Avocados are healthy fats that you want to eat with all your meals from breakfast to dinner. But how do you save a left over from breakfast for dinner without it turning brown? Why does it even turn brown in the first place?
Avocados have an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase which when exposed to oxygen makes the entire surface turn brown. There are simple solutions that you can easily use to keep your cut avocados green for longer.
However, it is important to be sure of how you would like to use your avocado later before choosing the solutions below as there are some that can slightly change the flavor of the avocado.
To prevent avocados from turning brown, protect the exposed flesh from coming into contact with oxygen. You can easily do this by simply storing them in airtight containers or ziplock bags and using antioxidants like lime juice and onions just to mention but a few.
Ways to stop avocados from browning
The shelf life of your cut avocado will depend on how ripe it is regardless of the solution you choose. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your avocado is not overripe before cutting it. In a case of an overripe avocado, store it half the time you are supposed to store a ripe one.
The only trick to stop avocados from browning is to protect the exposed surface from coming into contact with oxygen. The following solutions explain how you can do that and prolong the shelf life of your cut avocado.
The Lemon or lime juice treatment
Sprinkle lemon juice on the exposed flesh of the avocado. Put it in a ziploc bag and remove any air inside before sealing. Your avocado will remain green for 24 hours at room temperature and 48 hours in the refrigerator if stored this way.
Using an onion
Dice red onion and put it in a container. Get your halved avocado and gently remove the pit. Store it in the container with the diced onion and tightly cover with its lid. The onions will release moisture which will stop the avocado from turning brown quickly.
However, this method might affect its flavor slightly though. If you mind the taste of onion on a plain avocado, say maybe on your slice of bread, you can easily make guacamole out of it.
Rubbing with cooking oil
Brush olive oil on the exposed surface or the avocado then put it in a ziplock bag or in an air tight container. The layer of oil will prevent oxygen from penetrating through and reaching the flesh hence keeping it green for longer.
Using a plastic wrap.
Wrap the halved avocado in a plastic wrap, not so tight though to prevent it from becoming mushy. Remove the pit before wrapping so that the wrap touches all the surfaces making sure no air is trapped in.
In a water bath
Fill a bowl with cold water, cut your avocados into halves then submerge them in the water with the cut side facing down. The water will prevent air from reaching the flesh keeping it green for 5-8 hours.
Cut side on a flat surface
Remove the pit from the halved avocado. Put the avocado in a container with the exposed side facing down such that it touches the bottom of the container, and tightly cover the container with its lid. Your avocado will stay green for 8-12 hours stored this way.
How to store cut, unripe avocado
Ever cut an avocado thinking it was ripe only to find that it needed more time to properly ripen and get rid of the bitter taste. Here’s how to treat such:
- Apply lemon juice on the cut surface
- Put the two halves together without removing the pit
- Wrap tightly with a plastic wrap
- Store it at room temperature
The avocado should be ripe in 1-2 days depending on how unripe it was.
To minimize wastage, cut your avocado if you are sure to finish it in 48 hours as the above solutions are only meant for short-term storage.