If you’ve ever wondered how to preserve avocados, wonder no more! My family has used this technique for years and it works beautifully.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to keep avocado from turning brown:
- Preserving avocados can save you money
- How to preserve avocados
- Ideas for using frozen avocados
PRESERVE 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 avocados before they start to go bad, so I have to preserve them. Rotten avocados are just WRONG! 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 avocados 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 AVOCADO
The photos below show the basic steps for how to preserve avocado. You can also scroll down to the video if you’d like to watch it and get some additional tips.
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.The photo below is four avocados, because I knew I was saving it for a big batch of guacamole.
As for flavor, you can sub lime juice for the lemon juice if you prefer. 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.
You can also freeze the avocado in 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 serving of avocado whenever you want some.
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, and we’ve researched it. Avocados really need the airtight seal to keep them from changing in color and flavor.
VIDEO ON HOW TO PRESERVE AVOCADO
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? (There have been so many awesome ideas shared in the comments for using mashed avocados, be sure to check them out!)
SUPPLIES FOR PRESERVING AVOCADOS
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If you've ever wondered how to preserve avocados, wonder no more! My family has used this technique for years and it works beautifully. For nutritional purposes, I list a serving as half an avocado.
- 5 ripe avocados
- 5 teaspoons 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.
We’ve recently updated our post on preserving avocados, which was originally posted in 2012. Here’s the original image to pin if you’d like one with the instructions:
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.