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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Freezing Avocados

The day after the Super Bowl, I stopped in at my local Fareway and discovered they were clearing out some beautiful avocados for 25 cents each. (They also had big bunches of cilantro at 3 for $1 along with their usual good specials.)

Unable to pass up such a bargain, I brought home 12 large avocados and let them soften a few days. After I had made a few batches of guacamole and had enjoyed others in salads, I started to wonder if I could freeze the eight still sitting on the counter, now perfectly soft and ready to eat.

According to the California Avocado Board--who better to know--I could actually freeze these without making them into guacamole. Their instructions are here:

http://www.californiaavocado.com/blog/september-2015/how-to-freeze-california-avocados

Reading through their site, including many of the comments that suggested variations, I decided to try this approach:

1.  Place a small amount of lemon juice in a shallow dish. I used ReaLemon straight from the refrigerator.
2.  Wash each avocado and cut in half. Remove but retain the pit.
3.  Put each half cut side down in the lemon juice. Add the pit and roll it around a bit to get lemon juice on most of the surface.
4.  Cut pieces of plastic wrap about 6 to 8 inches X he width of your wrap. Lay a piece of the wrap across the cut side of one half. Press the pit into the depression from which it came.
5.  Carefully fold the wrap back over the pit, taking care not to pull the wrap away from the first half.
6.  Place the other half back onto the side with the pit and press tightly. Press any overhanging plastic wrap around the sides of the avocado.
7.  Place the wrapped avocados in a freezer weight plastic bag and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. (I put the freezer bag into yet another heavy plastic bag, just to be sure.) Label and freeze immediately.

So, did it work?

Yes, decidedly so.  The last of these kept for several months, coming out of the freezer as well as any purchased frozen avocados. They were perfect for guacamole, avocado toast, etc. Though I didn't slice any of the thawed ones for a salad or other garnish, I believe they would have worked well in that way too, if sliced and served while still not quite thawed.

I have successfully repeated this approach, but they do take a bit more freezer space than just mashing the avocado and stirring in a little lemon or lime juice before packing into plastic bags and freezing them into compact, flat little packages. The secret to either approach is to be sure to package the avocado in an air-tight manner, to keep browning to a minimum.

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