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overripe avocados on a napkin

Few food-storage tragedies create more angst than a wasted avocado. Holding a squishy or browned fruit in your hand brings the realization that the right time to eat it was yesterday.

There are good reasons to make the most of these fruits: Avocados deliver a variety of antioxidants, including alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), carotenoids, and vitamins C and E. And because growing them sustainably is so challenging (read more at “Endangered Foods“), discarding one just because it’s past its prime can seem especially wasteful.

You can refrigerate ripe avocados to make them last another week, but if they are overripe, try using them in the following ways.

Sweet Treat

chocolate avocadoSwap avocado for butter and bake vegan brownies, cakes, or other moist desserts. Try our creamy, dairy-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse With Cacao Nibs (pictured here).

Smarter Smoothies

avocado smoothiThe fatty acids in avocados are excellent nutrients for body and brain, making them a great choice for your morning meal. If your overripe fruit is looking dull, blend it with greens to brighten. Try half an avocado, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1 cup coconut water, one kiwi (optional), 3/4 cup spinach or kale, and protein powder, if you’d like.

Hair Care

mashed avocadoMake a hydrating hair mask with an avocado and a tablespoon of honey. Massage the mixture gently into your hair and scalp and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse, then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

Beauty Benefits

mashed avocado with a makeup brushBlend ripe avocados with bananas, oatmeal, honey, or yogurt to create a skin-loving face mask. We like this combination: Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal and half an avocado and leave on your face for 10 to 15 minutes to help moisturize. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within five days. (Find four more DIY face mask recipes here.)

This article originally appeared as “Use Up That Avocado” in the May 2022 issue of Experience Life.

Profile picture of Courtney Lewis Opdahl
Courtney Lewis Opdahl

Courtney Lewis Opdahl is Experience Life’s managing editor and a member of the Inclusion Council at Life Time.

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