Can you eat avocado with brown spots? Maybe! There are several reasons for avocado black spots and avocado brown spots. Learn how to tell if an avocado is bad and which brown spots in avocado you can eat. Do you know how to tell if an avocado is rotten? Don’t get food poisoning from a bad avocado- get the full scoop on avocado dark spots here!
Is your avocado brown inside and you’re wondering whether it’s safe to eat? Most of the time brown spots on avocado are nothing serious. You could have an overripe avocado or an avocado that was bruised during shipping.
Sometimes, though, you’ll see black in avocado or brown lines in avocado. There are actually many causes for discolorations in avocado, which you’ll learn about today. Read on, and get the answer to how do you know if an avocado is bad.
- ➕ Can You Eat Avocado with Brown Spots?
- 🥑 What Causes Brown Spots on Avocado?
- 🛑 When should you not eat an avocado?
- 🔪 Brown Spots on Avocado After Cutting
- 🤔 Can you get sick from eating a bad avocado?
- 💡 What Can I Do with Brown Avocado?
- ⭐ How to Stop Avocado from Browning
- 🌡️ How long does avocado last in the fridge?
- 🥶 Can you freeze avocado?
- 👨🍳 Avocado Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
➕ Can You Eat Avocado with Brown Spots?
If avocado is brown inside is it bad? Most of the time, the brown spots inside avocado are safe to eat. However, if the avocado is moldy, slimy, or has an off aroma or flavor, it should be thrown out.
🥑 What Causes Brown Spots on Avocado?
Why do avocados have brown spots? Here are all the reasons you might see that your avocado has brown spots inside:
According to the Hass Avocado Board, avocados that were compressed or jostled in transit can get bruised, just like apples and some other fruits. This flesh bruising can make the avocado black inside or brown in spots.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult in this case to tell whether the avocado has brown spots inside by its exterior appearance. Luckily, bruised avocados are safe to eat. Simply cut off the bruised spots if you don’t like how they look.
Vascular Browning (Avocado Exposed to Cold)
Sometimes you’ll see some avocado brown strings, as shown in the photo. This browned vascular tissue occurs when avocado is exposed to cold temperatures, such as in the refrigerator. Another time you may see this is when the avocado is put in cold storage for a long time before ripening.
Your refrigerated avocado that turned slightly brown in the refrigerator is safe to eat. I’ve got tips on helping to prevent avocado browning below, and some ideas for using brown avocado too.
Avocado from Young Trees
This next reason for black or brown streaks in avocado is more rare. Sometimes fruit from young avocado trees will have brown or black streaks inside (source). Though these fibers don’t look nice, they are safe for consumption.
Avocado Flesh Exposed to Oxygen
The next reason for black spots in avocado is that the flesh was exposed to oxygen. If you buy avocados regularly, you probably noticed that once you cut them, an avocado tends to get black spots inside quickly.
Though unsightly, these black spots inside avocado are harmless. To avoid this problem, it’s best to use sliced avocado immediately after cutting.
The previous reasons for brown or black avocado were safe to eat. If your avocado has turned spoiled or rancid though, you should throw it out.
🛑 When should you not eat an avocado?
You should not eat spoiled or rancid avocado. Here are the signs your avocado has gone bad:
- Off smell (This indicates the healthy fats in the avocado have turned rancid.)
- Off flavor (Another sign of rancidity- of course, don’t taste the avocado if you notice any of the other indicators on the list first.)
- Mold (From stem-end rot or damaged fruits)
- Slimy or overly mushy fruits
- Withered skin
- Large dark streaks and extremely fibrous, stringy texture (especially when accompanied by other indicators on this list)
Can you eat avocado with black spots?
You can eat avocado with black spots inside if the spots were caused by bruising, or exposure to cold, or oxygen. Throw out the fruit if the black spots on avocado were caused by spoilage or if the avocado has spots throughout the flesh. (Use the indicators in the previous section.)
Can you eat avocado with brown spots on skin?
Most avocados you’ll find in US stores are Hass avocados. These avocados start out with bright green skin that turns black as it ripens. You may see it develop brown spots on the avocado skin as it goes through the ripening process.
Some varieties of avocados stay green throughout ripening, others turn more of a brownish green. Blackened skin or an avocado with brown spots outside doesn’t necessarily indicate it went bad, especially for Hass avocados. However, the outward appearance of a ripe avocado can vary a lot between types of avocado.
