There’s no denying that avocados are delicious and healthy whether consumed on their own, in salads, sandwiches, or other dishes.
The only problem is that they can quickly turn brown after being sliced open. This can ruin the appearance of your dish and make it less appetizing.
However, you may have noticed that you almost always get fresh guacamole at a restaurant.
This has likely left you wondering how they manage to keep their avocados from turning brown. After all, you’ve tried every trick in the book, yet nothing seems to work.
Restaurants will keep sliced avocados green by submerging the avocado slices in water, wrapping the avocados in plastic wrap, or brushing the avocado slices with oil or lemon juice. As long as the avocado is kept away from oxygen then the avocado will remain green.
Now let’s dive into why avocados turn brown and 5 methods for keeping your sliced avocados green!
Why Avocados Turn Brown After Slicing
Is there anything more disappointing than slicing into a beautiful avocado only to find that it’s already browning moments later?
Unfortunately, this is a common problem that many people face. In truth, lots of avocado lovers prefer to avoid eating browning avocados, but the reason behind the browning is actually pretty interesting.
Avocados, like many fruits and vegetables, contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase.
This enzyme is responsible for the browning that occurs when the fruit is cut open and exposed to oxygen. When the avocado is cut, the enzyme comes into contact with the oxygen in the air and begins to oxidize, turning brown as a result.
The process of turning brown is actually believed to be a defensive mechanism for the fruit. That’s in consideration that the fruit is expected to ward off pests and animals that would be attracted to it if it were to remain green.
In addition, the brown layer plays a protective role as it keeps bacteria and other pathogens from entering the fruit.
See this article if you’re wondering if overripe avocados are safe to eat. There are still ways to use overripe avocados if they have not yet spoiled.
5 Methods for Keeping Sliced Avocados Green
Now that you know why avocados turn brown, you’re probably wondering how restaurants keep their avocados looking green and fresh.
The good news is that there are a few methods that can be used to prevent or slow down the browning process. Let’s review them so that you can choose the one that suits you best:
1. Seal with Plastic Wrap
One of the easiest and most reliable ways to keep your avocado slices from turning brown is to simply seal them with plastic wrap. This will create a barrier between the avocado and the oxygen, slowing down the browning process.
To do this, simply place your avocado slices on a plate or cutting board and cover them with plastic wrap. Make sure that the wrap is tight against the avocado so that no oxygen can get in.
You can also place the avocado in a sealable bag after wrapping it in plastic wrap. This should provide an extra layer of protection.
2. The Pit Method
One of the most popular methods for keeping avocados green is to leave the pit in the fruit. That’s because leaving the pit in contact with the avocado flesh will help to slow down the browning process.
So the pit method really only works by keeping air away from the avocado. Any avocado flesh that is exposed to air will still turn brown even with the pit inside the avocado.
To avoid this or maybe even slow down the process of browning in the uncovered parts, you should place the half-sliced avocado inside an airtight container.
If any parts of the avocado do turn brown then simply remove the brown parts before eating it.
3. Water Bath Method
Another popular method for keeping sliced avocados green is to submerge the avocado in water. This will help to prevent oxygen from coming into contact with the fruit and turning it brown.
The water bath method is pretty simple. All you need to do is fill a bowl with cold water and add the avocado slices.
Make sure that the slices are fully submerged and leave them in the water for not more than 4 hours.
This is actually the method that chefs and cooks use in restaurants when they have to prepare avocados in advance.
Given the short working time of this method, however, it might not be practical for the home cooks who may need to store a sliced avocado for more than four hours.
4. Brushing with Oil or Lemon Juice
Another effective way to keep your sliced avocado from browning is to brush it with oil.
You can use either vegetable oil or olive oil for this purpose. The main aim is to create a barrier between the fruit and the oxygen.
After brushing your fruits with oil, you can place them inside an airtight container to keep them as fresh as possible for approximately one day.
In a similar way, you can replace the oil with lemon or lime juice to slow down the browning.
5. Use Onions
Did you know that onions are an avocado’s BFF (Brown Fighting Friend)? You didn’t? Well, onions have sulfur compounds that slow down the browning process of an avocado when they are slowly released.
All that you have to do to nail this method is to chop up your onion into flat pieces. Once you’ve done that, place them in an airtight container, and then lay your sliced avocado on the top.
The best thing about using this method is that it takes you one step closer to having your incredible homemade guacamole ready.
5 Method Recap
All the five methods we’ve just reviewed should help you keep your avocado slices looking fresh for longer. The most appropriate method is simply the one that helps you keep your avocados away from oxygen for as long as possible.
To find the most effective method, you would have to go through a series of trials and errors. The good news is that even if your avocado slices do turn brown, they are still safe to eat.
You may have noticed that we did not recommend freezing avocados. Although freezing avocados can preserve them for up to 6 months, this method does have some drawbacks.
Now let’s cover when an avocado is no longer safe to eat.
How To Tell When an Avocado is No Longer Safe to Eat
When experimenting with the five methods of keeping avocados from browning, it’s important to know when to draw the line. After all, you don’t want to risk getting sick by eating an avocado that’s no longer safe to consume.
Here are a few signs that will tell you when an avocado has gone bad:
1. The Color is Not Green
If every part of your avocado’s flesh has changed from green to brown or black, then it’s probably no longer safe to eat.
2. The Texture is Mushy
If the avocado feels mushy to the touch, then it’s probably overripe or decaying and no longer safe to eat.
3. There is Mold on the Surface
Should you see any mold on the surface of your avocado, then you don’t want to take the risk.
4. The Avocado Gives Off a Rancid Smell
Whenever you notice a rancid smell coming from your avocado, then it’s definitely time to toss it out.
When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw the avocado out. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
We hope this article has given you some useful tips on how to keep avocados from turning brown. So, the next time you’re slicing up an avocado for your salad or guacamole, you’ll know exactly what to do!
Do you have any other tips on how to keep avocados from turning brown? Share them with us in the comments below!