Avocado lovers all know the struggles of cutting one in half! If you don’t eat it all now, you risk losing the rest of the fruit to an unappetizing brown mush! How do you keep an avocado fresh?
Why Do Avocados Turn Brown?
To sum it up, when the surface of green fruit comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes, giving the fruit a brown color. Luckily, the brown oxidation is limited to just the surface of the avocado, and the rest of the fruit is generally unharmed.
The brown layer on the top of your avocado is caused by an enzyme in the fruit called polyphenol oxidase. This enzyme can be found in many fruits and is believed to be a defense mechanism. When the fruit is damaged, the brown color helps to ward off animals, keeping them from eating it any further. The brown layer also creates an antibacterial effect that prevents bacteria from harming the damaged plant.
Solutions for Keeping Avocados Fresh
The best way to keep an avocado from going brown is to limit the fruit’s exposure to oxygen. Try any of the following solutions below to keep your avocados fresh.
Plastic Wrap: After cutting an avocado, tightly wrapping the remaining fruit in plastic wrap will help to create an air-tight seal around the fruit that will prevent the green surface from oxidizing.
Lemon Juice: Squirting a bit of lemon juice on the fruit is a very effective way to keep the avocado from turning brown. Lemon juice has ascorbic acid, a naturally occurring organic compound that is also known as a form of vitamin C. This method works well because oxygen will react with the ascorbic acid on the avocado before it reacts with the polyphenol oxidase in the fruit. Put simply, the lemon juice acts as a shield to protect the sensitive skin of the avocado from oxygen. Keep in mind that this method will only last so long. As the ascorbic acid of the lemon juice is used up, oxygen will begin to react with the enzymes in the fruit, turning it brown.
Onion: Place the avocado in an air-tight container with a few large chunks of sliced onion, and cover with a lid. The gases from the onion (the same ones that make your eyes burn) help to prevent oxidation of the fruit. By making sure that the onion comes into contact with only the skin of the avocado and not the green fruit, you should notice no difference in flavor.
Keep Guac Fresh: You can use onions to keep your favorite guacamole recipe fresh as well! Place the guacamole in a bowl, and sprinkle the top of the mixture with the onions that you would have put into the recipe. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat the guacamole, simply mix the onions in with the rest of the dip.
No longer will your fear of brown avocados prevent you from making delicious recipes. With these easy tips, you will be eating fresh, green avocadoes every day of the week! For more great food tips, tricks, and recipes, be sure to check out our blog. If you don’t feel like cooking, visit a Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant in Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, or North Billerica MA.