In nearly all cases though, an avocado that’s ready to eat has medium to light green flesh.
🔪 Brown Spots on Avocado After Cutting
Avocado may develop brown spots fairly quickly after cutting due to oxidation. Though they alter the appearance and possibly the flavor, these brown spots are safe to eat. The best way to keep cut avocados green is to protect them from exposure to oxygen (source).
🤔 Can you get sick from eating a bad avocado?
What happens if you eat a spoiled avocado? You can get sick from eating a spoiled avocado, just like you can get food poisoning from other foods that went bad. You may experience an upset stomach, nausea, and other unpleasant GI symptoms from eating bad avocado.
Can you eat rotten avocado?
Now that you can answer “is brown avocado bad,” please don’t eat rotten avocados! Eating avocado that has spoiled can lead to food-borne illness. It's especially important for those who are immunocompromised to follow basic food safety rules and avoid eating food that went bad.
💡 What Can I Do with Brown Avocado?
One of my favorite recipes for brown avocado is this Avocado Smoothie for Weight Gain. You won’t be able to tell the avocado wasn’t picture-perfect, since the recipe has cocoa powder to hide the color. Aside from smoothies, here are other ideas for using browned avocado:
- Chocolate avocado pudding
- Add to baked goods for moisture (e.g., quick breads, brownies, muffins)
- Make a creamy salad dressing
- Use it in spreads
- Add to scrambled eggs
⭐ How to Stop Avocado from Browning
The best way to stop avocado from browning is to use it immediately after cutting. Freeze any avocado you can’t use right away.
If you’d like to keep cut avocado in the fridge from browning, protect the cut surfaces from oxygen. One way to do this is to firmly press plastic wrap down on the cut surface before sticking in the fridge.
Other popular things to try include brushing the cut surface with a little oil or lemon juice. These create a barrier that helps keep oxygen away from the flesh of the avocado.
Another thing you can do to help prevent avocado brown spots is to pay attention to storage. Avocado tends to have a very short window of opportunity when they're perfectly ripe. If your avocados tend to ripen and brown too quickly, don’t store them next to fruits that make ethylene gas (such as bananas).
🌡️ How long does avocado last in the fridge?
According to FoodSafety.gov, avocado can be kept in the pantry until ripe and then in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. IMVHO, even using the tips to stop avocado browning above, avocado is best refrigerated no more than 1-2 days.
🥶 Can you freeze avocado?
According to FoodSafety.gov, fresh avocado should not be frozen. However, frozen avocado is widely available in stores. You can chop an avocado, sprinkle with lemon or lime juice, and store in a freezer bag in the freezer with the air pressed out.
Yes, you can eat avocado that isn’t ripe, but I don’t recommend it. Avocado that isn’t ripe is safe to eat (source), but it won’t peel as easily and doesn’t have that delicious creamy texture. Avocados at peak ripeness are green or golden under the stem, and they yield to gentle pressure.
One-third of an avocado is usually listed as the serving size, because avocado is a high-calorie fruit. Though avocados provide nutrient health benefits from folate, vitamin K, and healthy fat, they provide about 240-325 calories each. Avocado is an energy-dense food that can help you gain weight, but can be easy to overeat if you have a weight loss goal.
Low temperatures slow the ripening time in an avocado. In fact, an unripe avocado placed in the fridge may never get ripe! For the best eating experience, allow avocados to ripen on the counter, and place in the fridge after ripening to help prevent them from getting overripe.
Avocados in the US are not typically sold with leaves. If you’re an avocado grower, brown dots on the leaves of your avocado trees can indicate anthracnose. This fungal disease can kill your plants if left untreated (source).
Guacamole turns brown for the same reason avocados brown- oxidation. Usually, only the surface of the guac browns, and the rest stays green. You can help prevent this by pressing plastic wrap firmly on the surface of the guacamole before storing in the fridge. Single-serve guacamole cups are a good way to enjoy small portions at a time without browning.
👨🍳 Avocado Recipes
Here are a few recipes to help you use up avocado before it turns brown:
- Peruvian Beans
- Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl
- Vegetable Oats
- Pulled Pork Bowls
- Air Fryer Toast (for avocado toast, of course)
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!