Avocados are one of the tastiest, healthiest foods on the planet. However, they can brown and go bad super quickly. Here is how to avoid that and keep your avocados fresh, for longer.
Why avocados brown
Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which turns the flesh brown when exposed to air—or more specifically, when it’s exposed to oxygen. So in order to maintain that gorgeous green color, the flesh of an avocado needs to be protected from oxygen exposure.
The following solutions aren’t everlasting—eventually the exposed flesh will brown after a period of time, but these methods will help lengthen the time you can store your sliced avocado without worrying about excessive browning.
1. Seal with plastic wrap
Carefully apply plastic wrap smoothly against the flesh of the avocado. You can leave the pit in or take it out, but if you do remove it, make sure to lightly press the plastic wrap along the well where the pit was to ensure a tight seal.
2. Add a little citrus
Citrus fruits naturally contain strong antioxidants, which work against oxygen to slow down spoiling or browning in certain foods. Simply brush a little lemon or lime juice across the flesh of a sliced avocado, seal it in an airtight container, and it should delay the browning process for about a day.
3. Brush with oil
Oil will also help oxygen from reaching the flesh of an avocado. Brush the exposed area with olive or vegetable oil to create a barrier, then seal in an airtight container—it should keep from browning for about a day or so.
4. Befriend an onion
Onions contain sulfur compounds that, when released, slow the oxidation that causes browning. Roughly chop up a red onion, place it in an airtight container, and lay your avocado half on top. Plus…you’re already partway through the prep for some super tasty homemade guacamole!