If you’ve ever wondered how to preserve avocados, wonder no more! My family has used this technique for years and it works beautifully.
What you’ll learn:
- Preserving avocados can save you money
- How to preserve avocados
- Ideas for using frozen avocados
PRESERVING AVOCADOS TO SAVE MONEY
I cannot get enough avocado. In high school, we had an avocado tree in our front yard, and I got avocado whenever I wanted it. In Washington, avocados are freaking expensive! Although various varieties of avocado are available year round, they are typically most affordable in the spring through the fall. When I see a really good deal on avocados (under $1 each for the large size), I buy about ten at a time. But I can’t actually eat that many before they start to go bad, so I have to preserve them. Fortunately, my mom came up with a great technique when we lived in Hawaii.
My dog Rusty loved avocados. They’d fall from the tree and he’d carefully cradle them in his mouth as if he was holding a little green puppy, carrying them around the yard to gently lay in a pile on our front step. It was so much fun to come outside and find the treasure trove of avocados with little delicate golden retriever tooth marks in them. He was definitely good at retrieving and knew exactly what we would value the most.
Every time we collected his bounty, we’d toss a sacrificial avocado to him as thanks for his good work. He’d roll it around for a little while, joyfully playing with his treat, then curl up around it and begin to nibble it open to get at the sweet buttery flesh. (Please note, Rusty was a large dog and did not eat the whole avocado. Eating avocados can be dangerous for dogs. Keep your sweet doggy safe!)
Not wanting the overripe fallen avocados to go to waste, my mom began preserving them in the freezer. She’d mash them up with lemon juice and store them in airtight plastic bags. Then we had mashed avocado ready to eat whenever we wanted it. We used it for guacamole, mixed it into tuna and chicken salad, spread it on sandwiches.
But you don’t have to have an avocado tree to benefit from preserving avocados. Whether you’re buying them in bulk at Costco, or getting them for a great deal during Super Bowl season, you can save money by preserving them when they’re the cheapest. You also end up not wasting your money by having to throw some away when they all ripen at the same time.
HOW TO PRESERVE AVOCADOS
The photos below show the basic steps for preserving avocados.
There are a few variations you can try when preserving avocados. I use a Kitchen Aid mixer to mash the avocados as it takes less than a minute. If you don’t have one, you can use a potato masher. A fork works in a pinch, it just takes a lot longer. I like to bag the avocados in quart bags to freeze them. One avocado worth of mash pressed really flat takes up very little room in the freezer. But you can also use ice cube trays. I would go with two inch cubes for a good portion size. Just spoon the mashed avocado into the trays and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the avocado so no air gets in. Freeze it and you then have perfect single servings of avocado whenever you want them.
You can also sub lime juice for the lemon juice if you prefer that flavor. I have tried making this without lemon or lime juice and find that it doesn’t taste quite as fresh once thawed. But if you’ll be using it in something with other strong flavors, such as for baking or smoothies, you can try leaving the lemon juice out.
If you’re wondering if you can freeze whole avocados, I’m sorry to say that it just doesn’t work well. We’ve tried. They really need the airtight bag to keep them from changing in color and flavor.
IDEAS FOR USING FROZEN AVOCADOS
A lot of people wonder how to thaw the frozen avocado and what it will be like after it thaws.
I will typically do a small enough amount in the quart sized bag that it freezes into a sheet about a half inch thick. Then I can easily break or cut off the amount I want (to spread on a sandwich for instance) and it will defrost quickly on the counter. If I want the whole bag defrosted, I’ll move it to the fridge to defrost overnight. It will be pretty much the same consistency that it was before freezing, but you’ll want to use it within 24 hours because it will start to oxidize and change color and flavor after that.
Guacamole is of course the obvious answer for mashed avocados. But you can also use it as baby food, in dips, in baking recipes as a substitute for butter or oil, and blend it into smoothies. I often eat it for breakfast.
I have two gallon bags in the freezer right now and could use some more ideas. How do you like to eat mashed avocados?
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Preserving Avocado in the Freezer
- 5 TBS
lemon or lime juice
- Slice the avocados in half and discard pits. Scoop the flesh from the peels.
- Mash the avocados, then add the lemon juice. Mix well.
- Spoon into a gallon sized zip top bag, squeezing out all the air before sealing.
- Freeze up to one year.
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