How to store cut avocados so they don't look gross

Guacamole for days

Published January 23, 2022 1:30PM (EST)

 (Ty Mecham / Food52)
(Ty Mecham / Food52)

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Unless you're making a giant batch of guacamole (can I come over?), there's a good chance that you'll be left with half an avocado that you need to store after making toast or salsa. Uncut avocados can quickly turn from a beautiful green color to brown in what seems like mere minutes. So what's the best way to store half an avocado to delay its inevitable browning?

How to store half an avocado

Storing half an avocado is similar to storing guacamole, which is to say lemon or lime juice is your best friend. The acidity from the lemon juice will help to prevent mashed or cut avocados from turning brown quickly. The best way to store half an avocado is to squeeze a little bit of juice over the cut side of the avocado, cover it with plastic wrap tightly, and store it in the refrigerator.

There's also the option of freezing avocados for long-term storage. Scoop out the flesh from the cut avocado, dice it, and store it in a single-layer in a freezer-safe bag. If you intend to use leftover avocado for smoothies, you can pre-blend the fruit with a little bit of lemon or lime juice to form a purée. Transfer the purée to an airtight container and scoop it out whenever you're ready to use it.

Beyond this method, there are so many other theories for how to store cut avocados, from brushing the flesh with olive oil to submerging it in a shallow pool of water to using reusable silicone fruit huggers. Experiment and let us know what method works best for you.

How to store whole avocado

Let's say for argument's sake that you haven't cut the avocado yet. If your avocado is ripe and you're saying "Wait, stop, slow down! I'm not ready to use you yet," just store it in the refrigerator, which will slow down the ripening. Keep it in the crisper drawer of the fridge and it should last for two to three days.

If you have unripe avocados that you want to ripen quickly, store them in a paper bag at room temperature on the countertop of your kitchen. (Pro tip: You can also use a can cooler or Koozie with the avocado tucked snugly in it!) Storing fruit like avocados or even bananas in a paper bag will create ethylene gas (it's a good kind of gas!), which will speed up the ripening process. If you're fine waiting a few days for the avocados to ripen, there's no need to store them in a paper bag.

By Kelly Vaughan

MORE FROM Kelly Vaughan

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