By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence that just ripe avocado on your countertop has stealthily gone past its best.
Okay, that’s slightly assumptive, but it could be true; avocados are savage beasts. They giveth their green ripe shell, and taketh away with their unpredictable sometimes-grey-sometimes-lovely-minty-green-interior.
So, as food waste probably isn’t first on your to-do list, it pays to know some quick tips and tricks for making your avocados last longer at home.
Here are some of the best methods for maintaining peak avocado ripeness, below.
1. Keep them in the fridge
Cooler temperatures slow down the ripening process. But be sure to take them out of the fridge and pop on the countertop for at least a few hours before eating, as they will be hard and flavourless otherwise. And don’t refrigerate when they are extremely hard as they will likely never ripen as a result.
2. Freeze them
You can quite easily freeze avocados with no impact on taste or texture when defrosted. Just make sure they are at their peak ripeness prior to freezing, as unripe avocados won’t ripen once defrosted.
3. Store away from the fruit bowl
Avocados, like bananas, produce ethylene gas. You might also want to call this the ‘ripening gas’, so trapping it will help to slow the ripening process down by several days if not weeks. To ensure your avocados aren’t being impacted by surrounding ethylene, keep away from the fruit bowl, and give them plenty of space to breathe as trapped airflow will speed up ripening.
4. Add apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to cut avocados
Edible acids lower the pH of avocados, which in turn helps to slow the browning process. Just a few sprinkles across the exposed fleshy bits should do the trick. Then, pop in a tupperware container and refrigerate for maximum shelf-life.
5. Don’t buy them already at peak ripeness
Those ‘ready to eat’ avocados are great for eating literally on the day of purchase. If that is your plan, then go for it. But if you have no immediate plans to consume your avocados, maybe they’re on the agenda for the following weekend’s breakfast, you will be very disappointed come Saturday when you’re left with sad, grey smashed avocado on your toast.
To ensure peak longevity – and the freedom to eat your avocados as and when you feel like it – buy when hard, but with a tiny bit of give. (A good way to check this is to give the knobbly bit at the top a wiggle; if it moves a little but not a lot, then you’re good to go.) Then refrigerate for a few days, and countertop when you’re ready to eat!