Preserving avocados is not a common practice. However, avocados are often enjoyed as guacamole and soup. Both preparations begin with mashed avocado, which is easy to preserve by freezing. If you have an excess supply of fresh avocados, you can scoop out the flesh, purée it and freeze for use in guacamole, avocado soup, and other avocado recipes. Puréed avocado also makes great baby food. Delicious but less common avocado recipes include desserts such as cake and ice cream. Most surprising of all, preserving avocados as a refrigerator pickle is a great way to extend your enjoyment of this healthful fruit.
Frozen avocado purée
Freeze creamy avocado purée for use in guacamole, salad dressing, or as a sandwich spread. Use frozen purée within five months.
To freeze avocado purée, choose ripe fruit and wash under running water. Cut in half with a sharp knife, remove the pit, and use a spoon to scoop out flesh. Be sure to scrape off all of the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin—research shows that it is high in healthful antioxidants. Purée avocado flesh in a food processor or blender and add an acid (such as lemon or lime juice) to prevent browning during storage. Use one tablespoon fresh or bottled lemon or lime juice for each avocado. Mashing by hand is not as effective, because the acid in the juice is not evenly distributed throughout the purée.
Spoon mashed avocado into a freezer-safe container, leaving 1 inch headspace. Press a piece of parchment or wax paper over the surface of the avocado purée to prevent the top layer from turning brown. Close the container securely, label, and freeze. Puréed avocado may also be packaged in zipper-style freezer bags; press to remove all air before sealing bag. Place bag on a tray to freeze flat and maximize storage space.
Frozen avocado baby food
Prepare frozen avocado baby food in a similar way to frozen avocado purée, omitting the lemon or lime juice. Combine the avocado with the flesh of another fruit such as banana, mango, papaya, pear, or peach. Thin the mixture if desired using water or juice to make an easy-to-swallow purée. Spoon into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. When frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and transfer to a zipper-style freezer bag or other freezer safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Pickled avocado recipes
Preserve firm to ripe avocados by pickling. Immerse slices or cubes in your favorite pickling solution (such as bread and butter pickles). Like other pickled foods, the avocado can last several days to several weeks, depending on preparation. For longest storage, sterilize the pickling container and choose slightly under-ripe (mature) avocados.
A quick and easy pickling solution is the sweet and mild Japanese style tsukemono. Combine in a small bowl 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sake, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over slices or cubes of avocado. Refrigerate and use within 3 days.
Find another pickled avocado recipe in the links at the end of this article. Use avocado pickles like you would any other refrigerator vegetable pickle, to top a burger or to accompany meals, especially vegetarian meals based on grains or grilled meats like chicken or fish.
Choosing and storing fresh avocados
An unripe avocado will feel very hard and may be ripened at home in about four to five days at room temperature (about 70°F). To shorten the ripening period, place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with a fresh, unpeeled apple or banana for two to three days, or until the avocados are ripe. A ripe avocado is firm, but gives slightly when gently pressed. Refrigerate avocados to slow further ripening. Overripe avocados will have dents on the surface and feel soft when gently pressed; use immediately or freeze for longer storage.
For more information about preserving avocados and other food preservation methods and recipes, see the book The Home Preserving Bible by Carole Cancler, New York: Alpha Books, 2012; available from Amazon and other booksellers everywhere.
Avocado recipes to get you started
Use frozen avocado purée to make any of these recipes.
- Guacamole from allrecipes.com
- Avocado and Cucumber Soup with Feta and Yogurt from Hass Avocados
- California Avocado Bisque from Hass Avocados
- Chicken-and-Avocado Soup with Fried Tortillas from Food & Wine
- Pickled Avocados from avocadodiva.blogspot.com
- Avocado Cake (similar to banana or zucchini bread) from avocado.com
- Avocado and Coconut Ice Cream from avocado.com
- Avocado Ice from epicurious.com
- Avocado Milkshake from avocado.com
Preserving avocados in season is a great way to extend their use throughout the year. Make frozen avocado purée to enjoy in avocado recipes from guacamole and soup, to cake and ice cream.