Can You Freeze Avocados?

Don't fret if you have more fresh avocados on hand than you can use. Preserve these healthy fruits by freezing them for later use.

Amazing Avocado

Amazing Avocado

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Can you freeze avocados? You sure can. Freezing avocados is an easy way to preserve this nutrient-laden fruit. So when you find a great deal on avocados or buy a bag at your favorite bulk foods store, savor a few fresh and save the rest for later. Freezing avocados is easy—no chef skills required. You'll spend the most time peeling fruit, and that's a pretty snappy job.

Also known as alligator pears, avocados bring many nutritional benefits to the table. They're full of good fats—the kind that help improve cardiovascular health and boost levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. These green fruits also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which make them a great choice for anyone with arthritis.

Adding avocados to your diet can improve your health in many ways, but these fruits can be pricey. If you find a good deal or live near someone with a tree, it's worth learning how to preserve this good-for-you fruit. You can do it easily in the freezer.

Start with the freshest avocados you can find. Avocados ripen after they're picked, and most are shipped to stores in an unripe state. A hard, unripe avocado typically ripens in four to five days at a room temperature. To avoid choosing an avocado that is brown inside, check the stem end of the fruit. Peek beneath the edge of the brown button left from the stem. If it's bright green beneath, that avocado is a pretty green inside. If it's brown, don't buy it. An avocado should feel heavy for its size.

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Wash avocados with soap and water or a fruit and vegetable wash. After washing, peel and cut fruit. When it's cut, avocado flesh turns brown because of oxidation—oxygen breaching ruptured cell walls. Counteract the brown by adding an acidic substance, such as lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or tomatoes.

Avocados yield the best result when frozen as puree. Place peeled, cut avocado into a food processor or blender. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado to prevent browning. Pureeing in a motorized appliance ensures that the acidic juice distributes evenly to all the avocado flesh. Mashing avocados by hand works, too, but make sure you blend the juice thoroughly into the avocado to avoid any brown patches.

Freeze avocado puree in ice cube trays to create cubes perfect for adding to smoothies, spreading on a sandwich, or serving as baby food. If you plan to make guacamole or other dip, freeze the puree in the portion size needed for a recipe. Pack the puree into zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers. Leave one-half inch of head space in containers.

Thawed avocado puree also makes a terrific addition to tacos, quesadillas, or burritos. Or chunk it over nachos or salad. The texture won't be as firm as fresh, but you'll have wonderful avocado flavor. You can also make avocado compound butter with tarragon and garlic, and freeze that.

Some cooks favor individually quick freezing chunked avocado. Place chunks on a parchment-lined baking tray, and slip it into the freezer. When chunks are frozen, place them into a zipper-style freezer bag. Chunks may brown after thawing, so use them right away or toss with lemon juice before freezing.

To thaw frozen avocado, place it in a bowl of cold water or thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For best quality, use frozen avocado puree within four to five months.

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