We live in the age of the avocado. The smooth, creamy fruit has become our go-to toast topper, favourite salad filler and even earned its place in our soup recipes – yet we still struggle to preserve it when we don’t need the entire thing for one dish. So how do you stop avocado going brown once it’s been sliced?
The answer, according to a viral social media post, is simpler than you might expect. Posting in a sustainable Facebook group designed to help users cut down on food waste, one woman revealed that her secret to keeping her avos looking fresh and green is a glaze of coconut oil.
‘Brush melted coconut oil over your avocado to keep it sealed,’ she advised, in a tip that one commenter dubbed ‘life changing’. The consistency of coconut oil depends on the temperature it’s stored at, so you may find you have to liquify yours first – but either way, it’s still a quick and easy way to save any piece of avocado that you’re not quite ready to enjoy yet.
Avocados turn brown when their protective outer layer is because they contain an enzyme which causes their flesh to oxidise when it comes into contact with the air. Coating the flesh with coconut oil will help to reduce this impact, keeping it at the right stage of ripeness ready for your next meal.
Other ways to stop avocado going brown include squeezing lemon or lime juice across the sliced surface, or leaving the seed in the centre of any leftover halves to minimise the exposure to air in the hollow. You can also try storing your avocado in an airtight container, which has a similar effect – and according to Dana Velden of The Kitchn, adding a piece of onion to this tub can keep your avocado tasty for even longer.
‘I suspect that it has to do with the sulfur compounds that the onion releases,’ she says. ‘This is the same sulfur that makes you cry when you chop onions, but it is also used as a preservative.’
The more you know…