Why are avocados popular?
Avocados are a common and popular addition to meals. They are delicious fresh but can quickly begin to turn brown. When preserving uneaten portions of this fruit, can you freeze avocado? You may have good results if you select an avocado that is ripe or yields to pressure and is free from blemishes.
Avocado has been a mainstay for several years in areas like California, but it's remained a rarity in other areas. In the past few years, it has become popular for many reasons. It is diet-friendly, healthy, and can be eaten in many ways. Throughout the country, you can find it being eaten:
- straight from its tree
- cut up into a salad
- sliced on the millennial favorite, avocado toast
- smashed up into a dip
Avacado is a fruit that can help with controlling overeating. It has good fat and is full of fiber, both of which allow you to feel full longer. It is an excellent source of vitamins and lives up to all the hype.
What are the health benefits of avocado?
High in fiber: Diets with high fiber content yield benefits like lowered cholesterol, lowered blood sugar, and decreased risk of colon cancer and other types of cancer. It is recommended that women get 25 grams and men get 35 grams of avocado for their daily intake. Most people do not get these amounts. At one gram per tablespoon, avocado has about 10 grams per fruit.
Healthy fats: Good fats contribute to a balanced diet. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in avocado are good, and eating them has been shown to lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Studies state that avocado in daily diets can help overweight and obese people keep bad cholesterol down.
Stay full longer: Fiber and fat combined together give a powerful benefit. Eating avocado can help you to feel full much longer. Studies show that people trying to lose weight who consumed half a fresh avocado during lunch did not feel hungry again after eating.
In addition to keeping you full through its supply of fiber and fat, avocado has several vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The small fruit is a healthy source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Nutrients have to be absorbed by the body for the body to benefit. The fatty content of avocados aids in absorption as well.
How do you freeze an avocado?
The following are four ways to freeze avocado:
Whole: Thoroughly rinse the outer skin. Dry and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in a reusable silicon bag or freezer-resistant bag. Seal it, then freeze.
Sliced: Take out the avocado pit and cut the avocado into pieces. Get rid of the peel. Place pieces onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spray with lemon juice, and solidly freeze it. Once frozen, place your avocado into a freezer bag or container, seal it, and replace it in the freezer.
In half: Slice your avocado length/longwise around the pit. After separating, spray each side with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the air, then seal it. Bags should be placed in a flat layer in the freezer until frozen hard to stop clumping.
Mashed: Mash ripe avocados with added lime or lemon juice in a bowl with a large fork. It also can be pureed or placed in a potato masher. Move the mashed avocado to a freezer-ready container, and freeze. This is an easy way to prep guacamole.
What affects avocado freezing and storage?
The condition of the avocado at the time of freezing will dictate its final condition post-freezing. Frozen food will be no better than the original condition before it was frozen. While canning may sterilize food, freezing does not. It slows the growth of germs and lessens chemical changes that alter food quality and lead to food spoilage.
Microorganisms: When you freeze an avocado, you want small ice crystals to form. A fast freeze method is the easiest way to make a small ice crystal form. Larger ice crystals caused by slow freezing will likely rupture cells in the fruit, leading to a less than appealing texture change due to microorganisms.
Freezing temperature: To keep frozen foods of top quality, keep your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less. The life of your avocado's storage decreases as the temperature increases. Constant changes in temperature will make the ice crystals larger and will damage the avocado cells and make them mushier. Temperature changes can also cause water to leave the fruit of the avocado.
Air: Oxygen located in the air can cause changes in color or flavor if your avocado is packaged improperly.
Enzymes: Enzyme actions are controlled by heating, freezing, and chemical composites. Enzymatic activity is slowed by freezing. Meat, fruit, and other frozen foods will keep their freshness with almost no further intervention. The browning and loss of vitamin c due to enzymes in fruits are dictated by chemical compounds called antioxidants.
Moisture evaporation: Packaging is important to keep the avocado and other foods from drying out. It also preserves flavor, color, texture, and nutrition. Package labels will post if regular foods are ok to be stored in the freezer. To control moisture evaporation, packaging material should be.
- leakproof and durable
- vapor/moisture-proof and moisture resistant
- resistant to becoming brittle and cracking at freezing temperatures
- made of food-grade material
- fills and seals easily
- resistant to grease oil, and water
- flavor and odors protective of foods
- storage and marking accessible
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cedars-Sinai: "In Case You Need a Reason to Eat More Avocado."
MasterClass: "Guide to Freezing Avocados: 4 Freezing Methods for Avocados."
North Dakota State University: "Food Freezing Guide."
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