Avocados are a delicious addition to any meal, as a snack or when turned into guacamole. In recent years, avocados have even become an integral part of many American cooking techniques. However, this delicious fruit can quickly ruin the appeal of a dish if it oxidizes. Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which, when exposed to oxygen, changes the chemical structure of avocado flesh, increasing the presence of melanins, thus turning the fruit brown.
Avocados are also expensive, and most recipes do not call for an entire avocado; rather, the avocado is used as a topping or garnish. Here are a few helpful tips for keeping your avocados from browning:
Leave the pit in the avocado
If your recipe calls for half of an avocado, leave the pit in the unused side and place the flesh from the used side on top as a lid. This will help keep your avocado fresher longer, and will eliminate some of the browning.
Seal your avocado well
To keep your avocado from browning, make sure to seal it as tightly as possible in an air-tight container or plastic wrap. This will prevent oxygen from making contact with your avocado.
Immerse your avocados in cold water
Cold water will also prevent your avocado from browning. However you prepare your avocados, you will want to immediately immerse them in cold water to keep them fresh for up to four hours. This is an excellent method for chefs and culinary students. The Gardening Cook notes that many chefs and cooks use this method because they need to prepare avocados in advance of restaurant service.
Store your avocado with onions
Another excellent way to keep an avocado fresh is to store it skin-side down in an air-tight container that is lined with chopped red or green onions. This method should keep your avocado fresh for days at a time. According to The Kitchn, this method works because of the sulfur compounds that the onion releases.
Brush your avocado with olive oil
Brushing your avocado with a light-flavored olive oil will help create a barrier between the flesh of the avocado and the oxygen in the air.
Coat your avocado in citrus juice
Perhaps the most well-known method for keeping an avocado – or any fruit for that matter – from oxidizing is to brush it with citrus juice. Lemon or lime juice will both work, as their citric acid will counteract the oxidation process.