The Secret To A Perfectly Ripe Avocado

It’s a tale as old as time: You buy a rock-hard avocado in the store, then wait patiently for it to hit peak ripeness. Next thing you know, it’s overripe, brown, and mushy. Talk about a finicky fruit!

It like the stars need to ~magically~ align in order to find an avocado in that narrow window of peak, delicious ripeness. Wouldn’t it be great if you could stop a ripe avocado in its tracks?

It turns out, you can.

Can you freeze an avocado?

The short answer: Yes! “Freezing avocados is one of my favorite ways to make the most of a great deal or minimize food waste,” says Cara Harbstreet, R.D., of Street Smart Nutrition. “Freezing can help prolong an avocado’s life.”

Be here’s the catch: Popping your avocado in the freezer changes the creamy fruit’s texture a bit. “Freezing any food will alter the texture to some degree, but because of the high fat content of avocados, they handle cold temperatures fairly well,” says Harbstreet. And be prepared to notice some browning or discoloration. “This occurs when avocados are exposed to oxygen, which is sometimes inevitable,” she says.

Still, you might want to stick with using your frozen avocado stash in dips, spreads, and smoothies rather than eating them on their own or in a sandwich.

So…how do you freeze an avocado?

If you want to try freezing an avocado, halved or diced are both legit options to try. Just wash, peel, and add some lemon juice to keep discoloration at bay.

Harbstreet’s favorite method? Pureed. Mash your avocados with a fork, in a blender, or with food processor, then add lemon juice. You can freeze large portions at once (hello, ready made guac!), “or you can use an ice try to create smaller portions for things like avocado toast, sandwiches, or other recipes that only require a small amount,” says Harbstreet.

To minimize browning—whether it’s pureed or halved—place your avocado in a freezer-friendly bag. Try to get as much air out of the bag as you can, then seal tightly. You can also opt to keep your avocados in a storage container; just be sure to cover the top layer with waxed paper to keep the air out.

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When you’re ready to chow down, take the fruit out of the freezer to thaw for your instant avocado fix.

Okay, but does it lose any nutrition perks?

Avocados are nutritional superstars. The fruit is rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, which may lower the risk of heart disease and help reduce belly fat. It’s also packed with fiber, and other vitamins and minerals (like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium) that contribute to good health. Good news: Freezing doesn’t nix those nutrients.

Besides, you’re going to get a heck of a lot more nutrients from an avocado you actually eat than one that ends up in the garbage. So next time there’s a sale on avocados, don’t be afraid to stock up!

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