Avocado is a delicious and popular fruit rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
When the avocado season comes and there is a lot of it on sale, the idea seems to be very tempting – to stock it up for the future. However, the ripe quickly deteriorate, becoming brown and soft.
To preserve ripe avocados for longer, you can try to freeze them. However, freezing has a negative effect on the quality of the fruit.
This article talks about the effects of freezing avocados and how best to do this.
How does an avocado change when frozen
When freezing avocados, it is important to consider the effect on nutrient content, texture, color, and taste.
Avocados are rich in nutrients, including healthy fat and fiber, as well as copper, potassium, folate, niacin, and vitamins B6, C, E, and K ( 1 ).
No study has analyzed exactly how much nutrient loss occurs due to freezing avocados, but some losses should be expected, especially in cases of long-term storage ( 4 ).
However, in fresh foods, nutrient content also decreases over time. Thus, the loss of nutrients due to freezing should not cause serious concern.
Avocado freezing degrades its signature smooth creamy texture.
When frozen, the fruit’s water expands and violates its structure – an effect that is also observed in other frozen fruits, such as papaya ( 5 ).
After thawing, the avocado becomes mucous, watery and soft.
Although you may not want to eat it unprocessed, this unpleasant texture is easy to fix by adding avocados to the smoothie or making mashed potatoes to make guacamole or salad dressing.
Avocados turn brown when exposed to oxygen (air).
During freezing, they are often preliminarily mashed or cut in half or in pieces, thereby exposing them to air, both during freezing and during thawing. Thawed avocados can quickly turn brown, so proper cooking and storage methods are very important.
Although the browning process is a natural process and does not necessarily affect the taste, some people may find it unattractive.
To reduce darkening, a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar can be applied to the pulp before freezing. Commercial frozen avocados usually add ascorbic or citric acid.
In addition, you must fully package and cover the fruits. If not properly protected, burns may occur in the freezer, which may lead to discoloration and drying out.
Although freezing itself does not significantly affect the taste, various processing methods can be used.
If you use vinegar or lemon juice to prevent darkening, they can slightly change the taste. However, these flavors will not be so pronounced if you later mix avocados in guacamole-like sauce.
Commercially frozen avocado products may contain additives and other ingredients, so you should check the label if you are worried about taste.
Avocado freezing tends to have a negligible effect on nutrient content, but can lead to a soft texture, darkening, and taste change due to additives.
How to freeze avocados
Whole avocados turn brown and very soft after thawing. Thus, you must cut, mash or puree the fruit before freezing.
Shelf life of frozen avocados is 4-6 months, however, commercial products can be stored even longer due to the addition of preservatives.
Freezing halves or slices
Start by cutting the ripe avocado in half, then remove the seed and peel the fruit. If you wish, you can cut it into smaller pieces.
Lubricate or sprinkle open avocado pulp with a little lemon juice to prevent darkening, then wrap it in plastic wrap or place in a resealable bag. If you have a vacuum packer, you can use it.
It is important to leave as little air as possible on the pulp to prevent the product from darkening and freezing.
Mark and date the avocado if you wish, then freeze it at -18 ° C.
Freezing Avocado Puree
You can also freeze mashed avocados or even homemade guacamole.
After cleaning and pitting, grind or smooth the avocados by hand or using a food processor.
When preparing guacamole, add lemon or lime juice and any other seasonings, but at this point avoid adding other vegetables, such as tomatoes or onions, as they tend to release water during thawing.
Place the mashed potatoes in a container, ice cube tray or in a resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible – manually or using vacuum sealant. Label and date bags and freeze at -18 ° C.
Ripe avocados can be frozen in mashed potatoes, as well as in half or pieces and stored for 4-6 months. It is recommended that you add lemon juice and seal the avocado tightly in plastic or using a vacuum sealant to minimize browning.
How to Defrost and Use Frozen Avocados
When you are ready to use a frozen avocado, take it out of the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Thawing usually takes about 1 hour at room temperature.
Thawed avocados are best suited for salad dressings, smoothies and other dishes such as guacamole, sauces and spreads. Many people find thawed avocados unattractive because of changes in texture, but it’s completely safe if you want to.
Seasonings and additional ingredients can help hide the softness and other changes associated with freezing.
Frozen avocados should be thawed at room temperature for about 1 hour. It is best used in dishes made from several ingredients, such as guacamole, sauces, spreads and smoothies.
So, now you know that avocados can be frozen in the freezer. Freezing avocados can help you reduce food waste and keep this fruit on hand throughout the year.
While most nutrients are retained during freezing, the flesh tends to become soft and may darken when stored or thawed.
Therefore, frozen avocados are best mixed in dishes such as guacamole, sauces and smoothies.