Mental Floss

This Simple Storage Hack Can Help Make Your Avocados Last Longer

Michele Debczak
fcafotodigital/iStock via Getty Images
fcafotodigital/iStock via Getty Images / fcafotodigital/iStock via Getty Images

Anyone who buys avocados knows you sometimes have to structure your eating schedule around the finicky fruits. The window of ripeness for avocados is brief, and it can be hard to predict how long you have to wait after bringing them home from the grocery store to slice into them. If you don't wait long enough, they're hard and inedible; if you wait too long, they become mushy and discolored. Fortunately, the avocados in your kitchen don't have to be ticking time bombs. Using this clever storage trick, you can extend the lifespan of your avocados until you're ready to eat them.

According to Lifehacker, keeping avocados in a bowl of water in the fridge makes them last longer. Regular refrigeration preserves food by slowing down the activity of microbes that cause decay. Water has the added benefit of preventing oxidation, which is what makes the typically green flesh of an avocado turn grayish-brown over time.

Southern Living tested this hack against other common storage methods using three avocados. After five days on the countertop, their first avocado became overripe and brown inside. A second avocado that had been stored in the crisper drawer of a fridge became perfectly ripe in that same timeframe. The submersion approach had the most drastic effects: After sitting in a bowl of water in the fridge for five days, the third avocado had barely ripened and was still too hard to eat. A Facebook user who conducted their own informal test revealed in a viral post that storing avocados in cold water keeps them fresh for up to a month.

This trick isn't ideal for every situation. If you plan on turning your tough avocados into guacamole within a few days, you're better off letting them ripen on the counter (or loose in the fridge to delay their expiration date by a day or two). But if you bought a bag of avocados on sale and don't know what to do with them, storing them in a bowl of chilled water will make meal planning a lot less stressful.

For people who eat avocados on a regular basis, making them last longer may not be their top concern. Waiting for underripe avocados to soften can be just as frustrating as racing to eat them before they go bad. Here are some additional hacks for hurrying nature along.

[h/t Lifehacker]