I Tried Costco’s Frozen Avocado Chunks — Here’s What I Thought

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

This is a game-changer! That’s what I thought when I spotted the bags of frozen avocado chunks at Costco. I love avocado. Add it to anything and you suddenly have lunch. Lately my kick has been smoked salmon, avocado, and the Laughing Cow spreadable cheese on a tortilla topped with furikake. Random, I know, but that’s what I had on hand one desperate lunchtime and it stuck.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

But you know the trouble with avocados. First you have to stand in the store and try to pick the ones that are at the exact stage of ripeness you need; soft and ripe for today or tomorrow, slightly less so for the next couple of days. After that, it’s anybody’s guess what they need to be like when you buy them.

Then the questions start at home: Fridge or counter? Put the under-ripe ones in a bag of apples to ripen faster? Or on a windowsill? Do those techniques even work? What if you decide last minute to go out for lunch; do you put that one perfectly ripe avocado in the fridge for tomorrow?

And the eternal question when you’re making a meal for one: What do you do with the other half after you (hopefully!) survive the treacherous game of slicing the avocado? Even if you oh-so-carefully keep the half with the pit still in it and nestle it in plastic wrap in the fridge, the invariable browning has already started, so you’d best be planning to eat it tomorrow — if not tonight.

Oh, avocado, you are so high-maintenance!

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

You see why I was practically giddy then when, right there next to the sweet potato fries, the three-pound bag of frozen avocados sat waiting for me in exchange for less than 10 bucks. It was perfect timing, too, because my husband and I were making our Costco favorite that night: sushi with their fresh salmon. And the only thing better than raw salmon is raw salmon with avocado.

So I grabbed a bag and, once home, prepared to be awestruck. Then I read the directions. Let the chunks sit at room temperature for 60 minutes (I don’t have time for that!) or microwave at 20-second intervals. Wait! How many intervals? How long in between? You were supposed to be answering questions, not creating more, my new freezer friend.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

I let them sit a few minutes then got impatient and microwaved them for 20 seconds. Then let them sit a few more minutes and microwaved again. They were close, a little squishy but still partly frozen. One more zap, and then I let them rest while we sliced the salmon and scooped out the rice. They … didn’t look promising. I took a cautious bite. Yeah, no. My lip sort of involuntarily curls thinking about it.

The texture was weird. Less like the thick creaminess of a fresh avocado, and more, I don’t know, gummy and squishy? And there was a definite sour-ish, tart aftertaste that has no place in avocado. That would be the ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) and citric acid they preserve it with. Maybe it would be OK with some wasabi and good soy sauce in the mix?

Not so much. It was really just a sad impersonation of good, fresh avocado. Definitely better than one that’s under-ripe (which is inedible, let’s be honest). But instead of making the perfect marriage of salmon and avocado, it took away from one of my favorite dishes.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

So much for avocado with sushi. But it had one more chance to redeem itself. Our day-two salmon dish when we make sushi is ceviche, because, believe it or not, a Costco-sized salmon makes more than even two sashimi-lovers can eat in one sitting. So I refrigerated the leftover avocado and the next day stirred it into my ultimate lazy ceviche: a container of fresh salsa from my favorite local produce shop (this stuff is amazing), some fresh orange and lime juice, chopped mango, and diced salmon. That mix spent the afternoon in the fridge before coming out to be dished up with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips. The verdict?

In this format, it’s totally passable. The acidity of the salsa overpowered the off-putting tartness of the avocado. And maybe sitting in citrus — or just sitting overnight in the fridge? — mellowed it out too because I found myself asking my husband if he had any avocado left in his that he didn’t want.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

Fresh from this success, I gave it another go (because there are a lot of chunks in a three-pound bag!). Next up? A green smoothie. To add to the avocado, I raided the fridge for some kale, celery, leftover fruit salad, and Greek yogurt, and tossed in half a banana and a little coconut milk for good measure. (If I’d had ginger, I would’ve added that.) A few whirls in the Ninja and out came a smoothie that quite honestly was as good as anything I’ve ever overpaid for in a shop. (Whether the cleanup is worth it is another story!) There wasn’t a distinct avocado flavor, but that’s OK — I didn’t want to feel like I was drinking guacamole. Instead the chunks just gave the concoction a nice creaminess that smoothed out the stronger kale and celery.

This was really just an experiment, but it was such a success I’ve decided this is how I’ll spend the rest of my avocados. I’d give them a hard pass on anything where they have to stand on their own, though. So, smoothie? yes. Avocado toast? nope.

Have you tried these frozen avocado chunks? What’d you think?

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