You have this fantastic meal planned. You buy all the ingredients and follow the many steps the recipe requires. But, in the hustle and bustle of cooking, you forgot one critical ingredient: the ripe avocado you recently bought for the meal. You even sliced it by cutting it in half, removing the pit, and cutting it lengthwise by following this helpful video. But all of sudden, your once beautifully green avocado has started to turn brown.
First of all, why does cut avocado turn brown? Avocados contain enzymes that react in contact with oxygen and create the unsightly brown pigment we all dislike. So, if you cut an avocado and don’t use it immediately, the best thing to do is to prevent oxygen exposure so that it doesn’t turn brown. These tips will help you keep your avocados fresh and green until you use them.
If you’re into kitchen gadgets and you buy avocados regularly, you might want to purchase an avocado-shaped silicone cup that closely covers the cut side of one half of an avocado. It comes with a pit pocket that you can push in or out as needed. The cup stops the flesh of the avocado from browning as it prevents contact with oxygen.
A more traditional method is to use lemon or lime juice. The citric acid present in the juice is a potent antioxidant that slows the browning process. Simply sprinkle a small amount of juice over cut avocado or guacamole to keep it green.
Another low-tech option is to brush a thin layer of any cooking oil on the surface of a cut avocado. The oil acts as a barrier so the flesh doesn’t come in contact with oxygen.
Alternatively, you can wrap the cut avocado as tightly as possible with cling film after covering it in lime juice or olive oil, just as you see in this how-to video. Make sure there are no air pockets and that the film is in full contact with the fruit. You can use the pit as a seal. Simply push it back into the hole, pressing the plastic film gently into place.
With these tips, avocados will never again turn brown on your watch! And if you need more tips on picking, using, and storing avocados, our how-to page will give you plenty of advice, including how to keep a cut avocado green until it ripens if you’ve cut it too soon (hint: lime juice and cling film to the rescue again!)