I have never felt older and more out of touch than when TikTok became a go-to source for healthy food inspo. (Gotta thank the pandemic for this one.) But as a person whose livelihood relies on being adaptable to the internet things, I have now embraced the platform and the bounty of information it has to offer. One recent video that’s garnered a lot of attention is this one from user @kmag1, in which she shares her truly unexpected hack for how to keep avocados ripe…using water.
Wait, another avocado hack? I’m with you, fam. The internet has come up with lots of ways to keep your avocados fresh for longer, from storing your cut avocado with onions, to slapping on some plastic wrap and praying for a miracle, but this one was truly surprising—and seems pretty legit. All you do is submerge the cut side of the avocado in a container of water. Then close the lid and store in the fridge. That’s it.
@kmag1Wait for it. It WORKS. ##food ##health ##notachef ##lifehack ##foodhack ##foryoupage ##over30 ##avocado ##single♬ original sound – kmag1
As the TikTok pro demonstrates in a follow-up video, 24 hours later her avocado later still looks “perfectly” green. The only thing she does to it is pat it dry since the surface of the cut fruit is a bit wet. Even when she cuts into it…totally flawless. Could it really be that simple? To find out if this was indeed a thing that works, I sent the video to Serena Poon, CN, asking her to make it make sense.
Surprise: She had never heard of it either. “This is not the most common method of keeping an avocado from browning, so I decided to have a little fun and test it out along with a couple of differentiating factors—halves with and without pit; filtered water versus alkaline water,” says Poon. (I also did my own experiment at home, with filtered water and an avocado half with the pit.) We both found that it genuinely works. Poon says that both the avocado halves with and without the pit stayed fresh for hours, in both the filtered water and the alkaline water. “This includes no change in color, smell or texture,” says Poon.
This isn’t witchcraft, folks, it’s science. “Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase under the skin. Once an avocado is cut and the enzyme comes into contact with the oxygen in the air, the surface of the avocado will begin to turn and become brown,” explains Poon. (This is called oxidation; a similar thing happens to bananas and cut-open apples.) “By keeping the surface of the cut avocado submerged in water, oxygen is prevented or, rather, limited from contact with the polyphenol oxidase,” she says, which slows oxidation and keeps your avo nice and green for a little bit longer. As an added bonus, this method doesn’t require you to use plastic wrap, plastic bags, or other wasteful products in order to work.
I am far too busy (read: lazy) for avocado-preserving methods like smooshing the leftover meat into ice cube trays, so needless to say I will be employing this trick quite frequently. If you are similarly “busy,” consider this easy, waste-free avocado hack your new go-to.
ICYMI, here are all the reasons why health experts love to eat avocados:
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