It’s been ages since you bought some avocados, so you decided that now is the right time. You picked up some green ones from the local grocery and put them on the countertop.
After a few days, you’re craving some seasoned avocado toast with a poached egg on top for breakfast. Yummy! However, upon cutting your avocado in half, you noticed some brown spots on its flesh. But it’s been only three days since you bought it. How could this happen?
Have you ever wondered – Do avocados go bad?
If you did, we are here to resolve the mystery and answer all of your avocado related questions. Also, we’re providing some storage tips, so read on!
Do Avocados Go Bad?
Avocados, like all fruits, go bad. They not only go bad but have a short shelf life, unlike some other fruits, like apples.
However, if we’re talking about spoilage, it will occur eventually, and you will for sure know when it’s not edible anymore. However, it definitely won’t go bad due to inadequate storage conditions. Here, it is just a matter of the ripening stage your avocado is at.
The ripening process in avocados has a few stages. If you aim for that soft, buttery texture, you will have to wait for some time or have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Before we reveal any more pieces of information, let’s learn something about avocados.
An avocado grows on the avocado tree, known as Persea Americana. There are many types of avocados, and they vary in shape, size, and color. The varieties differ from round to pear-shaped; brown, green, or black.
We are going to focus on the most popular type – Hass avocado.
Hass avocado tends to be pear-shaped and has green, bumpy skin as an alligator. Hence, it is often called an alligator pear. The skin and kernel of the fruit are discarded, and the yellow flash is eaten.
Avocados are nutritional powerhouses and contain a lot of healthy, monounsaturated fats. In addition, they have over twenty essential vitamins and minerals.
These super fruits have become incredibly popular over the last few years, and there are many recipes you can try. They’re very versatile and are often used in many dishes due to their mild, slightly nutty flavor and incredibly smooth texture.
Let’s look at the nutritional chart of avocados per 3,5 ounce (100 grams or one half of avocado) serving:
|Monounsaturated fat||11 grams|
As you can see, almost all fat in avocados is monounsaturated healthy fat. In fact, more than 80% of the carbs in avocados are from fat, which makes it one of the fattiest plants.
Since there are 8,5 grams of carbs and almost 7 grams are fiber, this means only 2 grams are net carbs. That means avocados are a low-carb food!
But what about minerals and vitamins? Let’s see the other chart:
|Potassium||14% of the RDI|
|Vitamin K||26% of the RDI|
|Folate||20% of the RDI|
|Vitamin C||17% of the RDI|
|Vitamin E||10% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B5||14% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||13% of the RDI|
Avocados also contain some amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamins B1(thiamine), B2(riboflavin), and B3(niacin).
Have you heard yet that avocados have more potassium than bananas? With 10% of the recommended daily intake, bananas are lower in potassium than avocados.
Health benefits of avocados:
- Improves heart health
- Great for vision
- May prevent osteoporosis
- Lowers the risk of depression
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- High folate levels reduce the risk of miscarriage
- Improves digestion
- Good for detoxication
- Protects from chronic diseases, etc.
Can I Eat Avocado Every Day?
Absolutely yes. Recent studies found out that eating avocados every day can lower your blood’s harmful cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health.
However, too much is also not good. Avocados also contain substances called sorbitol and polyols, which may affect people who have irritable bowel syndrome or sensitive stomaches overall. Too much avocado can cause bloating, gas, nausea, or intense gut pain.
How Long Do Avocados Last?
Unripe avocados usually need between 2-7 days to ripen. But, there’s no way of telling how long it will exactly take for one to do so. You just have to keep them at room temperature and check for ripeness every day.
Tip: If you want to speed up the ripening process, put avocado in the same fruit basket as banana, apple, or mango. The ethylene those fruits produce will significantly speed up the process.
A ripe avocado will have a shelf life between 3-5 days in the fridge (depending on fruit type and ripeness level) and 1-2 days at room temperature. Even if you store it in chilly temperatures, it will still start to brown.
As for cut avocados, they will start to brown very fast. Thus, it is for the best you use it within the first day or tomorrow.
How To Store Avocados?
Unripe avocados should be stored at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, you will stop the ripening process, and the fruit’s flesh will be firm and not soft.
Ripe avocados, on the other hand, need to be refrigerated to retain their quality. You can keep them in the veggie drawer. Just make sure it is nowhere near ethylene-producing veggies and fruits as it has already ripened enough at that point.
As for cut avocados, keep them sealed in an airtight container or freezer bag. To retain the cut or pureed avocados’ quality, simply sprinkle it with some lime or lemon juice. The acidic liquid will keep it fresh for longer.
Brown areas are going to happen, either way, so just cut them out and enjoy the rest of the fruit.
Lastly, you can also freeze avocados for longer-term storage. Just make a puree and mix it with some lemon juice. Then portion it in freezer bags or airtight containers, and you’re golden!
Signs Of Spoilage
Examining The Avocado
You first need to know which type you are examining. That’s because the dark brown or black color of the avocado’s skin can indicate spoilage in some varieties, while in others, it is perfectly normal.
But let’s say you have the most common Hass avocado. Look at the skin. Do you see any white specks on the skin’s surface? If you do, that’s mold, and you should discard that avocado.
Next off, if the skin has turned black and the avocado is mushy and overly soft to the touch, it is time to toss it. Remember that Hass avocados have green, bumpy skin when unripe, and then they progress to dark green or brown. The black color is not an option here.
Cut open the avocado, and if you notice that the flash has turned all brown or black, it has gone bad. Same thing if you see fibrous strings.
However, fibrous texture and brown skin or dark streaks do not always mean the avocado is necessarily spoiled. Fibrous strings can often be attributed to growing conditions, and some avocados harvested from young trees tend to have dark streaks. If everything else looks fine, you can eat that avocado.
However, in our experience, brown, fibrous flesh usually doesn’t taste quite delicious. It’s really up to you at that point.
Off Flavor Or Odor
Avocados have a mild taste and a slightly sweet, nutty aroma when they are ripe. If your avocado has developed a sour smell or taste, it may have bacterial spoilage, and you should get rid of it.
In contrast, if it has a somewhat chemical taste and smell, it means it has gone rancid. Rancidity happens due to the oxidation process. Don’t ever eat avocado that has gone rancid, because the fruit may have some toxic compounds as a result of rancidity.
Do Avocados Go Bad – Final Word
In conclusion, avocados do go bad. The crucial thing you need to bear in mind is that unripe avocado should not be held in the fridge as that will stop the ripening process.
Keep it on the countertop instead. You can also stash it in the same basket fruit with apples or bananas, as ethylene-rich fruits will speed up the ripening process. In general, there’s no way of knowing how long it will take it to ripen, but it is usually a few days’ time tops.
How to tell if the avocado is ripe? Just gently squeeze the fruit with your hands. If it is quite firm – it’s not ready yet. If it slightly yields to pressure, it is ready for consumption.
Signs of spoilage are apparent. Overly soft flesh with dented skin, the black color of the skin and flesh, mold specs, rancid or sour odor, fibrous strings in the flesh, and unpleasant taste, indicate your avocado is spoiled. You should toss such avocado immediately.
Moreover, there are times when you can still eat it. If only some parts have turned brown, you can scoop them off and eat the rest.
As for ripe avocado, you should store it in the fridge. Chilly temperatures will slow down further ripening so that you can enjoy it for a couple of more days. The same goes for avocado slices; just make sure they’re sealed tightly in an airtight container or freezer bag.
In the end, you can also freeze avocados and use them long-term.
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