice can be spread all over the cut fruit before storing. The brown that we see on avocados is caused by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which reacts with oxygen in the air to create brown pigments.

The acidic nature of lemon contaminates the PPO enzyme, basically hampering its browning powers. Moreover, lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, which acts as a shield against the browning enzyme, slowing the process of ripening. However, this remedy is for a short time, and the freshness of the avocado might deteriorate after 2 to 3 days.

6. Cut-Side Down Delays Ripening

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Avocados, the creamy green superstars of the fruit world, can be tricky to keep around. Storing the fruit cut-side down may decrease the ripening process. The reason behind this is quite simple. Avocados are a massive releaser of ethylene gas. Especially when they are cut, the cut side produces ethylene constantly. Simply by placing the cut side down, the gas is trapped, making the release difficult.

This method is best suited for those avocados that have started to soften slightly. It might not make a huge difference if your avocado is already rock-hard. Combining this method with other storage methods, such as plastic wrap and lemon juice, can significantly boost its effectiveness.

7. Opt for a Water Bath

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Simply place the cut avocados in a bowl of water and cover it with plastic wrap. The water will help the avocado stay brown-free for some time. The water creates a physical barrier between the avocado flesh and oxygen, the main culprit behind browning. It is like a shield protecting the delicate skin of an avocado.

Avocados exposed to air tend to dry out and become tough. The water bath keeps the surrounding environment humid, preventing moisture loss and keeping your avocado nice and supple. Furthermore, the water acts as a barrier not just for oxygen but also for enzymes within the avocado that contribute to browning.

8. Freeze Avocado

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If there are more avocados than you can eat, it is best to freeze them for later use. Peel, pit, and cut the avocados into cubes or slices. Then, spread them out on a baking sheet and let them freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. Frozen avocados will last for up to 6 months.

When the avocados are frozen, the enzymatic activity of these fruits slows down, ultimately leading to a reduced rate of ripening. This means that the fruit will stay buttery and fresh for longer than when ti was stored at room temperature. Freezing is also one of the ways to store apples.

9. Make Avocado Oil

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This is one of the best and most productive ways to use up overripe avocados and save some money on cooking oil. To make the oil, simply blend all the overripe avocados with a bit of olive oil. Strain the mixture, and you have your homemade avocado oil. This oil has a high smoke point, so it's great for cooking.

Avocado oil, the golden elixir derived from the heart of the avocado, is more than just a fancy cooking fat. It is a health-boosting product, a beauty enhancer, and a great culinary partner. The oil has a subtle, buttery taste that complements everything from salads and pasta to dips and sauces.

10. Making Delicious Avocado Recipes

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Avocados, the creamy green fruits with a buttery texture and nutty flavor, are a versatile fruit that can be made into both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some avocado recipes:

  • Avocado toast is a simple yet elegant way to start your day.
  • Blend avocado, banana, spinach, milk, and a touch of honey for a nutrient-packed smoothie.
  • Combine some greens, avocado chunks, tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette for a flavorful salad.
  • Replace butter or oil with mashed avocado in your favorite brownie recipe for a healthier and more fudgy treat.

Besides them, there are many other dishes that can be prepared using avocado. They are a heart-healthy food one must include in their diet and are free from cholesterol, sugar, and sodium.