Food storage: Stop avocados from turning brown by cooking them – here’s how
Avocados do not ripen on the tree, they ripen or soften after they are harvested. Many varieties are now classified as “ripe-at-home” avocados, originally bought firm from a supermarket, softened in the fruit bowl at home. But once cut, the green flesh of an avocado turns brown very quickly. Here are some storage hacks to reduce the chances of an avocado turning brown.
Blanch the whole avocado in water
Start with a large pan, filled with water and bring to a quick boil. Next to it, you have a bowl of ice-cold water ready.
Carefully place the whole avocado (skin on) into the boiling water and leave it there for 10 seconds.
If you cook the avocado for more than 10 seconds, it will begin to cook – less than 10 seconds and the enzymes will not be destroyed.
Immediately drop the avocado into the bowl of ice water, this will stop it from continuing to cook. Let the avocado cool completely, remove it from the water and dry it with a kitchen towel.
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Another way to prevent an avocado from turning brown is to submerge it in coconut water.
This is only a short-term solution, as the avocado can lose its firmness and become mushy, so eat it within a day or two.
If you don’t have coconut water you can use coconut oil, but take a spoonful out and melt it in the microwave and it’s easier to use.
A member of the Australian Sustainable Swappers group on Facebook explained: “Brush melted coconut oil over your avocado to keep it sealed.” This hack can keep your avocado fresh “for days”.
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Add pineapple juice
A popular way to reduce the browning of the avocado flesh is to use lemon juice, but you can also use pineapple juice.
Just like lemon juice, coat the avocado in pineapple juice and eat it in a day or two.
As for how it works, the acid in the fruit juice helps create a barrier against oxygen and slows down the chemical reaction that causes the meat to brown.
This method can give a slightly sour taste to the avocado flesh when eaten, but it is effective.
Is it safe to eat avocados when the pulp is brown?
Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which causes the flesh to brown when exposed to oxygen.
When the meat begins to brown, or there are areas where it is brown, it is safe to eat. Alternatively, you can remove the browned surface and enjoy the rest.
Still, if your avocado has a strange odor, it may indicate the presence of microbial spoilage, in which case you should throw it away. Likewise, if mold is visible, compost it.