Avocado Preserving Methods
Most of us don’t think about preserving avocados. But if you find a good buy on avocados—or are lucky enough to have an avocado tree in your yard—then it’s handy to know some different ways to preserve the fruit (yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable).
How to store fresh avocados
An unripe avocado will feel very hard and will ripen in four to five days at room temperature (68°F – 70°F)—just leave them on the kitchen counter or place in a fruit bowl on the dining table.
To shorten the ripening period, place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with a fresh, unpeeled apple or banana for two to three days, or until the avocados are ripe.
A ripe avocado is firm but gives slightly when gently pressed. Refrigerate ripe avocados to slow further ripening.
Overripe avocados will begin to get dents on the surface and feel soft when gently pressed; use overripe avocados immediately or freeze for longer storage.
How freeze avocados
Choose ripe fruit and wash the surface under running water. Cut the avocado in half with a sharp knife, remove the pit, and then use a spoon to scoop out flesh. Be sure to scrape off all of the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin—research shows that it is high in healthful antioxidants. Mash or purée the avocado.
- To mash the avocado: place cut flesh in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, and mash with a fork or potato masher. Be sure to mash thoroughly so that the citrus juice is evenly distributed throughout the purée.
- To purée avocado flesh in a food processor or blender: place cut flesh in the food processor bowl or blender jar, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, and puree to desired consistency (chunky or smooth).
Transfer puréed avocado into a zipper-style freezer bags. Press to remove all air before sealing bag and label with contents and date. Place the bag on a tray to freeze flat and maximize storage space. When frozen, store snugly in the freezer.
Alternatively, spoon avocado purée into a freezer-safe container, leaving 1 inch headspace—food expands as it freezes and will pop the container lid off if you don’t leave adequate space. However, the air at the top of the container will darken the avocado, so press a piece of plastic wrap, or parchment or wax paper over the surface of the purée to prevent darkening of the surface. Close the container securely, label with contents and date, and place in the freezer.
Store frozen avocado purée from one to six months–less in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator and longer in a stand alone “deep” freezer. Storage time is much longer in a deep freeze because the temperature is 0°F (or less), while the frig-freezer compartment is much higher, around 32°F.
Thaw frozen avocado purée in the refrigerator several hours or overnight before using.
Uses for mashed avocado
Mashed avocado has all sorts of uses. Use it in recipes for guacamole and avocado soup, blend it into a smoothie, or simply spread it on toast.
Other delicious ways you can use mashed avocado include ice cream and cake recipes. Try these avocado dessert recipes:
- Paleo Chocolate Avocado Cake from californiaavocados.com
- Butternut Squash & Avocado Chocolate Chip Cake from californiaavocados.com
- Avocado Popsicles from avocadosfrommexico.com
- Avocado and Pistachio Ice Cream from avocadosfrommexico.com
Puréed avocado also makes good baby food that is easy to digest, beginning between six and ten months of age.
How to make frozen avocado baby food
Prepare frozen avocado baby food in a similar way to frozen avocado purée but omit the lemon or lime juice. Instead, combine the avocado with another mashed fruit such as banana, mango, papaya, pear, or peach. Thin the mixture if desired using water or apple juice to make an easy-to-swallow purée.
Spoon prepared purée into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. When frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and transfer to a zipper-style freezer bag or other freezer safe container.
Another novel way to enjoy avocado is to pickle them. Check out this Pickled Avocado Recipe.
Try some of these preservation methods the next time you find yourself with extra avocados and don’t want them to go to waste.