As a born and raised Californian, I have a hard time not incorporating avocados into every meal and snack but they are one of the more expensive fruits you can buy, especially in colder climate states. There are certain times of the year when avocados go on sale and I usually buy a multitude of them. Even though I can eat them nonstop, I still end up with some becoming over ripe in the process. I was looking for a way to store the avocados longterm so that I could really stock up and enjoy them longer, so I created this Instructable to share two methods I have found.
Step 1: Ripe Avocados
You'll want to preserve avocados at the peak of their ripeness to maintain your avocado's fresh flavor. I have found this to be especially important since it is nearly impossible to preserve the texture. To identify a ripe avocado, hold the avocado in your palm with your thumb on the stem. Roll your thumb on the stem away from the fruit. If the stem rolls off and away from the fruit easily and reveals a bright green patch then your avocado is ripe! If the stem rolls off easily but reveals a gray or dark patch of the avocado flesh, your avocado is over ripe and not an ideal candidate for storing longterm. If the stem does not roll away from the fruit easily, then the fruit is not yet ripe and should sit at room temperature until it is and can be stored longterm.
Step 2: Wash
Wash your avocado skin gently under lukewarm water. One out of the two techniques for storing avocados detailed in this Instructable does not remove the skin, so you'll want to clean it thoroughly.
Step 3: Halve Your Avocado
Using a sharp knife, cut your avocados in half lengthwise by rotating the knife around the avocado. Once halved, separate the avocado halves by placing a hand on each half and rotate, twisting your hands in opposite directions.
Step 4: Removing the Avocado Pit
To remove the pit of the avocado, hold the avocado half in your non-dominant hand (Ideally, place a dish towel between your hand and the avocado as a commenter mentioned. This will help you grip the avocado and create a barrier between your hand and the blade). With your dominant hand, carefully whack your knife into the pit until it sticks firmly. Keeping the knife firmly stuck into the pit, twist the knife until the pit rotates and comes loosely away from the fruit.
The avocado pit should now be stuck to the blade of your knife. To safely remove the knife from the pit, place your fingers against the pit from the back of the blade. This way when you apply force to remove the pit from the blade you are working in a direction with the blade, not against it. Apply force to the back of the pit, until it releases from the knife blade.
Step 5: Method 1: Freeze Avocado Halves
In this first method, we are simply going to freeze the avocado halves. This is the simplest method as it takes the least amount of work and still results in an acceptable outcome.
First things first, using a permanent marker, label your freezer safe ziplock bag with the date so that you know how long your avocados have been frozen. Cut a lemon in half so that you can juice it. Squeeze it over your avocado halves, making sure to coat the exposed fruit flesh with the lemon juice. Gently place your avocado halves in your ziplock bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible and seal the bag. I could comfortably fit 5 and maybe 6 avocado halves (if I hadn't eaten the sixth) in one gallon freezer safe ziplock bag. Place in your freezer and store away until you need to brighten your life with some fresh avocado.
Step 6: Method 2: Mashed Avocado
The second method involves storing your avocados once they've been mashed. For this method, you'll want to use a tablespoon to scoop all of your avocado fruit out of their leathery skin and into the container you'd like to store them in. Using a freshly halved lemon, liberally squeeze lemon juice all over your avocados. This will slow the process of browning with your avocado. Mash and mix thoroughly with a fork. Cover with a tight fitting lid and store in your freezer. Whip it out when you're ready to make some last minute guacamole!
You can also store the mashed avocados in a ziplock bag to reduce the amount of air while they are being stored. I prefer the tupperware method because it later doubles as my guacamole vessel.
Step 7: Final Notes
A couple of final notes about your longterm stored avocados.
1. When you are defrosting your stored avocados, it's best if you defrost them slowly. The best way to do this is by placing them in your fridge, to allow them to slowly defrost in a colder temperature. It will take longer than simply placing your avocados at room temperature but it will produce better results in terms of texture and color. Another method you could try is floating your ziplock or placing your tupperware in a large bowl of cold water. Again, this will allow your avocados to thaw but it will slow down the process significantly preserving some of the texture and color.
2. The texture will change after your avocados have been frozen. This is why they are best used in guacamole or mashed on toast. This Instructable is not detailing the way to perfectly preserve ripe avocados but it is the best I've found to maintain most of the texture and flavor of a ripe avocado!