- Phytosterols: These compounds help lower “bad” cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: These nutrients protect healthy cells in your body.
Avocados are finicky, though, and they brown quickly after you cut them open. So, can you freeze them to keep them longer?
The Scoop on Avocados
Avocados typically grow in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Pacific coast of Central America. They have a lot of uses. If you have diet restrictions that limit fatty meat, fish, or dairy, avocado is a good substitution. Many people use it in baked goods and milkshakes, too.
Avocados are ripe only for a short period of time before they go bad and bitterness sets in. You’ll know you’ve found a ripe one when you squeeze it gently and feel some “give” inside. If it’s too easy to squeeze, it may be bad. If it’s too firm, it isn’t ripe yet.
Once it’s cut, an avocado browns fast. You can slow that from happening by squeezing lemon or lime juice over it to prevent the change in color.
How to Freeze Avocados
Peel. First, cut the avocado and remove it from the hard outer skin. Also, make sure you remove the pit from the middle. Freezing an avocado whole won’t yield great results because it’ll be harder to take apart after it’s frozen.
Mash. Avocado freezes the best when you mash it. You can use a fork or toss it in a blender for an even creamier consistency. If you want, you can also slice or cube avocado for freezing. Since the consistency is different after freezing, though, the shape may not hold.
Divide. Freeze avocado in individual portion sizes. Once it thaws, you’ll want to use avocado right away. If you freeze more than you’ll use at one time, you may have to throw the rest away.
Seal. The trick to making sure your avocados freeze well is to remove all of the air from the container. If you use a food saver, all the air is vacuumed out. If you’re using resealable or reusable storage bags, remove all the air before sealing. If air remains in the bag, the avocado may turn brown before freezing.
Store. For the best quality, keep your avocado frozen at 0 degrees F or lower. A higher temperature means that your food won’t keep for as long before spoiling. If the temperature changes, you may notice ice crystals on your avocado, leading to a mushier fruit when it thaws.
Thaw. Place your avocado in the fridge to thaw. Frozen avocados work best for guacamole or smoothies, since the consistency changes during freezing.
Pros of Freezing Avocado
Ready to use. Freezing avocados means that you have them available whenever you need them without a trip to the grocery store.
Smaller portions. If you don’t use an entire avocado at once, you can freeze the rest. This cuts down on waste and helps you stay prepared for the next time you want to use avocado in a dish.
Save avocados for off-season use. Fruits are best when you purchase them in season. Buy in bulk and freeze your avocados at peak ripeness to save them for later.
Cons of Freezing Avocado
Change in consistency. Avocados don’t retain their firmness after freezing. When they thaw, they tend to be mushy and loose instead of thick.
Go bad quickly. Freezing stops bacteria growth, but it doesn’t kill bacteria. Once your avocados thaw, bacteria that was there during freezing will begin growing again. Your fruit will continue to decay unless you eat it quickly.