A Simple Trick to Prevent Your Guacamole from Browning

iStock.com/Roxiller / iStock.com/Roxiller

So you’ve found the perfect guacamole recipe to whip up for your Cinco de Mayo party. There’s just one tiny problem: If you get stuck with leftovers, you’ll have to polish off those chips and dip pretty quickly before the mashed-up avocados start to turn an icky shade of brown.

While this may not be the worst problem to have, there’s a simple way to extend your guacamole’s shelf life, according to TheKitchn’s editor-in-chief, Faith Durand. Once your guacamole has been prepared and placed in a bowl, add a little bit of water until a thin layer covers the top. Durand, who is also a cookbook author, acknowledges that this may sound odd or unappetizing to some, but “water is a perfect barrier against oxygen, and since guacamole is dense, a little liquid won’t water it down.”

When you’re ready to eat the guacamole, just dump out the water and stir it up. Durand says you won’t notice any difference in texture, and the guacamole will keep for up to three days, making it perfect for multiple snacking sessions.

Adding the avocado pit to your bowl of pre-prepared guacamole can also technically help prevent “fruit rust,” as Live Science puts it, but it isn’t a very sound method. This is because it only protects the little bit of guacamole it touches by shielding it from oxygen. So while the areas surrounding the pit will be green, the rest will be brown. “Recommending that someone leave the pits in a bowl of guacamole to prevent browning is a bit like recommending that people cover their heads tightly with their hands to prevent their hair from getting wet in a rainstorm,” Eli MacKinnon writes for Live Science.

The internet is also rife with “kitchen hacks” for preserving whole avocados, but like anything else, some are more effective than others. If you’re going to cut an avocado and only eat half of it, Epicurious recommends eating the half without the pit. That’s because the pit, once again, can help keep your avocado green for a longer period of time. For good measure, squeeze a little lemon juice onto the surface of the exposed avocado and then cover it with plastic wrap. You can do the same for guacamole, and it should keep for at least a couple of hours as long as the plastic wrap tightly hugs the surface of the guacamole.

[h/ The Kitchn]