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Should You Store Avocados In Water? Here's What Happened When We Tried It

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
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There's a new TikTok trend in town, and this time it's all about one of our favorite foods: the avocado. As we all know, keeping unused halves of avocados fresh (and green) until we're ready for them is a struggle that usually requires gadgets or excess wrapping. This new viral trend aims to maximize your leftover avo's freshness with minimal supplies, using a simple yet surprising tool: water.

What exactly is this avocado storage trick?

The original video was shared by Tik Tok user @kmag1, and although that post appears to be taken down, others are still circulating. Here's the trick: Grab a bowl of water and the half of the avocado you want to store (be sure to keep the pit inside!). Place the avocado half facedown, and fill the bowl with enough water to submerge it.

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So, does it work? We tested it out.

Since the mbg team is lucky enough to work from home during the pandemic, I've been upping the ante on my midday meals. Avocados are a constant feature in my kitchen, making appearances on my plate for everything from guacamole to dessert (yep, really). So when I saw this hack circulating, I decided to try it myself, in order to accurately report just how well it worked.

In theory, this hack is supposed to work because the water keeps air from getting to the open fruit. Avocados, like some other fruits (apples come to mind) turn brown because oxygen in the air causes the flesh to oxidize. So in order to keep the fruit green, you need an airtight seal. Since water adheres to the groves and curves of the fruit, it theoretically blocks all air from making contact.

Here's how it went for me: Yesterday morning I sliced open an avocado and stored one half in a small container of water. Today, just about 24 hours later, I examined my avocado experiment. The good news: It was still pretty green! There was a small amount of browning, which I assumed was due to the oxygen exposure it got while I was making breakfast the previous day.

The texture of the external part of the green flesh was a bit, for lack of a better word, slimy—but as soon as I sliced it up and mashed it onto a bit of toast, the texture seemed totally normal. All in all, yeah, it works. However, I don't think I'd leave it for more than a day. And I don't know if it's necessarily the best way to store an open avocado.

What are some other strategies?

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There's a lot of methods for storing avocado, which isn't a surprise given the fruit's popularity (and its fickle shelf life). Because of how often I eat them, I do actually own one of those avocado-shaped containers that are supposed to help save the fruit, and I find it works pretty well—though other people have had less luck. Similar to the water trick, though, I wouldn't leave any avocado in the fridge for over 24 hours.

"What I usually do is leave the pit in the unused half and wrap it very tightly," dietitian Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, told mindbodygreen, "to prevent oxygen from interacting with the enzyme in the avocado and turning it brown."

Like me, she finds this strategy keeps the avocado fresh for as long as necessary: "That usually only buys about a day, but it's not like avocados go very long without being eaten in my home, anyway!"

The other method she recommends is brushing some lemon or lime juice on the surface of the avocado, "as the antioxidants in the citrus help slow down that browning process," says Cording. Once again, this only slows that browning process—it won't prevent it completely.

Looking for other ways to stretch your avocado longevity? There are actually a couple of tricks that may help you find the perfect avocado in the store. And when you do bring them home, only store them on the counter to soften if you want to use them within three days—otherwise, pop them in the fridge and take them out three days before you use them. And believe it or not, you can even freeze avocados to keep them perfectly ripe for months.

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