preserving-avocados

Methods for Storing Ripe Avocados

There is nothing quite as delicious as a perfectly ripe avocado, and once this semi-tropical fruit reaches the pinnacle of ripeness, it does not last long on the kitchen counter. However, you can preserve avocados for future use in two different ways.

Storing Ripe Avocados in the Refrigerator

Avocados do not ripen on the tree. Like pears and bananas, avocado fruits are picked when mature but not ripe and then allowed to reach full ripeness out of the sun at room temperature.

However, once you harvest mature avocado fruits from your tree and they ripen, they quickly begin deteriorating, making it impossible to keep them on the kitchen counter for longer than a day or two.

You can preserve whole, ripe avocados and make them last longer by putting the uncut fruit in the refrigerator. When refrigerated, ripe avocados stay edible for up to two weeks longer than when stored without refrigeration. However, avocados do not ripen under refrigeration.

Because ripe avocados bruise easily, place them in the refrigerator separately and not together in a bag. Keep them in an area of the refrigerator where other items do not touch them and cause brown spots.

You can store a cut-open avocado in the refrigerator for a day or two by sprinkling a little lemon juice on the cut surface and then wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap.

Storing Pureed Avocado in the Freezer

By pureeing avocados, you can store them in the freezer. All you need are:

  • Fresh, ripe avocados
  • Zip-lock freezer bags or large ice cube trays
  • A potato masher or Kitchen Aid mixer
  • Lime or lemon juice

Cut the avocados and scoop out the meat into a large bowl or into the Kitchen Aid mixer bowl. Add one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice per avocado, and puree the pulp until smooth. Do not leave chucks, or they tend to turn brown.

Spoon the pulp into freezer bags and squeeze out all air to prevent the pulp from turning brown. A technique for getting all of the air out of the bag is to submerge the open bag of pulp, bottom end down, in a large basin of water. The weight of the water pushes out the air. When the top of the bag is just above the water level, carefully close the bag.

If you use ice cube trays, place plastic wrap on the top of the pulp and press out all the air before freezing. Put the bags or trays in the freezer where you can keep it for up to a year before thawing it out for use. Use the thawed pulp for guacamole or as a sandwich spread.