Photo Credit: Sina Mizrahi
How immensely satisfying is it when you cut into a ripe avocado, and its inside is the perfectly blemish-free vibrant green you were hoping for?! It’s a hug from Hashem. I wanted to explore how to preserve that ripeness a little longer if I only use up one half.
The browning in an avocado starts when an enzyme in the flesh comes into contact with oxygen and creates a brown pigment called melanin, which is what those brown spots are. It’s completely safe to eat, but it is somewhat unappetizing. So, to prevent oxidation, you need to create a barrier between the avocado and open air. I explored four ways to do this, which led me to a fifth method.
The avocados were all nicely ripe before I stored them. The “after” photo was taken about 24 hours later. If you need to store your avocado for longer, I recommend eating more avocado toasts, adding it to your smoothie, or freezing it for later use. (Freezing alters its texture, so use it in a blended recipe.)
Spray with cooking spray or coat with oil.
Cover with lemon juice.
Place in a dish with a cut onion.
Immerse in water. (As you can see, the avocado in the photo is facing downward so that the cut side is completely immersed in water.)
You can see from the “after” photos that immersing it in water yields the best result, but that method has been questioned by the FDA and isn’t recommended since it can potentially be a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. So that brings me to the second-place winner — lemon juice! Lemon juice is an MVP in the kitchen, and here it helps preserve the avocado nicely and add flavor — double win!
But when I noticed the bit of browning that occurred, I wanted to see what would happen if I covered the avocado with lemon juice and then wrapped it in plastic wrap. And that became method 5, which trumps all. The plastic wrap makes sure the lemon juice stays on all areas of the avocado and creates an added barrier. And you can see from the photo below (it’s an “after” photo!) that it preserved the avocado beautifully!
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 852)
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