Oh no, you avocadon't! Trust me when I tell you that you're not the only one who's had an avocado go bad from time to time. We learned how to freeze avocados, and we can’t wait to teach you! Now you can finally enjoy basically fresh avocados even months after they’re in season.
Not everyone loves avocados, but those who do know that buying them regularly can be an expensive habit. They’re not the cheapest fruit, and they spoil quickly. Before you know it, you might have a bowl full of mushy avocados that are better served in the trash can than they are in your sandwich. What a waste!
Here’s the mind-blowing solution: You can freeze your avocados! You’ll be glad you have this delicious, creamy, nutrient-packed fruit on hand. It makes any sandwich, salad, wrap, green smoothie, or slice of toast so much better, and it happens to be a healthy source of fat in moderate quantities.
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The trick is knowing how to freeze avocados the right way. Are you ready?
WHY FREEZING AVOCADOS IS THE BEST FOOD HACK OUT THERE
We’re all about saving money here on ShelfCooking.com, and if you’ve been following our blog posts, you know you can freeze SO. MANY. THINGS! Which makes it tough for the avocado addicts out there! Buying avocados every grocery trip can hit your budget hard. (Hardcore avocado eaters might be spending $1,000 per year just on avocados!)
If you’re trying to pare down your grocery budget, we always recommend shopping sales at the grocery store. Avocados go on sale probably once per month while in season and at various other times in the off-season. Rather than paying $2.50 on average for a large avocado, you might find them as affordable as $0.50 a piece! Use these sales to stock up and freeze the rest.
Along with saving lots of “moolah,” you can also save time. Need something to spice up your salad? Thaw some frozen avocado slices. Need a quick appetizer to bring to a party? Make guacamole from your frozen mashed avocados.
No more running to the store at the last minute or worrying about your avocados getting brown and mushy before you could use them. Yuck.
HOW TO CHOOSE RIPE AVOCADOS
For the best-tasting fresh or frozen avocados, it’s always best to buy perfectly ripe avocados in the first place. Underripe avocados will be hard as a rock and overripe fruit will be mushy and brown. Unfortunately, freezing them won’t do anything to change the texture.
But how do you choose ripe avocados when you can’t see the flesh?
The simplest method is to pick up an avocado with your whole hand and gently squeeze it. It should feel firm, yet soft. If it’s very soft, it’s overripe, but if it’s very hard, it’s underripe.
When you can’t find any perfectly ripe avocados in the grocery store, choose under ripe avocados and let them ripen on your kitchen counter. Don’t put them in the refrigerator. Within a few days of sitting at room temperature, they’ll be ripe and ready to use or freeze. Now you just need to know how to freeze avocados!
HOW TO FREEZE AVOCADOS
Like most things in life, preparation here is key. Think about your lifestyle and how you’ll be using this buttery fruit in the future.
Will you need avocados already processed, or would you rather have them whole so you can use them any way you like? Maybe you’re always in a rush and just don’t have time for avocado prep, so sticking them in the freezer whole works best for you.
Whatever your lifestyle, these are the four best ways to freeze avocados:
- Whole: Freezing avocados whole is by far the easiest method, and perfect for those who are always on the go! But don’t just throw them in the freezer. Store them in an airtight container like a vacuum sealed bag (we like this one), Ziploc freezer bag, or a thick plastic container. The less exposure to air while freezing, the better.
- Halved: You might want your avocado slightly more processed when you pull it out of the freezer without putting a lot of work into it. If this is you, just cut your avocados in half and leave the skin on or peel–whatever you have time for. Place in an air-tight freezer container, and find room in your crowded freezer for it.
- Sliced or Diced: If you usually use your avocados in sandwiches, salads, soups, and similar dishes, sliced or diced avocados are best for you. To slice your avocado, cut it in half and leave the fruit inside the skin. Use a knife to cut slices of your desired thickness or a checkerboard for diced avocados. Scoop out the avocados with a spoon, put them in a freezer safe container, and voila!
- Mashed: If guacamole and spreads are your jam, mash these babies before freezing them. Follow the steps above and then use a fork or food processor to mash them. You can store these in a plastic container, but you can save space in your freezer by putting your mashed avocados in a Ziploc freezer bag and spreading it out flat. It’ll freeze flat so you have more room in your freezer. You’re welcome.
Pro Tip: To reduce brownness, leave the pit in. Something about it helps keep the flesh fresh and buttery.
If you think these tips are good, check out our huge list of other food hacks.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FREEZING AVOCADOS
Can you believe how simple it is to keep your excess avocados fresh and ready to go? It really is that simple! But to make the frozen fruit even better, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Reduce Browning: If you’re going to take the avocado out of the skin or expose the flesh, a brown film will probably hide the green flesh. You can reduce this problem by brushing avocados with some lemon juice or vinegar before freezing. Lime juice pairs very well with avocados as well. Just don’t use too much or you’ll get a sour taste when thawing. A light dusting or a couple of squirts is best.
- Thaw Properly: You thaw an avocado like you would most frozen items. There are three main methods: 1) Plan ahead and put it in the fridge for about 6 hours before you use it. 2) Keep the avocados in an airtight container and place in a bowl of room temperature water for a couple of hours. Flip the bag every 15 minutes or so and change the water if it gets too cold. 3) Run a frozen avocado under hot water for a few seconds, then set on a plate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Easy peasy!
- Deal with Texture Changes: The texture of a frozen avocado can be a little mushy or slimy when all is said and done. But unless you’re eating avocados plain, you won’t notice the difference. If the texture change is more mushy or slimy than you like, don’t waste a good avocado. Mash it up to put in a green smoothie, make guacamole, or create a salad dressing. Or hide it in this awesome mac and cheese recipe. We don’t like wasting food around here, after all!
- Use Within Five Months: The frozen shelf life for an avocado is five months. This means you can enjoy nearly fresh, top-of-the-season avocados for five whole months after the season ends! But after that mark, it’s probably best to throw out what’s left–or better yet, finish all of them before they hit the five month mark!
Pro Tip: Use frozen avocados as an easy appetizer for a gathering. Season your mashed avocado with a little salt, pepper, cumin, and lime juice. You can add tomatoes, onions, or whatever you like to make fresh guacamole in a snap.
As you were reading this post, you were probably looking for some complex, mind-blowing process for how to freeze avocados. In reality, it’s simple, yet life-changing. You’ll never have an excuse for wasting a good avocado again!
Here at Shelf Cooking, we love our freezers! They help us save so much time and money and are game changers in the shelf cooking ideology. Check out our Shelf Cooking Facebook Community for even more great ideas like this!
If you loved this freezer tip, check out these great posts on using your freezer to extend the life of your food and maximize your shelf cooking palate:
- The freezer is amazing, but it won’t keep your food fresh forever. Learn how long food lasts in your freezer.
- Make sure you store your food the right way to prevent freezer burn!
- Freezing cooked ground beef is another great way to make last-minute meals and cut down on dinner prep!
Get to freezing!