Brown fruits! Urgh.
There’s nothing more unpleasant than leaving a cut fruit on the counter or in the fridge, and in mere minutes, the fruit starts turning brown!
It starts with a small speckling and slowly grows and now the entire fruit is covered with a nasty brown tinge.
However, browning fruit is completely natural.
You can still eat a brown avocado.
It may have lost some of its nutritional value and flavor, but it is still perfectly safe to eat.
Fruits turn brown because of a process called oxidization, a chemical reaction when the flesh comes into contact with the oxygen in the air.
Oxidization starts the moment you slice open an avocado.
You can still eat the pieces despite them not being as succulent.
While we sometimes mistakenly assume the brown color on food means it’s gone bad, this is not a sign your avocado has spontaneously begun to spoil.
The decision has to be made based on your best judgment, of course.
When an avocado is completely brown and squishy after standing out for a week, it’s too late to eat it and should be trashed.
When making guacamole, on the other hand, you can use an avocado that has slight discoloration but otherwise is perfectly ripe.
Nevertheless, you should overcome the notion that it is unattractive simply because it has lost its true color.
As a pro tip, if you are looking to prolong the color of the avocado, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it to prevent it from browning too rapidly.
Avocados that are slightly brown will taste almost identical to one that isn’t, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the goodness and health benefits it contains.
Avocados can be expensive, and we all want to make the most of them.
A ripe avocado needs to be protected from its greatest enemy – oxygen – in order to extend its shelf life.
You can reduce the pH levels and slow the oxidation rate by lightly spraying vinegar or lemon juice.
While the oxidization process will not stop completely, it can be significantly slowed.
You can then store it in the refrigerator, where it will remain fresh for approximately two or three days.
What To Do With Brown Avocado?
While everyone loves the vibrant green hue of a freshly cut avocado, it won’t be long before your precious fruit starts to brown.
This is because of its exposure to oxygen, causing an oxidization process that will turn avocados and other fruits brown.
Everyone loves a firm, well-textured avocado.
However, they can be fickle creatures and go from hard to overripe in an instant, especially if you leave it out to ripen quickly.
In addition, because of the oxidization process, they start to turn brown immediately after you cut it open.
However, there is still hope!
As long as the avocado does not have actual mold on it, overripe or browning avocados are still edible.
An oxidized avocado doesn’t mean it is spoilt.
An overripe or slightly brown avocado might not have the best texture, but can always be included in smoothies and shakes as a healthy and nutritious addition.
They can also be used to make dips like guacamole or used in numerous dishes like:
Drool-worthy chocolate pudding
Creamy chocolate pudding tastes best when avocados are slightly mushy.
It has been reported that this pudding recipe provides the convenience of combining two overripe avocados to create a pudding.
Add innovative ingredients like chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, cocoa, and honey to achieve an authentic pudding texture and taste.
Enjoy plain with a spoon, or put it into popsicle molds for a healthy fudgesicle!
Make a creamy pasta sauce
This seemingly fatty but oh-so-healthy pasta sauce is hard to resist.
Stir in chopped olives, fresh diced tomatoes, and overripe avocados after sautéing onions and garlic with your choice of spices.
Pour over pasta when flavors have melded and the sauce has thickened.
Overripe Avocado Vs Spoiled
Not all old avocados cannot be eaten!
An overripe avocado may have a squishy texture and lost a small percentage of its nutrients, but it can still be eaten and enjoy as part of a smoothie or dip.
However, a spoiled avocado has started to rot and should be thrown out unless you can cut away the nasty bits and still enjoy the rest.
One common cause of spoiled avocados is exposure to oxygen.
When the fruit is cut open, oxygen starts to interact with the fatty acids in the avocado, causing the fruit to oxidize and turn brown.
Some slight oxidization is normal, but if you leave an avocado out for a few hours in a hot, humid ambient temperature, the fruit might turn fully brown and aesthetically unappetizing!
Another way that avocados can spoil is by being stored at too high of a temperature.
If avocados are stored in a warm place, they will start to overripen and will become mushy and unappetizing.
Finally, avocados can also go bad if they are not ripe enough when they are picked.
If an avocado is picked before it is fully ripe, it will never reach its full potential and will likely be lackluster in flavor.
It takes some practice at first to pick out the perfect avocado.
When you want to know if an avocado is ripe, you need to know its color and feel, so you don’t end up buying one that won’t work for you.
Ripe avocados can easily be determined using a few simple methods.
In ripe avocados, the outer layer is dark brown and the fruit collapses when lightly pressed.
Firm avocados indicate that they are not yet ripe.
Avocados can also be determined by peeling off their stems.
Avocados that develop black skin and give easily can be deemed spoiled or overripe.
During the ripening process, avocados change color and firmness, but if the skin is mushy and deflated, that might indicate a rotten avocado.
By cutting open an avocado and examining the flesh, you can also determine if it is overripe.
Avocado can be salvaged if it has one or two small spots and vibrant green flesh on the rest of the fruit.
If an avocado is overripe, its appearance, smell, and taste will determine whether it is safe to eat.
It’s likely safe to eat an orange with only a little browning, but if it’s rancid or moldy, you should discard it.
You should never eat rotten avocados or any other food for that matter!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.