Avocados have become wildly popular over the last few years and have even been the subject of some debate in political quarters! By some, they’re seen as the food that most typifies millennial excess – expensive and unnecessary in the eyes of some. Yet, for those who love them, they’re the perfect healthy snack to spread on your toast. They’re high in healthy fats, fiber, and have an excellent range of vitamins. They go great with pretty much any salad, and they even make guacamole! How could anyone be against the primary ingredient of guac?!
However, the trouble with avocados is that they can be nearly impossible to gauge when to use them. If they are under-ripe, they can just be flavorless and hard – better for use as a doorstop than as a food. Too over-ripe and they are equally as unpleasant. And it can seem like there is very little of the sweet spot in between when it is just right. The good news is, we’ve gathered up all of the information, tips, and tricks we could find to ensure that your avocados can be kept fresh and ripe for longer. We’ve also found some useful information that will let you know when your avocados are gone past their best. So, without further ado, here’s the best way to store avocado!
Also Read: Green Machine: Coconut – Avocado Smoothie
The Best Way to Store Avocado
99% of the time, the avocados you will find at the market will be quite a bit under-ripe. There is a simple reason for this; it is so they keep for longer on the shelves without turning to mush. However, for the consumer, it can be quite an inconvenience. It means we can’t use them straight away – and in fact, it can even be quite hard to predict when we will be able to eat them. So, the best way to get around this is to become one of those types of people who examine every single product in the fresh produce section, and to plan ahead. With a bit of luck, you may be lucky enough to find a few that can be used straight away.
Once you’ve brought them back home, the best way to accelerate them to ripeness is to simply just leave them on the counter or in the pantry. If they are placed in a bag in either of these places, the process will be even quicker. However, this may speed it up to such a point where it can be quite easy to overshoot the sweet spot, so exercise some caution if you’re doing this.
What to do when they’re fully ripened
When the avocado has become uniformly dark green all over and reasonably soft to the touch, the chances are good that it is perfect for eating. At this point, your best bet is to either use it straight away or to refrigerate it to keep it for later. This goes double for avocados that have been mushed up for guacamole or cut in half. For those cut in half, the best process is to keep the seed in the half you wish to keep, wrapping it in plastic wrap to prevent its rapid decay. For guacamole, place it in a bowl in the fridge with plastic wrap over the top.
How Long Do Avocados Last?
The amount of time that avocado can be stored depends on so many different aspects that it is nearly impossible to predict it entirely. Some may have been partially ripened before they hit the shelves, others may have been dented in transport and therefore ripen much quicker, and then we have got those that you may have just picked from a tree. The list is endless but we are going to try to narrow it down to as close a range as we possibly can.
In the fridge
To begin with, we would suggest that an unripe avocado will become ripe in as little 3 days and as long as 7 days in the pantry. This time can be shortened to 2 days if the avocado is in a paper bag. Once the avocado is ripe, it can be stored whole in the refrigerator for another 3 or 4 days. If the avocado has been halved, however, even following our tips above, they probably won’t survive longer than 24 days. This incredibly short timeframe also applies to mashed avocado too, unfortunately. Essentially, this means that avocados aren’t really something you can stockpile unless you freeze them.
In the freezer
A great idea for keeping some ripe avocados on standby is to simply freeze them as they are just on the cusp of ripeness. In this state, they actually ripen a little bit extra as they thaw out, meaning that you can have perfectly ripe avocado to hand any time you need! In this state, ripe or mashed up avocado can be kept for anywhere up to 6 months and simply withdrawn as they are needed. However, this won’t work at all for halved avocados and they will not do well in the freezer. Likewise, freezing unripe avocados simply won’t work.
Should Avocado be Refrigerated?
If you have purchased several under-ripe avocados in the supermarket, one of the worst things you could possibly do is to put them all into the fridge straight away. This is because the temperature in your fridge is so low that avocado may never become ripe under these conditions – a massive waste of a great food! Ideally, if you have several avocados that you want to use at different times, the best idea is to stagger them. Keep some in the pantry ripening and occasionally transfer a couple into the fridge when the time is right. Once ripened, avocado can also be prepared for eating and then conserved in the freezer in freezer bags or in airtight containers.
Signs That Your Avocados May Have Gone Off
Thankfully, telling if an avocado is gone off is considerably easier than identifying when it has become ripe enough to use. The best way to do this is by simply taking a close look to see what is going on. The skin itself won’t let you know much as it stays the same color throughout the decomposition process. However, having a tiny peek at what’s happening underneath should tell you all you need to know. By removing just them stem, you can have a sneak peek inside. Should the flesh of the avocado appear brown instead of a nice healthy looking green, it is time to discard it. The same goes for mold; if there is any mold present at all, it is time to chuck it out. The best test of all is to just cut the whole thing in half. If you notice a couple of small brown spots, these can be cut out. Everything else is totally safe for consumption.
In some cases, the avocado will be incredibly mushy to the touch. This will mean that it is definitely not going to be in any way good. The same also holds true for smell. If you notice a kind of musty smell emanating from the avocado, the only option remaining is to chuck it out entirely.
Avocado Storage, Sell-by Dates, and Other Related Questions
Can I grow my own avocados?
It is surprisingly easy to grow your own avocado tree from the seed in your fruit. However, the tree itself may not bear fruit for up to 15 years, or maybe never. It really depends on whether there are other avocado trees around for pollination to occur. It is also likely that the fruit from this tree won’t resemble the one it spawned from.
Is avocado fattening?
Not necessarily. Though it is high in fat, it is a different kind of fat than that present in meat. The fat present in avocado is much more likely to be burned off by the body. As such, it really depends on how much avocado you eat.
Is avocado keto friendly?
Avocado is an excellent addition to a low carb diet. Though it is not devoid of carbs entirely, it does also provide a great source of plenty of heart-healthy fats.