The One Avocado Hack Everyone Should Know
Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, but keeping them fresh can be tricky. There's a reason there are so many memes about how to ripen avocados - it can be impossible to slice one open and enjoy it at the right moment. How do you keep avocados fresh? There are a few things you can do to make sure you get that perfectly ripe bite every time.
While there isn't much you can do to prevent an avocado from ripening, there is an easy way to keep it from going bad on your countertop. Once an avocado has ripened, it's okay to toss it in the fridge for a few days and add some lemon juice to keep it fresh. Here's what you should know about storing whole and sliced avocados to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible.
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How should you store an avocado on the countertop?
If you have an avocado that is not yet ripe, the best place to do it is at a counter. "In terms of safety, it's okay to store whole / uncut avocados on your countertop and around other items," says Meredith Carothers, the technical information specialist for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
However, you should keep the avocado away from other fruits and vegetables that may be on the countertop. Avocados produce ethylene gas, which allows other foods to ripen faster.
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How can you let an avocado ripen on the countertop?
If you want to prepare this avocado for Taco Tuesday, there is a simple trick. The ethylene that avocados produce isn't right for other ethylene-sensitive foods on your countertop, but it can be good if you want an avocado to ripen faster.
Just put the avocado in a paper bag, explains California Avocados. The ethylene gas is trapped in the bag and accelerates the avocado's ripening process. If you combine it with an apple or a kiwi, it will ripen even faster as these fruits also produce ethylene.
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How can you keep a ripe avocado longer?
When your avocado is ripe but you don't want to eat it yet, toss it in your refrigerator.
"An avocado can of course ripen on the counter, but when it's ripe it's best to put it in the refrigerator to slow the process down," says Leah Cohen, head chef at Pig & Khao in New York City.
“Generally, if an avocado is soft to the touch, it means it's ripe,” says Carothers. So when your avocado gets to this point, it's a good idea to put it in the refrigerator - there is nothing worse than a mushy avocado.
How do you keep an avocado half fresh in the refrigerator?
If you're eating alone, you probably won't be drinking a whole Hass avocado in one sitting. However, it can appear like the tanning process starts as soon as you put it on the shelf to eat later.
You can't stop an avocado from oxidizing, which causes the browning, but you can slow the process down. If you're saving one half of the avocado, put some lemon juice on top, Carothers suggests. The acidity helps keep the avocado fresh. Wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap can also help, or you can use a container like this avocado hugger.
"If you want to save half an avocado, leave the pit in the side you want to save and add olive oil or a squirt of lemon or lime juice to the exposed flesh," says Cohen. "Then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate."
However, it's important to remember that just because your avocado is browning doesn't mean it has gone bad.
"The browning of avocados after they are cut is a natural change in color," says Carothers. "It doesn't mean the avocado is spoiling or unsafe to eat - it's just a change in quality. While not ideal or most preferred, you can still eat the avocado's brown flesh."
Avocados can be a little tricky and fresh, but that doesn't mean you should avoid them. They are full of fiber and nutrients, and versatile enough to be included in many different dishes. Follow these tips and you will keep your avocados fresh (and tasty) for days to come. Just make sure you pick the perfect avocado first.
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