Running on a major tangent from yesterday’s gator hunt story, I wanted to cover preserving “Alligator Apples”, or avocados. Green black or or brown skinned, they make a fantastic dip when turned into guacamole, and are mighty tasty addition as foo-foo dressing for sandwiches when added as slices. Rich in GOOD fats, they are a healthy food, no matter if you are Paleo, Vegan, or just about anything in between.
I recently did just that, and for about an hours work, I scored roughly 40 pounds of avocados for myself and a couple guys that helped me on the job.
Here is roughly half of my share:
Great score, right?
Ever sit down to eat 15 or so pounds of avocados? It simply doesn’t work well. (Ask me how I know…my personal limit was 5) And add in the sale I found….huge Florida Avocados selling 3 for $1! Of course I picked up a half dozen…much to the wife’s annoyance.
“Don’t we already HAVE avocados?”, she asked.
“Yup! But I have a plan”
“Lovely” she replied as she rolled her eyes. (She must have some SERIOUSLY strong eye muscles, as much as she rolls them around….)
Because of the oil content, dehydrating avocados is a greasy mess waiting to happen. Canning also doesn’t wonk due to that fat content. So we are down to freezing as an option…and apparently it works rather well.
They way I understand it, when ice crystals form inside a cell, the crystals pierce the cell walls, making a soupy mess…
But then, so does mashing avocados…
So I did both, mashed them, then froze the pulp…And by adding some lemon or lime juice and using rather strict guidelines when packaging, I believe I have a way to preserve them. The first batch went well, so I did it with the remaining avocados…at least the ones we didn’t eat right away.
Slice several avocados. Remove the pit.
Remove the edible part from the skin, being sure to remove any brown fibers – they aren’t tasty.
Juice some limes (or lemons)
Using roughly the juice of one lime per avocado, mix the two ingredients, and mash it to a fine pulp (some lumps seem OK).
The acid in the lime (or lemon) juice prevents the avocado from oxidizing, the cause for turning brown
Grab your canning funnel (you DO have a canning funnel, don’t you?). Using this prevents food particles from getting into the zip track, so that those food particles won’t allow the seal to fail.
Now probably the most important part is in sealing the container. Air is a bad thing in a frozen food product. The cold dry air sucks what little moisture there is out of the item, leaving behind a dry, spongy mass we know as freezer burn. So I opted for heavy duty freezer bags, and taking care and time to be sure to remove every trace of air. Even a single tiny bubble can be bad. (see the one in the picture on the left here- BAD!)
Finally, label, and freeze.
To use, simply put it in the fridge for a day or so, then use as though it were mashed avocado….`CUZ IT IS! Add some cilantro, salt, jalapeno, red peppers, cumin, diced tomatoes, garlic and some onions, and you have a more than passable guacamole.
With proper handling while sealing them up (NO AIR!), you should be able to safely store them for months…definitely long enough to get you through to the next bumper crop of “gator apples”.
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