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How Long Do Avocados Last? Your Ultimate Guide.

Did you buy too many avocados and want to know if you can keep them for a few more days? Are you wondering, ‘How long do avocados last?’ Well, wonder no more because, in this article, we’ll answer that question and provide more tips on storing avocadoes.

Avocadoes are so versatile and delicious. They make a great healthy snack on the go. They are often sold in bulk, leading to some leftovers that spoil fast. With the knowledge in this article, you will be sure to get the most out of your avocados and waste as little as possible.

table top with avocados sliced open

What Are Avocados?

Avocados are fleshy fruits that only have one seed. They are technically balloon-shaped berries, with yellow-green flesh and leathery skin typically green when unripe but becomes dark purple upon ripening.

Unlike most fruits, avocados are not sweet, even when ripe. Instead, they are earthy and creamy and subtly nutty. They are highly nutritious, rich in monosaturated fats, and provide fiber, folate, and potassium.

How To Eat Avocados

Because avocados have a mild flavor, they can be used in savory and sweet applications. 

Mashed avocadoes are the main ingredient in the famous savory Mexican dip guacamole. They can also be added to scrambled eggs.  

Sliced avocadoes can be put on top of toasts alongside extra virgin olive oil. They also make good toppings for sushi rolls. 

Avocados are also great when stuffed, grilled, fried, and pickled

In some countries, they are the top ingredients for smoothies, fruit shakes, and even ice cream

How Long Do Avocados Last?

Unripe avocados can last for a maximum of 7 days at room temperature. Once ripe, they should go into the fridge to stay fresh for another 3-5 days. 

A ripe avocado, cut or mashed, will last for 24 hours in the fridge. 

Mashed avocado or cut avocado lasts the longest when stored in the freezer because it will still be good even after six months.

Why Do Avocados Ripen So Fast?

Avocados ripen incredibly fast because they produce a high level of naturally-occurring gas called ethylene, which is responsible for the ripening process. Because of this, they ripen faster than fruits that do not produce that much ethylene gas, such as oranges and grapes. 

Why Do Avocados Turn Brown?

Like apples, avocados’ flesh quickly turns brown after exposure to oxygen. This is because some compounds in the fruit oxidize and, as a consequence, produce a brown, unappealing color.

However, that is not the only reason for the browning. Another reason is that cutting the avocados themselves damages the structure of their cells. This damage manifests as a brown color on the surface.

How Can I Tell If Avocados Are Ripe?

Depending on the variety, an avocado may or may not change its skin color even when it has ripened.

That said, a green avocado does not automatically mean that it is unripe. For instance, a ripe Shepard avocado maintains a green skin, while the skin of a Hass avocado will turn from green to dark purple when ripe.

Because of this, telling when an avocado is ripe can be tricky because you cannot depend on the skin color alone.

Here are three more ways to tell if avocados are ready to eat:

  1. Observe how it reacts to gentle pressure.

Lightly squeeze the fruit and see if it yields. If it does, then your avocados are most probably ripe.

  1. Check the texture of the skin.

Unripe avocados usually have smooth skin, but they turn leathery and bumpy once they ripen. Feel the skin of your avocado. If it is far from smooth, then you have a ripe one.

  1. Do the stem cap test.

Try to remove the tiny bit of the remaining stem on top of the fruit. If it doesn’t budge, you are dealing with unripe avocado. On the other hand, if you can remove it quickly, you have a ripe one. Do check if you see green or brown on the spot where you removed the stem. You want to see green because brown means you have an overripe fruit. 

large sliced ripe avocado in the palm of the hand

How To Use Overripe Avocados

Finding out that the avocados you have waited to ripen are already overripe can be disheartening. With that, you may not be able to eat them the way you initially planned. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw them out right away. 

Here are some ways to incorporate overripe avocados into your meals:

  • Use overripe avocados to make smoothies. Once blended in with the other ingredients, you won’t even notice that they are too ripe.
  • Make a salad dressing out of mashed overripe avocados.
  • Bake a batch of avocado brownies.
  • Add to scrambled eggs.

If the idea of eating an overripe avocado does not sound good to you, you can use them to make facial or hair masks.

That said, the last thing you should do is throw them away.

Tips For Storing Avocados

If properly stored, the shelf life of avocados can be maximized. 

Here are some useful avocado storing tips:

  • Never leave your unripe avocados in an enclosed container like a paper bag for more than 3 days. The ethylene they produce will quicken the ripening process, and you will end up with overripe fruit. However, if you need the avocados to ripen quickly, do the opposite. 
  • Do not store unripe avocados in the fridge for more than 2 weeks because low temperatures interfere with the ripening process. Refrigerating them before they have the chance to ripen will not prolong their life. Instead, it would leave you with useless mushy avocados that will never ripen properly.
  • When storing cut avocados, spray lemon or lime juice on the surface before keeping them in the fridge to prevent browning. The acid in the lime or lemon juice effectively slows the oxidation process, making it effective against browning. 
  • Keep your avocados away from other fruits that also produce ethylene or those that are sensitive to it. For instance, don’t store them near bananas, apples, lemons, and grapes because they will speed up each other’s ripening and decaying process. ‘
  • If you plan to store avocados long-term, freezing them is the best way. However, be mindful that avocados should be ripe and then mashed or cut before freezing because when you free them whole, they will be very mushy when you thaw them.

When To Discard Avocados

Regardless of how hard you try to prolong their shelf life, avocados will still go bad and will need to be thrown away. 

Here are four signs that you should look for:

1. Presence of mold

Just like in other food items, if you see that mold has already grown in the fruit, it is way beyond saving. Remember that mold grows deep, so you cannot just cut off the moldy part and eat the rest of the avocado. To be on the safe side, discard it altogether.

2. Overly soft texture

Ripe avocados feel soft to the touch, enough to yield when gentle pressure is applied. On the other hand, spoiled ones are so soft they can get punctured when you squeeze them a little. 

3. Pungent smell

Avocados have a subtle, almost unnoticeable smell. If you detect a powerful sour odor from the fruit, it is a surefire sign that you have rotten avocados.

4. Dark brown flesh

The flesh of a fresh avocado has a vibrant yellow-green color. If you see that it has lost its natural color and has become brown, discard it because it is already rotten. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if avocados have gone bad?

You will know that avocados have gone bad if it already has mold. In addition, if they give off a pungent smell and are overly soft to the touch, you should throw them away because they are no longer fit for consumption.

Can avocados last two weeks?

Yes, avocados can last for two weeks if you buy them unripe and store them uncut in the fridge immediately. The cold temperature will slow the ripening process so that they won’t spoil as fast. 

Final Thoughts

How long do avocados last? Well, the answer to that question depends on many factors, including how ripe it is when you bought them and where you will store them.

With proper handling and storage, avocados can last from 7 days to 6 months. There are rules to follow to ensure you get the best out of storing, refrigerating, or freezing an avocado.

For instance, storing unripe avocados in the freezer is a no-no, while applying some acid to the surface of cut avocados to prevent browning and not letting whole unripe avocados sit in the fridge for more than two weeks are among the best practices.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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