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Shrimp Stuffed Avocado by powerplantop

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Do you love avocados but hate them when they turn brown? It is a widespread problem, but there is a solution! In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to keep an avocado from turning brown—finally, the best way to keep fresh avocados green for the longest time. First, we will discuss the browning process and how oxygen exposure can cause avocados to brown. Stay tuned for my best tip to keep your avocados fresh and delicious!

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What causes an avocado to turn brown?

An oxidized avocado with the pit left in, in a bowl with guacamole
Evil avocado” by QuinnDombrowski is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .

If you have ever cut into an avocado only to find that it is brown and mushy, you are not alone. Avocados are notoriously tricky to keep fresh, and even a little time of exposure to oxygen can cause them to turn brown.

A quick science lesson about what causes avocado browning: Browning is caused by polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme found in fruit. When the avocado is exposed to oxygen, the polyphenol oxidase triggers a series of chemical reactions that cause the fruit to turn brown. While this process is natural, it does not make for a very appealing avocado. 

We have all read and watched videos about the various tips and tricks to keep avocados from turning brown. Let us discuss the most popular methods and how well they work.

The container method

Three stacked plastic containers with green lids
Plastic food containers on a white background” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

When you get home from the grocery store, try keeping your avocados in an airtight container to prevent fading. This is the easiest method. However, it does not allow the avocado to be fresh for more than one or two days. No!

The lime juice method

Image by Feelgoodpics from Pixabay 

Here is another way that has been touted as a great way to keep your avocados fresh and green: lime juice. Lime juice contains citric acid, which helps slow the browning process. Additionally, the phenolic compounds in lime juice function as antioxidants, trapping the ethylene gas that causes fruit to ripen. So, by sprinkling a little lime juice on your avocados, you use ascorbic acid to keep them fresh for longer. Enjoy! But only for one or two days. Usually, the next day you open your refrigerator and reach for your leftover avocado, or guacamole, to find it is not as green as you hoped it would be. No one likes brown guacamole. No!

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The fresh lemon juice method

Whole lemon in a hand
Kit Lemon

Citrus juice, like that from a lemon, can keep an avocado from browning. Because the acidity of the juice slows down the oxidation process, to prevent browning, simply brush a little lemon juice on the cut side of an avocado. The acidity of the lemon juice will function as a barrier, slowing down the process of oxidation and keeping the avocado green longer. Citrus juice can also prevent the browning of other fruits and vegetables, such as apples and potatoes. So next time you cut into an avocado, reach for the lemon juice and try it. You may be surprised at how well it works. However, you will be disappointed that it does not last long. No!

The pit method

Image by 
cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay  

Another common method to keep your avocado green is to leave the pit in the unused half of an avocado. That is right. The key to a green avocado is the pit. See, when an avocado ripens, it produces a brown pigment in response to the presence of oxygen. The browning process of an avocado is accelerated by warmth and the fruit’s enzymes. However, the avocado pit provides a barrier that inhibits the browning reaction. So, by leaving the avocado seed in, you can slow down the ripening process and keep your avocado green longer. Of course, this only works if you plan to eat the avocado within a day or two. After that, the pit will no longer be effective, and your avocado will start to turn brown. But this is the way to go if you are looking for a way to keep your guacamole green. However, if you leave it in your guacamole, all it is going to do is protect parts of the guacamole. No!

The olive oil method

Image by VViktor from Pixabay 

Essential nutrients are vital for maintaining good health, but they can also prevent avocados from turning brown. One of the nutrients found in olive oil is oleic acid, which helps to form an oily barrier on the surface of the fruit. This barrier helps to protect the brown pigment from oxygen exposure, which is one of the leading causes of browning. In addition, the antioxidants in olive oil can help to protect against the formation of free radicals, which can also contribute to browning. As a result, using olive oil to keep an avocado from turning brown is a simple and effective way to maintain its quality. The only problem is that it lasts two days at best. No!

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The coconut oil method

A jar of coconut oil. In front of a whole coconut and a coconut cut in half.
Image by moho01 from Pixabay 

Avocados are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in various dishes. However, they can also be notoriously difficult to keep fresh. Once an avocado is cut open, it quickly begins to turn brown in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, coconut oil is another standard method to prevent this from happening. Coconut oil has a strong antioxidant that can help slow the oxidation process. To use it, simply apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the cut side of the avocado. This will create a barrier between the fruit and the air, preventing oxygen from coming into contact with the surface of the avocado and keeping it nice and green. However, this method only lasts for one to two days. No!

