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How to Keep Avocado from Turning Brown

September 6, 2011 Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta 0 Comments

How to Keep Avocado from Turning Brown

Avocados are as nutritious as they are versatile but anyone who has prepared them at home knows that it is difficult maintaining their bright green color. When avocados are exposed to air they very quickly turn a brown color and while it won’t affect the taste of your dish it does make it less visually appealing. While it is impossible to keep the flesh of an avocado bright green forever there are a few culinary techniques you can try to slow down the discoloring process.

Avocado Origins

Originating in Mexico, it is believed that humans have been consuming avocados since 10,000 B.C. Today avocados are grown all over the world but their specific climate, soil and water needs regulate them to very specific areas. Mexico, Indonesia and the U.S. are currently the world’s largest producers annually. When shopping for avocados look for ones that yield to light pressure but are not too squishy. If you are not planning on using your avocados right away you can also purchase ones that are hard and allow them to ripen on a counter at home. If your avocados are ripening too quickly storing them in the refrigerator will slow down the process.

Uses and Health Benefits

While many people think avocados are just used in guacamole they are actually a very diverse ingredient. Atlanta cooking schools frequently use them to prepare omelets, salads and sandwiches and they are a common addition to sushi rolls and dips. In other parts of the world avocados are even used in milk shakes, ice creams and desserts and in Ethiopia a juice is made by combining avocado with water, lemon and sugar. The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels and they are also a rich source of vitamin B 6, folic acid, potassium and antioxidants.

Preparing an Avocado

The flesh of an avocado turns brown when the enzymes it contains are exposed to air and oxidize. To slow down the process there a few things you can do at home. Once you have halved your avocado and removed the pit sprinkle the flesh with a little lemon or lime juice the acid in the juice will slow down the enzyme reaction. The only other effective way to reduce browning is to keep your avocado or the dishes prepared from it wrapped up tightly as much as possible. If you decide to make guacamole ahead of time make sure to press your plastic wrap right into the dip to push out any extra air and seal the edges tightly this combined with the lime juice inside will ensure a few extra hours of freshness for your dish. While eventually all avocados will brown following these steps will help the dishes you prepare maintain their vibrant color as long as possible. If you would like to learn more tips for improving the dishes you prepare Atlanta cooking schools offer a variety of courses featuring culinary techniques you might enjoy.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Atlanta for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.   Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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