There's a lot to love about avocados. In addition to being creamy and delicious, they're also packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and good-for-you fats. The only real downside to avocados is that the window for when they are perfectly ripe can be quite small. One minute, you've got a rock hard avocado on the counter and the next it's a mushy, brown mess. The good news is that you can safely freeze avocados for several months to use in a wide variety of dishes.
Previously frozen avocados don't have quite the same smooth, firm texture of fresh ones, so they're best for recipes that call for mashing, puréeing or blending—think soups, dips, smoothies, sauces and salad dressing. In other words, you want to avoid dishes that depend too much on the original texture of avocado. This means salads aren't a great option, nor is anything that requires sliced or cubed avocado. To see how easy it is to freeze and thaw avocado and discover recipes for using them, read on.
How to Freeze Avocados
As with all food preservation, it's best to freeze avocados when they are ripe rather than when they're really better suited for the trash or compost bin.
The best option is to freeze avocado as a purée
In a blender or food processor, combine cut avocado with fresh lemon or lime juice (use about 1 tablespoon of juice for every medium avocado) and process until smooth. Next, transfer the avocado to an airtight freezer bag, leaving a little room for expansion; then label, date and freeze for up ot four months.
You can mash the avocado and add citrus juice by hand, but using a blender or food processor ensures the acid is evenly distributed throughout, which helps preserve the avocado and prevent browning. When deciding how smooth to make your mashed avocado, consider how you'll use it—if you want to make guacamole with some texture, leave it a bit chunky. And if you have the choice between lemon and lime juice, think about how you'll use the avocado once it's defrosted.
Another option is to freeze avocado halves
If you don't want to make a purée, another option is to cut avocados in half, remove the pit and peel and brush the flesh with lemon or lime juice before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap, followed by an airtight plastic bag—remember to label and date the bag. The texture of the avocado will suffer a bit more using this method but it is a bit faster than puréeing or mashing avocados for freezing. The one thing you definitely want to avoid is trying to freeze chunks or slices of avocado, which will suffer the most in terms of texture and color.
How to Thaw Avocados
The easiest way to thaw frozen avocado is to simply place it in the refrigerator until ready to use—defrosting happens pretty quickly. If you are in a hurry and took the time to mash or purée avocados, you can speed up the defrosting process by submerging the freezer bag in a bowl of cold water.
How to Use Previously Frozen Avocados
Thawed avocado, especially if you mashed it or puréed it for freezing does best in recipes that also call for mashing or puréeing, including smoothies, soups, pesto and salad dressing. Guacamole, avocado hummus and other avocado dips are a great way to use previous frozen avocado, too, and you can even add some cubes of fresh avocado if you want a chunkier texture.
You can also combine defrosted avocado to make chocolate pudding or a chocolate shake or add tequila and blend up frozen margaritas. Depending on the taste and texture of thawed avocado, you may be able to make avocado toast or use the avocado in tacos, quesadillas or burritos.
This article was written by Lauren Salkeld from EatingWell and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.