The plastic wrap method

Safeway Plastic Wrap Box
David Valenzuela Safeway Plastic Wrap Box

One of the best ways to keep an avocado from turning brown is to place it in plastic wrap. Because plastic wrap provides a barrier that prevents oxygen from encountering the fruit, oxygen is one of the leading causes of browning, so by wrapping the avocado in plastic cling wrap, you can help to prevent this from happening. In addition to trapping moisture inside, this method helps keep the fresh avocados longer. Simply cover the avocado halves with plastic wrap. Make sure that the wrap is tight against the surface of the avocado so that no air can get in. Place them in an airtight container and then store them in your refrigerator. You may get a couple of days’ use of avocados. No!

The sesame seed method

A bowl of sesame seeds with some sesame seeds in front of the bowl on a brown table
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay 

When you cut into an avocado, you may notice that the flesh closest to the skin is a beautiful green color. However, over time, this green flesh will start to brown. Fortunately, there is a straightforward way to keep an avocado green: by sprinkling it with sesame seeds. Avocados contain an enzyme, which has been discussed before, called polyphenol oxidase, which causes the fruit to brown when exposed to oxygen. However, sesame seeds contain strong antioxidants, which help to inhibit oxidation. As a result, sprinkling sesame seeds on an avocado’s cut side can help keep the green avocado flesh fresh and prevent it from turning brown. So next time you enjoy some delicious avocado toast, top it off with some sesame seeds for extra flavor and protection against browning. The only problem is that it works excellent for avocado toast but will not hold up well over two days. No!

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The red onion method

Eleven red onions with a partially cloudy sky and sunset in the background
Image by Paresh Biswas from Pixabay 

If you have ever made guacamole only to have it become brown guacamole an hour later, you know the unpleasant side effect of oxygen on avocados. But there is a straightforward way to prevent this from happening. Just add a quarter of red onion to your guac mixture. The sulfur compounds in the onion will react with the avocado and create a barrier that oxygen cannot penetrate. As a result, your guacamole will stay green and fresh for hours. Next time you are making fresh guacamole, be sure to add a quarter of red onion to the mix! The only problem is that this works with guacamole but not with avocado halves. No!

The lukewarm water method

Water running from a kitchen faucet
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay 

Fresh avocados are a vital ingredient in many delicious dishes, from guacamole to avocado toast. But how can you keep them fresh for as long as possible? The answer lies in lukewarm water. Soaking a new block of avocados in an inch of lukewarm water for a few hours can help to keep them fresh and prevent them from browning. Because the lukewarm water helps slow the ripening process, giving you extra time to enjoy fresh avocados. So, the next time you prepare for the Super Bowl or a small get-together, make sure to give your avocados a soak in lukewarm water. It just might be the secret to fresh, perfect guacamole. One of the larger issues with this method is that it is not sanitary. You must wash the outside of your avocados before you let them sit in lukewarm water. In this day and age of COVID, monkeypox, and everything else they have not told us about, you must ensure the avocados are clean before they sit in still water. You cannot let any food sit in still water in professional kitchens. That rule should also apply to home kitchens for safety’s sake. The water must be running. Another use for lukewarm water is to place a quarter inch of water on the top of guacamole in a sealable, airtight plastic container. You may end up with thin, runny, wet guacamole. Yuck. No!

The best method

"Cold" written on a glass with some condensation that is half filled with water
Marian Kloon Cold water: No calories

Avocados are a delicious, versatile, and healthy fruit used in many dishes. Unfortunately, they can also turn brown very quickly after being cut open. One way to prevent this is to run cold water over the cut side of an avocado. Running cold water helps to slow down the oxidation process, which is what causes avocados to turn brown. While other methods can keep avocados from turning brown, running cold water over them is the best way to achieve the best results. So, if you are looking to keep your avocados looking bright green for as long as possible, up to four days, be sure to give them a quick rinse with cold water after cutting them open. YES!

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So, there you have it! Now you know how to keep an avocado from turning brown. Give these methods a try and see for yourself how well they work. You will find the last process is the best way to keep your avocados green for the most prolonged period. You can enjoy fresh, green avocados and guacamole every time. Thanks for reading! 

If you have more tips, tricks, or hacks to keep avocados fresh or other foods subject to oxidation, leave a comment.

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