5 Ways To Stop Avocados Going Brown

Tess Patrick TESS PATRICK

Avocados and I have a love-hate affair. I’m sure you probably know it too. The beautiful fruits are some of the most tempting, but one taste and it’s all over. I can’t count of the amount of times I’ve discarded avocados from my fridge, ones that were opened with the best intentions when they were finally ripe, only to discover short moments later they’ve developed the classic “seen better days” tinge.

It’s the sad reality of my favorite fruit. Gone are the days where I can sparingly eat my avocado on toast, or enjoy guacamole as I please. Instead it becomes a challenge of how much avo can I eat in this short window of time. It’s truly a shame, because avocados are so good for us. Not only are they an amazing source of healthy fats (hello omega-3s), but they’re also rich in essential micronutrients like magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for more than 300 reactions in the human body, all of which are essential for keeping us alive, and as a single serve of avocado contains 7% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, I’m not ready to give up on it just yet.

After some arduous digging and years of perfecting, I’ve discovered these 5 ways to stop avocados going brown. Some have their pitfalls, so to speak, but there’s bound to be a way that works for you.

1. Keeping The Pit In

This method is an oldie, but a goodie, and most avocado lovers will be familiar with it. But what you’ve likely found is that the fleshy parts around the pit are still prone to oxidization (that’s mixing with the air around it) and browning. But when you pull out the pit, it’s still perfect underneath. That’s why I invested a whole $3 into an avocado hugger. Keep the pit in, belt the avo up, store it in the fridge, and it’s good as new.

2. Storing The Avocado In Water

All you need to do here is plonk your remaining avocado in a glass jar of water, seal it, and pop it in the fridge. I get this theory in principle, I really do. And while it undoubtedly prevents the avocado from going brown, it does leave it with a slightly mushier texture. I’d highly recommend this if you’re looking to make a big batch of guacamole, but if you’re after a firm avo, there’s likely another method for you.

3. Covering It In Cling Film

If we’re trying to prevent the oxidization of the avocado, cling film is a great choice. While it’s not entirely foolproof, and the use of single-use plastic is a growing burden on the environment, it’s a quick and easy option. Simply wrap the avo nice and tight (and that part is key) in the cling film of your choice. If you’re looking for a more sustainable option, try a reusable beeswax wrap.

It is important to mention that this method proves quite successful for keeping guacamole fresh for a longer time. When storing it, gently press the wrap down onto the surface of the mixture in a bowl or container to remove all of the air, and you’ll have fresh guac for days.

4. Storing The Avocado With Onion

This idea seems a little excessive, but if you’re someone who likes your avocado savory, it’s worth a try. Simply popping your avocado in an airtight container with a few slices of onion, before storing it in the fridge, is one of the most effective ways to keep the fruit fresher for longer. This is because of the incredible sulfur compounds found in onions that exert a protective effect on the air around them. You’ll find your avocado stays fresh for an extra couple of days with this method.

5. Drizzling The Avocado In Lemon Juice

You know how much we love our lemon water here at Food Matters, but the citrus is actually incredible for more than just supporting our bodies. A quick squeeze over any fresh avocado works as a truly natural preservative. This is due to the ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) found in lemon or lime juice, adding citrus to an opened avocado helps create a barrier against oxygen that reduces oxidation. As the oxygen reacts with the acid in the juice, it slows down the chemical reaction and prevents browning for a few days. 

To get the most out of this method, try storing your avocado completely covered, or with a smear of olive oil over the surface to create a film with the outside world. Then pop it in the fridge, and you’re free to enjoy the fruits of your labor whenever you desire.

Sure, avocados might be hard work, but they’re absolutely divine, nutrient-rich, and not worth giving up on just yet. Trust me on this one.

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