How to safely store and preserve avocados
Avocados are nutritious, delicious and versatile. Learn about safe storage and preservation methods for best quality.
Avocados can be a great source of nutrition. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), they are high in folate, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K and other phytochemicals that can be an excellent addition to your diet. Besides their nutrient-dense nature, they are delicious and versatile. You can enjoy them on toast or in guacamole, chili or even smoothies. Fresh avocados are firm, and they soften as they ripen.
Do not wash fruit before storing it, because introducing moisture encourages early spoilage. Rinse the avocado under cool, running water just before consuming. Scrub the skin with your hands or a vegetable brush. Place the avocado on a cutting board and cut in half. Remove the seed as well as separate the flesh of the avocado from the skin. This can be scooped out or sliced. Prepare the avocado according to your recipe.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, uncut avocados may be stored for up to five days in the pantry. Do not refrigerate prior to ripening. Once ripened, you may store the whole avocado in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit to slow down further ripening. Store cut up avocado in crisper drawer or moisture-resistant bags or wraps in the refrigerator. Wrap the cut avocados to prevent nutrient loss. You may squeeze lime or lemon juice to assist in preventing browning. They will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator.
Avocados can be safely preserved by freezing, but when frozen, whole or sliced avocados do not maintain the best quality. Instead, freeze avocados as a puree and add one tablespoon of lemon juice for every two avocados, or 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid for every quart of puree. Leave headspace while packing the container. Seal, date, and freeze at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Use within 12 months. There are no research-tested recipes for canning avocados at this time.
Did you know you may safely puree avocado to make homemade baby food? Check out this recipe for homemade baby food using avocados!