Are you wondering how to store avocado so that you can bank on that healthy green goodness longer? You’re in the right place! Whether your avocados are underripe, perfectly ripe or cut, here are the best tips and tricks for storing avocados.
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Avocados are one of my favorite pieces of produce to have on hand at all time. An excellent source of natural fat, fiber and oodles of vitamins, avocados are easy to add a little green to almost any meal!
However, avocados are notorious from going from underripe to over ripe in the blink of an eye. And truthfully, nothing makes me sadder in the kitchen then discovering an avocado that has gone to mush before I have had a chance to enjoy it!
Before I share all the wonderful ways of how to store avocado, here is a little avo insight!
Why avocados are the bee’s knees
Once upon a time, long long ago….avocados were referred to as “poor man’s butter” since they have a buttery texture, milk flavor and rock some serious (good) fat!
In fact, in just 1/2 cup of avocado you’ll find:
- 5g fiber
- 11g healthy fats
- vitamin B5
- vitamin B6
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
- copper, folate
How to store an unripe and uncut avocado
Many find themselves buying unripe avocados and waiting for that perfect magic moment when they are ready for slicing.
If you have a handful of unripe, firm or green avocados, the best way I have found to store them is to simply leave them on the counter.
It usually takes about four or five days of avocados hanging out at room temperature to ripen to perfection. During the hotter months when your home might be warmer than usual, an avocado might ripen in just 2 days. So keep an eye on them and give them a gentle squeeze each day so you don’t forget about them.
How to tell if an avocado is ripe
The secret is in the stem. True story. Just peel back the stem and take a peak underneath.
- Stem is firmly in place and won’t easily lift = unripe avocado
- Stem pulls away easily and flesh is green underneath = ripe avocado
- Stem pretty much falls off and flesh is brown underneath = overripe avocado
How to store a ripe, uncut avocado
Perfect! You have played the patience game and now you have a perfectly ripe avocado on your hands. But, maybe you are not ready to enjoy it just yet! So how do you store this avocado?
Ripe avocados that are whole and have not been cut open can be stored in the refrigerator. This greatly prolongs their life and they usually stay perfectly ripe in the fridge for about 3 days.
How to store cut avocado
The trick to keeping a cut avocado as green as possible is slowing the oxidization of that beautiful green flesh. Which basically means that you need to protect that pretty avocado from as much air getting to it as possible.
There are a few ways to do this.
- Brush the exposed flesh with a little avocado or olive oil. This will create a barrier between the flesh and air, slowing down browning. I find a pastry brush is perfect for the job.
- Run the cut side under some water. Again, this coats the flesh and helps to create a barrier between the avocado and the air that is dying to turn it brown.
- Store it flesh side down in an air-tight container in the fridge. Turning the avocado flesh side down instantly limits how much air can get to it.
- Wrap the avocado tightly in plastic wrap. This, again, greatly reduces the amount of air that can get to the flesh of the avocado.
- Do a combination of the above. I find this to be the best thing and the strategy that typically use. I will coat the flesh of a cut avocado with either water or a little oil and store it flesh-side-down in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Heads up! While these methods help to keep your cut avocado green longer, the sliced fruit should be enjoyed in the next 1-2 days.
How to pack an avocado in a lunch box
I love to throw a 1/2 an avocado in my daughter’s lunch box for an easy dose of healthy fat and green that I know she will eat. However, I don’t know many kiddos excited about eating browned (though totally edible) avocados. So it does take a little specialty packing.
To pack an avocado in a lunch box, simply:
- Cut the avocado in half.
- Remove the pit, but leave the skin on. You can also score the flesh a few times to make it easier for your child (or you!) to scoop out later, but that is optional and something I usually skip.
- Sprinkle some water or use a pastry brush to coat the exposed flesh of the avocado with a little avocado or olive oil.
- Store avocado flesh side down in a lunch container or tightly wrap it in plastic wrap before placing it in your child’s lunch box.
- Pack a spoon! That way the flesh can easily scooped out and enjoyed when lunch time comes!
How to freeze avocado
Yep! You can totally freeze ripe avocados! In fact, many natural grocery stores will even sell frozen avocado in their freezer section. This is also a great solution for when you have too many ripe avocados on your hand and not enough time to eat them before they get gross.
Freezing avocado when ripe makes for a wonderful thing to throw in smoothies or other avocado-filled recipes like the ones below!
FYI: frozen and thawed avocados won’t maintain that lovely shade of green that we know and love. But they are still edible!
To freeze ripe avocados:
- Cut open avocado(s)
- Remove pit.
- Scoop out flesh or remove peel.
- Chop avocado flesh into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring that the avocado pieces aren’t touching (otherwise they will freeze together).
- Place flat in freezer and freeze until solid (about 6 hours).
- Place frozen avocado pieces in a freezer safe container and place back in freezer for up to a month.
- Remove avocado pieces for use in smoothies and recipes as needed.
Like I said, avocados are one of my favorite kitchen goodies. They are always on my grocery list and I totally get bummed out when I use the last avocado.
I like to throw them over eggs in the morning, tacos at night and mush them up for an easy sandwich filling at lunch time. However, if you need a little inspiration how to use your perfectly stored avocados, here are some avocado-loaded recipes that I adore!
- Quick & Easy Guacamole Pasta
- Paleo Avocado Chocolate Bread
- Chocolate Avocado Strawberry Muffins
- Mint Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- Veggie-Loaded Avocado Tuna Salad
Other posts you might find helpful
If this how-to was helpful in easing your kitchen stress, here are some other Natural Nurturer posts that might inspire you!