Cooking Tip: Ripe Avocados in the Fridge

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A long time ago, I read somewhere that if you keep whole, ripe avocados in the fridge, they will last for several more days so you can actually use them. We all know there’s a very fine line between “ripe for eating” and “into the compost bin” for avocados. And most of the time, I buy several because they’re cheaper in bulk. So looking to save money and reduce food waste, I followed this tip.

And it worked!

The tip worked so well that if I knew I wasn’t getting to an avocado right away, or if more than one were just about ripe, I would toss them into my fridge and get to them within the next few days.

I never figured out how many more days putting an avocado into the fridge would buy me before it went overripe since I usually got to them within the next three or four days. Recently, I tested the limits…not on purpose, though.

Several weeks ago, my dear friend from England arrived for a visit and we had planned to go on a road trip that would keep us away from my home for about two weeks. Some days before her arrival, I tossed an avocado into the fridge, thinking I’d get to it before we set off on the trip. But life happens, it was neglected, and left in the fridge as Kate and I roamed through four different states in my car, stopping off at as many national parks as we could squeeze into our route.

When we came back, the poor lonely avocado sat neglected still on the top shelf of my fridge, unused until a couple days later when my friend was finally on a plane back home and I had to figure out what to have for dinner without swinging by a grocery store.

The poor little avocado looked grim. The skin was shriveled and wrinkled, it had gone from a green color to this weird black that some gothic mermaid would dye its hair. My logical brain said I should just toss it and cut my losses, but my hunger compelled me to cut it open to check it out at least. Or maybe it was my morals? After all, I killed the thing with neglect, I should see how bad the damage was.

I cut through the now extra leathery skin, drug my knife through the soft flesh of it around the pit, then I gave it a twist to pull the two halves apart. And I saw that it was…perfectly fine! There was a dark spot towards the stem that needed to be scooped out and discarded. But other than that, the avocado was still good to eat!

By my counts, it lasted an additional 18 days in the fridge.

So…the moral of the story: keep ripe avocados in the fridge so you don’t have to throw them out! Or maybe just eat your avocados as soon as they’re ripe.

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