How to store avocados
Avocados are packed for transportation to the USA, without waiting for their full ripeness, so that the delivered products are of good quality. That is why the choice of how to store avocados depends on their degree of ripeness. The fruit cut into parts requires special attention, since its slices quickly begin to darken.
You can buy avocados in stores:
- Fully ripe, exuding a pleasant aroma, with a tasty and tender pulp. It can be consumed immediately.
- Solid to the touch. It is such a fruit that can be stored for some time if you need to buy it a few days before use.
If you know how to preserve an avocado after purchase, then you can safely purchase it not only ripe, but also unripe.
A matter of choice
When you need to determine the degree of ripeness of a tropical fruit, adhere to the following criteria:
- If the fruit is fully ripe, then with light pressure on it with the pad of your finger, a small hole forms on its surface. This experiment can be done with any type of avocado.
- A light shell, of a pale greenish hue, indicates that the avocado is not yet ripe. Fruits with a more pronounced color, but still firm and hard to the touch, also need to lie down for a while before eating. It is especially worth paying attention to the fact that brown (dark purple) skin color is characteristic not only for overripe fruits, but also for certain varieties (for example, Lamb Hass or Royal).
A ripe avocado has a rich dark green color with a soft but elastic shell, and if you shake it slightly, you will hear the sound of a stone inside.
- By its color, you can determine how ripe the fruit is. If the stalk is too light, then there is no such avocado yet. The optimal ripeness of the fruit is evidenced by the light yellow color of the stalk, and dark brown is a sign of an overripe fruit or very close to this state.
- The edible part. If the fruit is fully ripe, then its pulp is similar in consistency to a paste. It can be easily spread over a slice of bread like a soft butter.
Note: the word “avocado” is one of the non-declining nouns of foreign language origin. In most cases, they are of the middle genus. So, it’s right to say – juicy, mouth-watering, ripe avocado.
At home, the best place to store ripe or cut avocados is in the refrigerator.
It is recommended to place the whole fruit in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid or in a tight bag with a zip fastener. If neither one, nor the other, it is allowed to use a paper bag or wrap the fruit with cling film. The packaged product is placed in the refrigerator on a fruit shelf, where the temperature is kept from +2 to + 4 ° C.
It is not recommended to keep vegetables or fruits next to the avocado, which, due to the release of ethylene, can contribute to its faster ripening. These are apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
During storage of the avocado, it is recommended to constantly check if the fruit has begun to deteriorate and inspect it for signs of overripening. As soon as it is noticeable that the fruit has begun to overripe (it becomes very dark and soft when pressed), it is recommended not to tighten it with its use. The shelf life of such a fruit is no more than 3-5 days.
It is recommended to wash the fruit just before consumption. If you neglect this rule, then the shelf life of the avocado will be greatly reduced.
After cutting avocado
Avocado slices are stored for a maximum of 1-2 days, no more. How long a fruit, cut into pieces, does not lose its qualities, depends on whether a bone was left in it or not. If the bone is pulled out, it means that most of the avocado pulp gets under the influence of air. And under the influence of oxygen, the same thing will happen to it as with apples – it will begin to darken.
The cut halves are stored in the same way as the whole fruit. They are wrapped with cling film, placed in zip bags or airtight containers and sent to the refrigerator shelf for storing fruit.
When you need to keep the avocado in good shape, for example, for serving, you can use methods that slow down the oxidation process. Before placing it in a container (cut up!), Close the lid and store it in the refrigerator, you can:
- Cut the onion into large rings and place on the bottom of the container. Place half of the fruit on top, cut up.
- Brush the avocado cut with olive oil or drizzle with lemon juice (lime). In this case, the processed half can be wrapped with cling film and also sent to the compartment of the fruit refrigerator, where the temperature is set at + 2 … + 4 ° С.
Cut avocados should also be checked regularly for signs of possible spoilage. When they appear in food, it becomes unusable.
Processing the avocado slice is optional. But this will help keep the fruit flesh from browning for a longer time.
In the freezer
The shelf life of avocados will increase to 2 months if frozen. It is not recommended to put it whole in the freezer; it is better to cut the fruit into halves (quarters) or chop it to a puree state. And freeze in this form.
Only fruits that have reached ripeness can be frozen. At the same time, take into account that a small part of their useful properties is lost, especially during long-term storage.
How to freeze halves:
- Wash the avocado and cut in half.
- Remove the bone. To do this, just pry it from below with a dessert spoon. Another way is to pierce the bone with a knife, gently turn it clockwise and pull it out.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over the slices to prevent browning.
- Place the halves of the fruit in a zip-lock bag, release the air, or wrap each piece tightly with cling film so that it fits snugly even against the pit of the pit, send it to the container. Store in a freezer at -18 ° C.
Freezing chopped pulp:
- Peel the fruit in a convenient way. For example, you can remove it with a knife or make a coarse mesh on the pulp and take it out with a spoon.
- Cut the pulp into pieces of any size and grind it with a pusher, fork or blender to the desired consistency.
- Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to the puree mass (about 1 tablespoon per 1 fruit). Stir.
- Divide the gruel into portioned freezer bags, release the air, close tightly and put in the freezer.
To defrost an avocado, take it out of the freezer in advance and leave it in the refrigerator for several hours (you can overnight). With the natural way of removing the fruit from the frozen state, its pulp will not become soft and watery. Re-freezing is not allowed.
What to do with an unripe avocado
At home, unripe avocados can ripen at room temperature like bananas, quince, or tomatoes. Key recommendations:
- Place the fruit in a dry and dark place, such as a closet. The best conditions for ripening: temperature + 18 … + 24 ° С with a humidity of about 80%.
- Arrange the fruits so that they do not come into contact with each other, and periodically turn them over.
- The fruits must be protected from sun exposure.
- During storage, the ripeness of the avocado should be checked daily. As soon as, with a slight pressure on it with the pad of your finger, its surface slightly bent and straightened, then the fruit is ripe and ready for use. If the dent remains, it is overripe, the flesh has become loose. It remains only to throw it away.
- The fruit ripens in about 7 days. Afterwards, for further storage, it must be moved to the refrigerator.
- If you want the avocado to ripen faster, you can:
- Place it in a paper bag, then it may take 3-5 days to ripen. After all, even an unripe avocado releases its own ethylene, such as figs, nectarines or peaches.
- Next to it, place another fruit that emits ethylene, such as a pear or bananas. This will shorten the ripening process to literally 1-2 days.
Cut into pieces and unripe fruit should not be stored at room temperature, otherwise it will quickly deteriorate. But in the cold, it practically does not ripen, so before cutting an avocado, you need to make sure that it is ripe.
If stored improperly, avocados will go bad quickly. Its surface will become soft and slippery to the touch, dark spots will appear on the skin, an unpleasant odor is possible. Such a fruit is not subject to use for any purpose (food, cosmetic, etc.), it only remains to throw it away.